What different types of love are represented in the play, and how is Shakespeare drawing on historical, social and cultural features of medieval and Elizabethan England in the ways that he represents these types of love?The entire theme of Romeo and Juliet is love. The plays plot is about Romeo and Juliet’s love affair, but the romantic love is not the only type of love present in the story.
As well as using realistic social situations familiar to an Elizabethan audience, Shakespeare draws upon popular medieval and Elizabethan conventions of poetry, literature and art in the way that he represents the different types of love in the play.Shakespeare draws upon conventions of art and literature from the Elizabethan and medieval world, for the first type of love that appears in the play that is the Infatuation which Romeo has for Rosaline.In the opening scenes Romeo is depressed because he is in love with a woman who does not return his affections. This depression is apparent when Benvolio talks to Lord and Lady Montague about Romeo.
He says,”…underneath the grove of sycamore.
../So early walking did I see your son/Towards him I made, but he was ware of me/And stole into the covert of the wood”(Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 112-116).This shows that Romeo is very upset about his unrequited love with Rosaline as he is pining for her as he sits under a tree and is afraid of being seen in such a state of misery. Therefore he runs from a friend, who would want no more than to ease his pain, into the cover of the wood and from the world.
Another example describing the extent of Romeos melancholy is when Lord Montague talks about Romeos recent behaviour at home. He says,”Many a morning hath he there been seen, /With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew, /Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs, /But all so soon as the all-cheering sun/Should in the farthest east begin to draw/The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, /Away from light steals home my heavy son, /And private in his chamber pens himself, /Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, /And makes himself an artificial night: /Black and portentous must his humour prove, /Unless good counsel may the cause remove”(Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 122-133).This describes Romeo as leaving the house to stay in the wood in the early hours to avoid his family to sit and mope, and cry as he is tormented and frustrated by his infatuation with Rosaline who does not even know he is there. It also tells the audience that Romeo stays in the wood until sun set, and then retires to his bedroom inside of which he isolates himself from his family and friends through locking himself in there like a prisoner of his torment and pulling the curtains to shut out the light and the outside world; leaving him in the dark to dwell upon his unrequited love.Another example showing Romeos deep depression is when Romeo describes his pain to Benvolio as a sickness.
He says,”Bid a sick man in sadness make his will- /A word ill urged to one that is so ill: /In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman”(Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 193-195).Here, Shakespeare is drawing upon a popular convention of the medieval and Elizabethan word, as love was thought to be similar to a sudden attack of sickness or disease. This is exactly how Romeo is describing his pain as, both mental and physical, because he is going insane and is physically fatigued and drained due to his depression.Shakespeare uses a similar presentation of love used in Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale” from the Canterbury Tales of the fourteenth century. For example the opening scene mirrors the emotions of Romeo at the beginning.
It reads,”This sorrowful prisoner, this Palamon, /Was pacing round his chamber to and fro /Lamenting to himself in all his woe.”This is exactly the same, but his pain is of literally being a prisoner against his will.Another example in The Knight’s Tale that has been used by Shakespeare is where it perfectly illustrates love acting like a disease. It reads,”He chanced on Emily to cast his eye /And, as he did, he blenched and gave a cry /As though he had been stabbed, and to the heart. /And, at the cry, Arcita gave a start /And said, “My cousinPalamon, what ails you? /How deadly pale you look!”This depicts Palamon as very suddenly becoming white as if he is seriously ill and cried out in pain as if he had been stabbed in the heart. Of course this is not true of what really has happened, he has seen a beautiful woman outside and immediately was struck by love. This is exactly how Romeo describes how he is feeling to Benvolio in Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 193-195.Another example of similarity between “The Knight’s Tale” and “Romeo and Juliet” is when Palamon describes love as deadly.
It reads, “I have been hurt this moment through the eye, /Into my heart. It will be death to me.” Palamon is saying that love is dangerous and very much like a fatal wound, and if you live through it there will be scars with detrimental effects.
This is exactly how Romeo feels as he describes himself as a dead man. He says,”She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow /Do I live dead, that live to tell it now” (Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 214-215). Love has the power to make you ill, to strike you down and to kill you.
All of which Romeo suffers during his infatuation with Rosaline.An example of Shakespeare drawing upon conventions of art is the painting “Bacchus and Ariadne” by Titian. The painting portrays the Greek myth of Ariadne walking on the sea shore with friends and Bacchus also walking on the sea shore. The painting is trying to capture the split second in which their eyes meet and they are struck down by love at first sight. This is similar to Romeo’s feelings for Rosaline because he was also struck down by love at first sight, but this love is unrequited meaning the pain just becomes unbearable.Another example of Shakespeare drawing upon popular art convention in the early scenes to describe Romeo can be seen four Elizabethan portraits.
