Theme of Love in “Romeo and Juliet” Essay
Romeo and Juliet is a play that was written several decades ago, but it has remained relevant across many generations. Shakespeare has used the play to talk about various issues of love, and how they have affected our present life today. The story revolves around two great lovers who are coming from contrasting backgrounds. This paper explores the theme of love, basing on three kinds of love and how they have been depicted in this play.
Romeo is in love with the concept of love, more that he is in love with any particular woman; in this case, it’s evident that the speed with which his affections shift from Rosaline to Juliet supports this idea. Friar Laurence also believes that Romeo has fallen in love hastily based on his observations, in fact, Romeo’s perception of true love is also outstanding in that he manages to be poetic in certain situations including the tragic ones such as at Juliet’s death, his love and soul mate.
Love is always regarded as a strong emotional attachment to someone or people that are held with high regard. In this case, love will be manifested in the manner in which the particular person behaves and acts to the special person or groups of people. Literature has often been used in different incidents to express love between different people; this language of love has often been used across many decades. In his play, Shakespeare has expressed the concept of love in different ways; the play is not just centered on romance as most people presume to be the case.
Shakespeare’s play about Romeo and Juliet is all about the theme of love and hate comprising of two young lovers originating from opposing families. At some point, this is usually the case when it comes to real life experiences, a concept duly justified in this play.
All across the play, Shakespeare describes three main types of love, as revealed in different episodes in the play. The concept of love starts right from the beginning of the play and is a dominant subject across the episodes, for this reason, it is the obvious subject. In this play, love is categorized into three main forms; courtly love, dutiful love and parental love. Different characters as well as the use of imagery have presented all these three types of love.
Just as the name suggests, courtly love is usually characterised by people who are courting and getting intimate with each other. It mostly applies where the two people are getting acquainted to each other. This concept of love is usually the beginning of romance, which later developed into true love. The concept of courtly love has a long history, dating back to the medieval times, several centuries ago.
Courtly love is said to be a medieval European literary conception of love and romance that was thought to give emphasis to the concept of nobility as well as chivalry. In most of the literature that was composed during these times, there is a great use of courtly love. In many instances, it is portrayed in examples of knights setting out on adventures and doing various activities for their women because of courtly love.
Romeo and Rosaline as well as Paris and Juliet express courtly love in this play, it is evident that Romeo happens to be terribly in love with Rosaline; however, his love is not appreciated back. Shakespeare states,“Shut up his windows, lock fair daylight out and makes himself an artificial night” (135-139). In this case, the imagery that is created shows a depressed atmosphere. By use of this imagery, Shakespeare manages to demonstrate the difference between light and dark depicting the miserable state of
Dutiful love refers to the kind of love that one portrays as his /her duty to the people in the immediate environment, they could be parents or other caregivers or the older people who deserve certain levels of respect from the younger members of the society. Dutiful love, is a most important kind of love presented in this play, especially with the Capulet family, consider the following episode. , “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move, but no more deep will I end art mine eye than you consent gives strength to make it fly” (Shakespeare 99-101), here it is very clear that Juliet has been and very dutiful to her own parents. Soon after meeting Romeo, Juliet became independent, detaching herself from her parents.
Shakespeare has shown a lot of dutiful love from the words and sayings of Juliet, at the same time, he has also contrasted the change of Juliet’s love to her parents, this is happening before and after he meets with her love, Romeo.
Parental love is usually the love that exists between parents and their children; it usually demands that parents show closeness and concern for the welfare of their children. It is important to understand that parental love can at times be categorized as dutiful love. This kind of love is clearly portrayed in Capulet family, by showing concern about their daughter, they encourage her to marry Paris, they tell her, “Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn the gallant, a young and noble gentleman, the…, this is exactly how a caring parent would advise her daughter in the right way.
Shakespeare William. Romeo and Juliet (Discover Shakespeare Primary & Early Years). London: Oberon Books. 2009. Print.