Throughout ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Shakespeare portrays the true-love passion between the two lovers in great contrast to the society in which they are surrounded. Their love seems more predominant in the play especially in comparison to the ancient feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. However, this is not the only lack of understand that there is in Verona.
Some of the main characters show this, in the bad behaviour by both Mercutio and the Nurse who only understand physical love and the lack of parental love which foregrounds Romeo and Juliet’s passion for each other. From the moment that the two characters meet it is clear that it is ‘love at first sight’.The most violent character in the whole play is Tybalt. This is shown effectively in the newer film at the Capulet’s party, Tybalt portrayed to be the most violent person. He misunderstands why Romeo has come to his party and accuses him of being there to “fleer and scorn”. Shakespeare also portrays him as a person without a heart, as he says “to strike him dead I hold it not a sin”. He would be happy to kill Romeo without having a bad feeling in his body, meaning that he hasn’t got a conscience. However, he believes that he is doing the right thing “by the stock of my honour of my kin”.
This refers to hurting Romeo for the honour of his family, suggesting that he has been taught to do this, this is one of many references to the ancient feud that splits Verona. In Luhrman’s film he portrays Tybalt in his use of costume at the fancy dress party. When he appears as the devil, the satanic symbolism is very evident! This is contrasted by Juliet being dressed as an angel and Romeo as her ‘knight in shining armour’. Moreover, the whole of the Capulet household appears to be evil, as all of Tybalt’s friends are dressed as skeletons which represent death.The fight in III i is the peripeteia in the play, with the two most important deaths.
The death of Mercutio ends the humour in the play, and the death of Tybalt, which leads towards the tragic events at the dï¿½nouement of the play. However, it is Mercutio who misinterprets the conversation between Romeo and Tybalt and who begins this fight. Eventually Mercutio is stabbed; he blames the feud between the two houses for his death, saying “A plague o’ both your houses”.This shows Mercutio’s hatred of the feud before his death. Before Romeo kills Tybalt, he also shows how much he loves Mercutio “Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.
” He is willing to die for his friend! He suggests that he is so angry that he would be happy for both of them to die for his love. The two films both portray this fight in very different ways. The locations and atmospheres are different. The sunny, clear weather in Zeffirelli’s shows the humour of the fight, which is fore grounded in the laughter, joking and jeering by the crowd of people watching. The music then changes to serious music when Romeo begins to chase Tybalt through the winding streets of Verona.The newer film shows Mercutio’s death in comparison to his personality. The fist fighting and blood on the beach shows how violent this fight is. As Mercutio dies, the funeral song is played.
This emphasises the death, to create a gloomier atmosphere. Romeo then chases Tybalt in a car, which adds more intensity to this scene, and it finally ends with Tybalt being shot, which brings the scene to an end with another death. Lady Capulet’s hate for the Montague family is shown shortly after she finds out that Tybalt has been killed “For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague.” She wants Romeo dead. “Romeo must not live”. This shows how much she hates him; she is not satisfied with him being banished. The feud is not only shown in the fighting men of the family, as Lady Capulet has a deep hatred of the Montagues.Parental love is another theme in this play which is portrayed in different ways.
It is clear that the Montague family do have a strong love for their children as Lord Montague is worried about his son’s love for Rosaline. “Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow. We would as willingly give cure as know.” Montague is concerned as to what Romeo is so upset about, and wishes to know about why he is so ill. He wishes to “cure” him of his illness. Extremely, Lady Montague dies due to having a broken heart upon hearing the news that her son has been exiled to Mantua.
This shows the true love between the parents of the Montague household and Romeo, as she cannot live without him. This is contrasted with the Capulet’s treatment of Juliet. Although it may appear that Capulet does care about his daughter, when he arranges the marriage to Paris to stop her being upset for the death of Tybalt. His mind soon changed when he says “But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst”.
He refers to Juliet as being a horse. Moreover, he threatens to hit her, by claiming that his “fingers itch”. He then says how he wishes she had never been born “That God had lent us but this only child But now I see this one is one too much”. He hates his child, and the marriage to the County Paris is more important than his own daughter.Arranged marriages play an important part in the play by contrasting the true love. Capulet expects Juliet to marry the County Paris..
This would have been the right thing to do during this era, as Capulet would have been doing the best thing for his daughter. The audience would have agreed with Capulet. However, the audience has since changed and would now show sympathy towards Juliet. Lady Capulet doesn’t understand true love either, as she refers to Paris being a book, saying, “Read o’er the volume of his face” and “Find written in the margent of his eyes”.This shows how she doesn’t care about what is inside Paris, it is all about the money and appearance whicht he has. Moreover, she refers to this book as to having a gold cover, saying “That in gold clasps locks”. She is more interested in Paris’ personal wealth than his personality. However, it is clear to the audience that Lady Capulet doesn’t understand marital love, as she refers to Capulet as “sir”, and never anything more intimate than that, which suggests that she is serving him rather than being his wife.
The true strength of their love is shown when Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead. He plans his death with great haste after finding out that she is dead, and buys a strong poison, which he calls a “cordial”. Juliet is also willing to die for her love, as she is so distraught at the thought of marrying Paris “If all else fail, myself have power to die”.She is so upset about the thought of being parted from Romeo that she is be willing to kill herself.
She also says that she would rather be “O’er-cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones”. She would be happy to lie amongst the dead for Romeo. Luhrman adds more tension to this play at the dï¿½nouement, by having Romeo and Juliet see each other once more before Romeo dies. He is not killed instantly and Juliet can see him take the potion which adds tension, as Juliet nearly saves Romeo. However, in the play they do not see each other, but Romeo is more desperate. He returns to the graveyard with a crowbar, to come and rest with Juliet.
He is so desperate to see her that he has to kill County Paris to reach Juliet.If anything good does come out of the dï¿½nouement of this play, it is the end of the feud. The language of the two heads of households changes and violence turns to friendship and love. Capulet, the more violent of the two, says “O brother Montague, give me thy hand”. This shows the love between the two households, as they have been re-united together, and now he refers to Montague as being a “brother”. This is in a great contrast to the rest of the play as never before has any friendship been shown between these two families. Catholic families are eventually coming together as one, therefore their love has a positive effect on Verona as a society, as the fighting in the streets will stop and the area will be a happier place.
In conclusion, the “true-love passion” between the two lovers is shown in such a powerful way by the contrasts and use of language throughout the play. I feel that this is why the play still has such a lasting appeal today. It is cleverly written and has an ever-lasting effect on whoever sees it. From the moment that the character of Romeo is introduced, and the two lovers meet, the audience learns to love them both. Shakespeare’s ideas that are evident throughout are innovative and would have appealed to the audience of his era.
The idea of marriage for true love, not arranged marriages, would have been new to his audience. This is what makes his play so successful and original.