The first portrait being Nicholas Hilliard’s Miniature “A Courtly Sonneteer circa 1588. The painting shows a young man who is obviously rich due to his extravagant clothes. The man has one of his hands upon his heart which shows that he is suffering from love. In the picture the man is enclosed by rose bushes; roses being the symbol of love implies that he is trapped by love. Also, the fact that roses, even with their beauty, have ugly, sharp, thorns which can hurt you. The rose is a metaphor for love as like the rose love is beautiful but it can cause grief and suffering. This is of course how Shakespeare is portraying Romeo’s unrequited love in the play.
The second portrait is again by Nicholas Hilliard’s miniature “A Burning Lover”. Again it shows an isolated man but instead of roses he is surrounded by flames. Flames can keep you warm, but can also severely burn. This is a metaphor for love as similarly love can bring warmth and comfort, but it can also be agony. The fire is also a metaphor for the man’s passion for his love, as it burns him inside.
In Elizabethan times burning was an excepted form of punishment for criminals, especially of religious martyrs. The burning flames are a reflection of this as the man is a martyr for love. The man is dressed in dishevelled clothes that fall open to expose his chest and his heart. This shows he is a victim for love and his vulnerability because he leaves his heart on his sleeve unprotected making it easy to hurt.
Also the man has keeps sakes such as a locket with a picture of his mistress and a ring that was given to him from her. Evidence of Shakespeare drawing upon this fire metaphor is when Romeo comments to Benvolio that love is like fire or flames. He says, “Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs, / Being purged, a fire sparking in lovers’ eyes”.The third portrait is Isaac Oliver’s miniature “An Elizabethan Musing” circa 1590. The painting shows a young man leaning against a tree trunk in a sad and thoughtful posture and frame of mind, which is the exact image of Romeo when he mopes around in the wood in act one, scene one. The painting shows the man isolated from society physically and mentally due to his dejectedness. His physical isolation is highlighted by him being far from the house and garden behind him.
Also there is a couple in the background which highlights the fact that he is solitary. All of which is mirrored down to the posture and facial expression in Shakespeare’s portrayal of Romeo in the opening scene.The forth portrait is of John Donne circa 1595 as a melancholy lover which is a similar mood to Romeo. The painting has a deliberately dark and gloomy background and it looks like John Donne is fading into the darkness and doom of it all.
He is wearing a floppy hat and an undone collar which are both marks of the distracted lover in a usually tight laced age. The fact that his collar is undone implies that he can not be bothered with his clothes. John Donne is isolated and dwarfed by the bleak and black surroundings and sits cross armed looking into the distance pining for his love. All of this is similar to Romeos behaviour in the opening scene as he hides in the darkness constantly, by staying in the woods or closing the curtains in his room. Also there is an inscription, to an unidentified lady, which prays for her to light up his shadow: “Illumina tenebras nostras domina” which is roughly translated to, “Enlighten our darkness, Lady”.
He preys to her as if she is a goddess or a saint that can grant his prier.The theme of unrequited love carries on with Paris for Juliet as he asks her hand in marriage from her father who is happy with the arrangement. His love for Juliet is true, but his affections are never returned but are abused. Evidence of his feelings for her are made apparent when Paris shows genuine compassion for Juliet after Tybalt is killed. He says, “Pour soul, thy face is much abused with tears” (Act 4 Scene 1 line 29).
He shows his concern saying that her soul is drained and her face is in pain due to the floods of tears that she cries because of Tybalt’s death. He is upset to see her in such a state because he loves her so deeply. This shows that Paris suffers for love even when it is not his fault.Tragic events which are beyond Paris’ control ensure that Paris cannot marry Juliet, the main one being on the wedding day that he finds his brides dead body.
He says,”Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain! /Most detestable Death, by thee beguiled, /By cruel, cruel thee quite overthrown! /O love! O life! Not life, but love in death!”(Act 4 Scene 5 Lines 55-58).What Paris means is he has been enchanted by Juliet, then separated from her, and wronged because of it, and it happened despite his love for her and now she is dead. He is very angry because he has lost his love, but still loves her even though she is dead. He does not deserve it, but he suffers greatly because of his love for Juliet.When Paris is mourning for Juliet at the Capulet tomb he expresses deep depression. He says,”Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew -/O woe, thy canopy is dust and stones! -/Which with sweet water nightly I will dew, /Or wanting that, with tears distilled by moans. /The obsequies that I for thee will keep /Nightly shall be to strew they grave and weep”(Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 12-17).Paris calls Juliet a flower; it is ironic that he must encumber flowers upon her death bed.
