Contrasts In Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare

2015 words - 8 pages

Contrasts in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

"O brawling love, O loving hate", conventionally Romeo and Juliet is a
tragedy, but like most of Shakespeare's plays it contains other
elements such as: comedy, love, hatred, conflict and also symbolism,
however Shakespeare's use of contrast to capture the audience's
interest and to create a multitude of other effects is the only method
of creating interest that is consistently apparent throughout the
diverse themes and concepts within the play. Shakespeare uses contrast
in a variety of ways: to draw attention to or to illustrate specific
points he is trying to make, to grasp the audience's attention and to
add drama to key events or ideas in the play.

One of the main contrasts in Romeo and Juliet is that between love and
hate. Those two opposites contrast against each other and also within
themselves; different types of love and hate present themselves within
different situations and within different characters. In the case of
Romeo when Mercutio is killed by Tybalt he avenges his death by
killing Tybalt. His love for Mercutio or, Loyalty is what drives him
to this.

The loyalty and somewhat toughened love between family members can
also sprout hatred towards the other family so much so that through
loyalty "gentle Romeo" was driven to kill Tybalt, "here's much to do
with hate, but more with love" shows how love in Romeo and Juliet
often transformed to hate, and hate is sometimes not far detached from

This type of loyalty contrasts against the idea of sexual love
illustrated by Mercutio who is far more subtle and suggestive "I
conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes, By her high forehead, and her
scarlet lip, By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh" or
sarcastic and implicative "he is wise ,and, on my life, hath stol'n
him home to bed" than the Nurse who makes blatantly undisguised
remarks about sex, "seek happy days with happy nights" this contrast
between these two characters is in the way they convey there idea of
love which is practically the same for each of them (completely
sexually orientated) in different ways adding variety and interest to
the play and further highlighting the idea of 'true' love between
Romeo and Juliet that Shakespeare is trying to convey: the
nymphomaniac Nurse frequently makes comic references to her devalued
idea of sexual love or more precisely sexual lust: as she reminisces
about a joke her husband made "dost thou fall upon thy face? Thou wilt
fall backwards when thou has more wit" is the cause of much hilarity
to they nurse. Mercutio assumes Romeo's interest in love is no more
than his own obsession with sex. This 'jolly' irreverence and
inability to differentiate between sex and love is in sharp contrast
with the far more serious romantic love between Romeo and...

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