He is still in a state of shock as he reminds himself that she is under dust and stones in her burial. Also he vows to her that he will return every night to water the flowers with water or from the tears that he will cry. He will always have respect for her and will for ever cry at her grave in mourning. Its very sad and very depressing that Paris had suffered an unnecessary great pain which is not his fault that will stay with him forever, under the delusion that she really loved him.Paris’s tragedy is ended with tragedy as he fights Romeo, believing that Romeo had caused Juliet to die of grief by killing her cousin Tybalt, and Paris is killed. He says, “”O, I am Slain [Falls]. If thou be merciful, / Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet” [Dies]” (Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 72-73).
This is very tragic as his dying wish is to be forever with his love Juliet in her tomb. This obviously does not happen, because Romeo loves her and is in despair thinking that she is dead and then ends his own life to be with her.The third type of love present in Romeo and Juliet is maternal love. An example of this is Lady Capulet’s love for Juliet being very formal. This formality was a common occurrence among wealthy aristocratic families of Shakespeare’s time, as women did not have much contact with the children during childhood; the responsibility was passed to a child minder. This shows that Shakespeare was drawing upon the culture of the times. An example of this is when she says “..
.By my county, / I was your mother upon these years /That you are now a maid” (Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 72-74). This tells the audience that due to aristocratic tradition women had children at very young ages. The fact that she was Lady Capulet was so young meant that she was unprepared for caring for a child. Hence, the tradition of having a nurse, who would have experience, would be given the task of caring for the Juliet’s needs throughout her childhood. Due to this Lady Capulet has never been there for Juliet as a mother in the caring sense, causing the formal, decorous, relationship that they have.
All of which showing Shakespeare drawing upon the social culture of Elizabethan aristocratic families.Another example of Lady Capulet’s restrained relationship with Juliet is when she says to Juliet, “Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word: / Do as thou will for I have done with thee” (Act3 Scene 5 Lines 204-205). Lady Capulet is telling Juliet that she does not want to hear any more of her whining and is uninterested in her complaints as she can do nothing about it, so sees no point in continuing the argument with her husband. To modern audiences, Lady Capulet’s rejection of Juliet in her hour of need may seem cold and unfeeling, but Lady Capulet was living in a strict patriarchal household. Meaning, Lady Capulet lived in a household ruled by a man who expected to be obeyed, which was commonly true for women of Shakespeare’s time.
An example of Lady Capulet’s caring love is on the sight of Juliet’s stabbed body in the Capulet tomb. She says, “O me, this of death is a bell / That warns my old age to a sepulchre” (Act 5 Scene 3 Lines 206-207). This means, that seeing her daughter like this kills her inside making her feel hollow.
This tells the audience that she does love Juliet intensely which is shown by her being so overwhelmed.Maternal love is also apparent with Nurse’s love for Juliet, as she gives Juliet warm and affectionate love as if she is her own daughter. An example of Nurse’s love for Juliet is when she says to Lady Capulet, “Susan and she – God rest all Christian souls! – / Were of age. Well, Susan is with God, / She was too good for me” (Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 19-21). This tells the audience that Nurse lost her baby Susan, probably through disease, which was common in Shakespeare’s time. During Elizabethan times it was common for wealthy women to hire bereaved mothers to breast-feed and raise their own babies. This is exactly what has happened here.
The fact that Nurse lost her baby at such a young age leads the audience to believe that Juliet is Nurse’s replacement and to some extent believes that she is her mother.An example of Nurse being protective of Juliet is when she warns Romeo that his intentions towards Juliet had better be honourable. She says,”…
If ye should lead her in a fool’s /Paradise, as they say, it were a very gross kind /Of behaviour, as they say; for the gentlewoman /Is young; and therefore, if you should deal /Double with her, truly it were an ill thing to /Be offered to any gentlewoman, and very weak /Dealing” (Act 2 Scene 4 Lines 170-181).This tells the audience that Nurse is very caring towards Juliet as she is trying to protect her from heart ache.Another example of Nurse’s love for Juliet is when Romeo has killed Tybalt, and she takes action to help the couple. She says,”Hie to your chamber. I’ll find Romeo /To comfort you, I wot well where he is. /Hark ye, you Rome will be here at night.
/I’ll to him, he is hid at Lawrence’ cell”(Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 138-141).This tells the audience that Nurse is willing to take action when it concerns Juliet’s problems to help resolve them and often acts as a go between her and Romeo. Whereas Juliet’s mother Lady Capulet refrains from getting involved in Juliet’s problems even when she knows Juliet is hurting.Another example of Nurse’s love for Juliet is when she finds Juliet dead (i.e. in a coma). She says,”Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady’s dead” /O wereaday that ever I was born! /Some aqua-vitae, ho! My Lord! My Lady!”(Act 4 Scene 5 Lines 14-16)This tells the audience that Nurse is distraught at seeing her surrogate child dead.
She makes reference to aqua-vitae which means water of life, which tells the audience that she wants to bring her back to life desperately because she is her life and means everything to her.Maternal love is also apparent with Lady Montague and Romeo at the very beginning where the Montague’s and Benvolio are discussing a fight that occurred between the Montague’s and Capulet’s. She says, “O, where is Romeo? Saw you him / to-day? / Right glad I am he was not at this fray.” (Act 1 Scene 1 Line 123-125). This tells the audience that she worries about her son like a mother should.
The fact that she did not want Romeo to be any part in a battle against the Capulet’s mortal enemy the Montague’s must mean that she deeply cares for his safety as they fought for honour, which is very important but obviously not as important as Romeo is to her. Lady Montague is a mixture of Nurse and Lady Capulet as she is both caring but cold like Lady Capulet but also loving and affectionate like Nurse.The third type of love present in Romeo and Juliet is paternal love. An example of this is Lord Capulet for his daughter Juliet. Lord Capulet reacts very liberally when it comes to County Paris first asking to court Juliet. He says,”My child is yet a stranger in the world, /She hath not seen the change of fourteen years: /Let two more summers wither in their pride, /Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride”(Act 1 Scene 2 Line 8-11).
This would be rather shocking for an Elizabethan audience as sixteen is quite old for a girl to be married. This shows that he is a very generous father in comparison to those present in Elizabethan times, who would think nothing of marrying their daughters off at an even younger age.Another example of Lord Capulet’s generous nature is during the same conversation with County Paris. He says,”Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she; /She’s the hopeful lady of my earth. /But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, /My will to her consent is nut a part; /And she agreed, within her scope of choice /Lies my consent and fair according voice”(Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 14-19).In context, Juliet is a godsend for the Capulet’s as they had tried for children many a time and had almost given up hope until Lady Capulet fell regnant with Juliet, who is the first and last child.
Juliet means the world to him and this is shown by him putting her happiness before his as he generously says that he will give permission for them courting but Juliet has to agree. This is extremely generous for a father of Elizabethan times as the main reason for marriage in aristocratic families was to marry for money and status which is what Paris would give to the family. Yet Lord Capulet sees that love is a huge part of getting married and all he wants to see is his daughter happy.
Lord Capulet does things with intentions to make Juliet happy, but gets it wrong when he does not consult her feelings first.Another example of Lord Capulet’s love for Juliet is when he arranges a quick wedding with Paris, after Tybalt’s death as a way to rid Juliet of her depression. He says, “O’ Thursday let it be: o’ Thursday, tell her, / She shall be married to this noble earl.” (Act 3 Scene 4 Lines 20-21). This tells the audience that Lord Capulet has only the best intentions in making Juliet happy when arranging the marriage, but gets it wrong because he does not consult her feelings first. Lord Capulet is genuinely trying to make Juliet happy; he is not thinking of money or power gained through the marriage, just Juliet’s happiness.
Again, this genuine want for her happiness would shock the Shakespearean audience as he has no interest in the money or power, which is what any other father would be interested in and would never have given her the choice and would have made her marry him despite of her feelings for Paris.The audience sees another side to Lord Capulet’s character as can become very violent and threatening. An example of his anger is when Juliet refuses to marry Paris.
He says,”Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds, /But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next, /To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church, /Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. /Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! /You tallow-face!”(Act 3 Scene 5 Lines 152-157).Lord Capulet is extremely angry with Juliet because he thinks she is being ungrateful. The main reason though is that she is blatantly disobeying him which is the cardinal sin in a strict patriarchal household, where he is used to and expects without a doubt to be obeyed. Another major that he faces with her disagreement is that because he asked upon her behalf the marriage has to take place as he has given his which is his bond to Paris that it will happen. It is so crucial that this happens for him that he threatens to drag her to the church regardless and calls her names that describing her as filthy and vile. This sort of behaviour would seem very harsh and cruel, but to a Shakespearean audience it would not be surprising.
Lord Capulet’s loving and caring side resurfaces when he is grief-stricken upon Juliet being found dead (i.e. in a coma). He says,”Hah, let me see her. Out alas, she’s cold, /Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff: /Life and these lips have long been separated; /Death lies on her like an untimely frost /Upon the sweetest flower of all the field”(Act 4 Scene 5 Lines 22-29).Lord Capulet describes her physically in detail as a way to tell himself his daughter is dead which tells the audience that Lord Capulet is in complete despair thinking his daughter is dead.
He has been punished for making her marry Paris, but it is too late now, he should have been more reasonable. The audience knows how much he cares for her when he describes her as the most beautiful, kind, and charming person ever.The Paston letters are two real-life examples from a 15th-century Norfolk family who are experiencing similar problems to the Capulets’. In 1449, Agnes Paston’s daughter refused to marry the man her mother had chosen for her like Juliet. The first letter was written by a relative and describes the harsh punishment the mother gives the daughter. It reads, “.
..she was never in so great sorrow as she is nowerdays; for she may not speak with no man, whosoever come, ne not may see ne speak with my man, ne with servants of her mother’s, but that she beareth her hand otherwise than she meaneth. And she hath sin Eastern the most part be beaten once in the week or twice, and sometimes twice on o day, and her head broken in two or three places.” This tells the readers that because she has refused to marry the man her mother has chosen her she has been made a prisoner in her own home as she can have no visitors and she can not speak to servants unless she promises to marry this man. Also it tells the reader that she is being beaten severely daily until she agrees and has badly injured her head.
This is the sort of behaviour that Shakespeare is drawing upon for the Capulets dilemma. The anger and punishment of Lord Capulet is rather restrained in comparison to Paston’s systematic repetition of beating her daughter to make her agree to the marriage. Paston’s behaviour would be rather common in Shakespeare’s time because the people were driven by status, money and power, making them do such terrible things.
In 1469, Margaret Paston bans her daughter from the house and refuses to speak to her because the daughter insists on marrying a man whom Margaret does not approve. It reads, “…I had charged them all, and she should not be received..
.” This means that her daughter repeatedly in trying to make peace with her mother by trying to speak to her, hence all the visits, but repeatedly fails because Margaret has ordered her servants not to let her in because she does not want to speak to her. Margaret has disowned her daughter just like Lady Capulet disowns Juliet in her hour of need.
Similarly Lord Capulet also threatens to make her leave and disowns her after Juliet tells him she does not want to marry Paris and can give no reason why. He says,”And you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend; /And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, /For, by my soul. I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee, /Nor what is mine shall never do thee good”(Act 3 Scene 5 Lines 191-194).This tells the readers that Lord Capulet has disowned his daughter because of her disobedience.Another example of paternal love is Friar Lawrence’s love for Romeo.
The Friar seems to act as a surrogate father and friend to Romeo as it is he who provides the kind of advice and support on a day to day bases. An example of this is when say, “Wisely and slow; they stumble that / run fast” (Act 2 Scene 3 Lines 94-95). This tells the audience that Friar Lawrence looks upon Romeo as his son and friend because he gives him advice in love like a friend and does it with Romeo’s best intention in mind.Friar Lawrence does have genuine affection for Romeo, but is not scared to challenge Romeo’s opinion or be blunt with him. An example of this is when he says,”Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love dear, /So soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies /Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.”(Act 2 Scene 3 Lines 67-69).
This tells the audience that Friar Lawrence doubts that Romeo could be in love so soon after his love for Rosaline. He believes that he lusts after her because she is good looking. This doubt shows that Friar Lawrence deeply cares for Romeo as he does not want to see him hurting the way he did with Rosaline the same way with Juliet.Friar Lawrence also gives lots of also practical help to Romeo. An example of this is when Romeo is in hiding as he killed Tybalt in Friar Lawrence’s cell.
The main practical help though is when he creates a plan to rid Romeo and Juliet of their problems by making Juliet fake her own death. He says,”Take though this vial, being then in bed, /And this distilled liquor drink thou off; /When presently through all they veins shall run /A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse /…No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest; /The roses in thy lip and cheeks shall fade /To paly ashes, they eyes’ windows fall /Like death..
./And in this borrow’d likeness of shrunk death /Thou shalt continue two and forty hours, /And then awake as from a pleasant sleep. /…
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift, /And hither shall he come: and he and I /Will watch they waking, and that very night /Shall Romeo bear thee hence Mantua. /And this shall free thee from this present shame…
“(Act 3 Scene 4 Lines 93-118).This tells the audience that Friar Lawrence, like nurse is willing to take action to resolve any of Romeo’s problems. He has given Juliet a potion that will make her look like she is dead in the morning of her wedding day stopping the wedding happening. He would write a letter to Romeo telling him of the plan so that he can be at the Capulets vault for when she wakes up. The potion would wear off after two hours and forty minutes, after which she and Romeo can elope to Mantua to live without shame.
By helping Romeo and Juliet’s affair carry on he hopes it will bring the two families together. He takes numerous risks as he is a public figure in Verona so everyone knows him. By helping them get married secretly he may be opening himself to punishment considering their parents hatred for one another.The forth type of love in Romeo and Juliet is Godly love. This is apparent with Friar Lawrence’s love of God. Friar Lawrence is a holy man who is very proper in his views and does not approve of Romeo’s romantic affairs, but this does not stop him from helping them when they need him. For a man of the church he is very practical and very understanding of human nature.
In spite of this though, he does warn Romeo of the dangers because he cares so deeply for him and Juliet. When things do go wrong he does take the consequences for his actions.The fifth type of love in Romeo and Juliet is love between friends. Evidence is shown of this is Romeo and Benvolio’s strong friendship. An example of this is when Benvolio offers Romeo advice and support when Romeo is depressed about Rosaline.
He says, “By giving liberty unto thine eyes: / Examine other beauties.” (Act 1 Scene 1 Lines234-235). Benvolio tells Romeo that he should have a look around him, because there are plenty of other women to choose from.Another example of Benvolio helping Romeo out of his depression is when he tells him they should go to the Capulet’s party. He says,”At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s /Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest, /With all the admired beauties of Verona: /Go thither; and, with unattainted eye, /Compare her face with some that I shall show, /And I will make thee think thy swan a crow.”(Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 87-92).This tells the audience that Benvolio is desperate to cheer Romeo up and plans to show Romeo that there are other women much more beautiful than Rosaline to help him forget his pain and hopefully introduce a new source of happiness.Another example of Benvolio being a friend to Romeo is when Benvolio tactfully takes the other drunken friends away so that Romeo is left alone to speak to Juliet.
He says, “Go then; for ’tis in vain / To seek him here that means not to be found.” (Act 2 Scene 1 lines 42-43). This tells the audience that Benvolio is a true friend as he looks out for Romeos best interests.
At that moment it was to leave him and Juliet alone to further their relationship’s chances giving Romeo a chance of love again.Benvolio’s love for his friends is again shown when he tries to prevent the street fight between the Montagues Romeo and Mercutio and the Capulets Tybalt and friends. He says,”We talk here in public haunt of men: /Either withdraw unto some private place, /And reason coldly your grievances, /Or else depart: here all eyes gaze on us.”(Act 2 Scene 1 lines 58-62).
This tells the audience that he does not want any harm to come of his friends and also knows that the one responsible for any bloodshed between the families, they would be punished by death.After the fight Benvolio lies to Prince Escalus about how the fight started between Tybalt and Mercutio. He says,”Tybalt deaf to peace…/Tybalt hit the life /Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled; /But by and by come back to Romeo, /Who had but newly entertain’d revenge, /And to’t they go like lightening, for, ere I /Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain.
..”(Act 3 Scene 1 Lines 164-178).The fact that Benvolio has blatantly lied to the Ruler of Verona about the fight, tells the audience that he is willing to cover for his friends wrong doings even if it is perjury.
Knowing that it was Mercutio Montague that started the fight he had to blame it on Tybalt, as Romeo would be the one who would be sentenced to death as he was the only Montague left alive. By telling the prince this lie he saved Romeos life and the sentence was greatly reduced to just a banishment from Verona.The sixth type of love in Romeo and Juliet is love at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. The idea that people met and immediately fell in love was a popular theme in Elizabethan love poems. An example of this is when Romeo catches sight of Juliet across the Ballroom at the Capulets’ party. He says,”O she doth teach the torches to burn bright! /It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night /As a rich jewel in a n Ethiop’s ear – /Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. /So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, /As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
/The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand, /And touch hers, make blessed my rude hand. /Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! /For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”(Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 43-52).Romeo is immediately struck by Juliet’s beauty.
He describes her in a sonnet that has rhyming couplets which compares her beauty to other things. At the time sonnets were hugely popular with the general public. Basically sonnets are short poems with a clear rhyming structure, expressing one intense emotion and in this case the intense emotion is the physical attraction between the two. People paid good money to hear love sonnets because they were fashionable, making them money makers and commercial, hence why Shakespeare has involved them in the play. Romeo describes her as a beautiful snowy dove in comparison to the other women who are like ugly squawking crows. He likens her in the form of a simile to a sparkling diamond worn by a black African person; which means she stands out from the rest. He says she brighten up a room by her mere presence.
He says that in her presence the torches burn brighter, which to Elizabethans, Flames symbolise passion, but they can also burn you and they associated it with torture making him a martyr of love. To Romeo, Juliet is head and shoulders above the rest of the women in the room and has decided to watch her socialising and when the time is right, he will make his move and dance with her.There is a second sonnet which both Romeo and Juliet take part in when they first meet on the dance floor. They say,”ROMEO: If I profane with my unworthiest hand /This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, /My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand /To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.JULIET: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this, /For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do tough, /And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss. /ROMEO: Have not saint’s lips, and holy palmers too? / JULIET: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. / ROMEO: O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do: / They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
/ JULIET: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake. /ROMEO: Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take”(Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 92-105).This is basic love sonnet which they both contribute towards. When they first meet, there is an instant attraction and leads to them kissing. They both use religious imagery in the poem to make it sound very formal but are actually very passionate. Romeo said by touching her hand he is being blessed by her; they use religious words such as sin, palmers, pilgrims, prayer, saint and devotion to describe one another. Romeo approaches Juliet as if she is goddess because he says that he is a sinner and has an unworthy hand to touch her. If he was to touch the holy shrine (i.
e. Juliet) with his sinner hands he would profane the shrine making her dirty. By touching her hand he symbolically contaminates her as he is a sinner and Juliet’s body is a goddess, but by kissing her hand he purifies it again. When pilgrims go to worship the shrines they do this to get forgiveness.
Juliet’s response is that he is too hard on himself. Throughout it is obvious to the audience that there is an immediate attraction between them, he kisses her hand and she teases him by saying Romeo should use his lips in prayer. He says to kiss her is to pray as she is a saint; Catholics would pray to saints to help the, and kiss the saints statue, which is what Romeo does to Juliet.
When they do kiss Juliet says now you have given me your sin and Romeo replies by saying then I will just have to kiss it back. After their final kiss she tells Romeo that he kisses by the book, meaning the Bible.The seventh type of in Romeo and Juliet is Romantic love between Romeo and Juliet. Blazon a form of Elizabethan poetry which describes the beauty of a lady by comparing her to nature. Shakespeare uses a lot of blazon when Romeo describes Juliet.
An example of this is when Romeo waits in the Capulet’s garden after the ball, and he sees Juliet at her bedroom window. He says,”He jests at scars that never felt a wound. /But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? /It is the east, and Juliet is the Sun. /Arise fair Sun”(Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 1-4)This tells the audience that Romeo is intoxicated by Juliet’s beauty as he describes her as the sun. The sun is essential for life and brings light into peoples worlds. Romeo thinks that Juliet is essential to his life, as without her he would die and it is she who brings warmth and light into his world.
Another example is when Romeo describes Juliet’s beauty in an Elizabethan blazon. He says, “Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven”. Here, Romeo is describing Juliet’s eyes as the most beautiful stars in heaven because they are so bright, innocent and pure.Another example of an Elizabethan Blazon is when Romeo describes her cheek. He says, “The brightness of her check would shame those stars, /As daylight doth a lamp”. He is saying that Juliet’s fresh completion is more brilliant than the stars, the same way daylight outshines a lamp.Romeo and Juliet also use flower and bird imagery as flirtatious love talk.
An example of this is when Juliet describes their love as a flower. She says, “This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, / May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet” (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 121-122). Juliet is saying that their love is in its early stages, but there is a possibility that this love will grow into something beautiful. Basically she is teasing him as she is saying maybe, but maybe not. Also the Rose is a symbol of the love and passion that she has for Romeo.Another example of this is when Juliet describes Romeo as a peregrine falcon.
She says, “O for a falc’ner’s voice, / To lure this tassel-gentle back again”. (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 158-159). To tame falcons and hawks in Elizabethan times was very common sport in wealthy households.
Juliet describes Romeo as the tamer and herself as the falcon, meaning she wants him to teach her the ways of love.Another example of this is when Romeo describes Juliet as a young hawk which has not yet left the nest to fly. He calls her “My niesse” (Act 2 Scene Line 167). By calling her this he implies that she is very innocent to the ways of love and is more than willing to teach her how to fly.The eighth type of love in Romeo and Juliet is Passionate love between Romeo and Juliet on their wedding night in Act three Scene two.
In this scene Juliet is unaware of the days events involving Romeo killing Tybalt and that Romeo has been banished so would be unable to see her. In Juliet’s speech she says that she is looking forward to her lovers return so they can consummate their marriage. This speech is like a song in praise of their marriage celebrating their marriage.
This is called an epithalamium, something that has fallen out of fashion in modern times, but in Elizabethan times it was very fashionable to get a poet to do one at a wedding.Juliet makes reference to a Greek myth in lines 1-4. She says,”Gallop apace, you fiery footed steeds, /Towards Phoebus’ lodging; such a waggoner /As Phaeton would whip you to the west, /And bring in cloudy night immediately.”Juliet is making a reference to the Greek myth of Phoebus the sun god being the one responsible for the Sun’s movement across the sky.
She uses commanding language for the sun to move faster because she urges for the night to fall faster so she could see Romeo. The Greeks thought that the son was a chariot on wheels driven by horses hence “steeds”. In the myth it was driven by Phoebus’ son Phaeton, one day Phaeton was killed when he drove too fast.
This is dramatic irony because it is an indirect reference to death which was Tybalt’s fate, and both hers and Romeo’s in the end.Also in the first line of her soliloquy she makes reference to galloping horses, speed and fire. Each of which are appropriate images to the plot of the play, as she herself is burning in her heart, as she is feeling so passionate and can not wait for Romeo.In line 5 Juliet says, “Spread thy close curtain”.
This image is appropriate to the image of night because she is literally drawing the curtains as it turns night time. By doing this she is making her room private from the outside world and also closing the curtains on her childhood as she has become a married woman. The night itself acts as a way of privacy as it causes people unable to see what is happening and it is by night that Romeo visits Juliet allowing their romantic affair to carry on unknown by others.In line 7 Juliet says, “…
untalked of and unseen…” One reason why it is important that Romeo’s visits are kept a secret is because her parents can never find out because he is a Montague, the sworn enemy of the Capulets. The second reason is it is even more crucial that Romeo is not seen, because if he is, he will be taken to prison because he killed Tybalt. This is dramatic irony because the audience knows of Romeos situation whereas the protagonist leading character does not making it very dramatic as Juliet thinks it is going to the happiest night in her life whereas the audience knows it shall be one of the worst.In line 11 Juliet says, “Thou sober-suited matron all in black”. She is personifying night as a nurse who would look after her.
The nurse is going to comfort her when she comes because it means no more waiting and it is safe for Romeo.In line 12 Juliet says, “Learn me how to lose a winning match”. Juliet is making two puns upon the word match. The puns are paradoxes as she is saying that love is like a game played between two people. They are both going to be winners, if they have sex, but also they will both lose their virginity.In Juliet’s speech she compares herself to an untrained hawk, she says,”Hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks, /With thy black mantle, till strange love grow bold…
“(Lines 14-15)She compares herself to an untrained hawk because she does not know how to have sex. The image of a hawk is appropriate for Juliet because her behaviour in this scene is very instinctive like a bird of preys. She is not a tamed bird yet but will be once her husband comes.
Also the hood being darkness is what is used to stop fear in a haw by putting it over their eyes. Also when a hawk is bating it is flapping its wings in a panic, which mirrors Juliet’s nerves and blushing at the thought of what is going to happen. Juliet is describing night as putting a hood over everything which soothes her shyness and also gives them privacy.In line 19 of Juliet’s speech she uses a metaphor to describe Romeo and night. She says, “Whiter than new snow upon a raven’s back.
” What she means by this is that he is so beautiful and stands out in contrast from the rest of the world.Juliet uses star imagery to describe Romeo in line 22. This links to the star imagery used by Romeo to describe Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2, when he compares her to the sun and the stars. Starlight is described as pure and innocent.In lines 21-22 of Juliet’s speech, starlight is contrasted with the idea of death.
She says, “Give me my Romeo, and when I shall die, / Take him and cut him out in little stars”. Juliet picks up on Romeo’s language when he described her eyes as bright stars. Now she is calling him a star of beauty and wants to preserve him in a constellation forever because life is too short a time for her to enjoy him, she wants to enjoy him for ever. By introducing the idea of her death this implies how short her time with him is.The metaphor “mansion of a love” in line 26 stands for their bodies. Their bodies are like beautiful houses or mansions. Through their marriage she has bought his mansion and he has brought hers, but they have not yet possessed it. Meaning they have not had sex with each other yet.
In lines 28-31, Juliet compares her wedding day and night to a child that has got new clothes but can not wear them. Meaning she has married her love and made him her possession like he has her, but neither has been able to make love with each other.The ninth type of love in Romeo and Juliet is Love for family honour. The whole play concerns family honour as there are two quarrelling families, the Montague’s and the Capulet’s.
The quarrel has been going on so long that the root cause of it all has been lost through time. Neither side are willing to back down. There is a long history of violence and bloodshed between these families. It runs through the families at all levels, from the lords to the servants.
This is a double theme as there is also hatred symbolised by these two families. An example of this is Tybalt standing up for, fights for and dies for the honour of the Capulet family.Tybalt from the very start is extremely violent and aggressive. He says, “I hate hell, all Montagues and thee”. Tybalt is saying that he hate all Montagues as mush as he hates hell. This statement marks Tybalt as being violent from the very start.Another example of Tybalt’s violent behaviour towards the Montagues is at the Capulet’s party. He says, “This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier boy.” This tells the audience the extent of his hatred for Montagues as he is willing to kill him on sight, but he is stopped by Lord Capulet who does not want a fight at his party.Mercutio is a mirror image of Tybalt as he to stands up for, fights for and dies for the honour of the Montague family. An example of Mercutio’s violent behaviour is when he provokes Tybalt in the Verona Street, and fighting breaks out between them all. They say,