Debate: Better To Have Loved And Lost Than To Never Have Loved At All Using Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

1305 words - 5 pages

Love, Better Not Everyone can agree that love is wonderful, but is it worth everything? Should one sacrifice their all for love? Scholars conclude that the central theme of Romeo and Juliet is love. Love drives the play, as the prologue introduces the audience to "a pair of star-crossed lovers." (Prologue, l.6) The definition of love is established as: eros, a union that brings self-fulfilment; philia, brotherly and sisterly love; and agape, wholly selfless love. Saint Augustine once said that, "It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." Truly, the experience of love is unlike any other and every human should experience it. However, whether or not humans should experience love is not the topic at hand; rather, it is whether it is better to have loved and lost or to never have loved at all. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it is evident that the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, would have been better not to have loved at all. Particularly, love has caused Romeo and Juliet to be myopic, death is the ultimate outcome of their love, and love is the reason for tragedy - not only for Romeo and Juliet, but for every character surrounding them. Firstly, love blinds Romeo and Juliet - all Romeo sees and cares about is Juliet, and all Juliet sees and cares about is Romeo. Being with each other is the only thing that matters. Love is supposed to be a union that brings self-fulfilment, but in Romeo and Juliet, it brings violence. This play opens with Romeo being depressed because Rosaline does not return his love. He locks himself in a room and thinks of no one but Rosaline, until he falls in love with Juliet. At the Capulet party, Romeo says, "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, / for I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." (I, v, l.69-60) On the other hand, Juliet is only 13 and has not even considered marriage or love: "It is an honor that I dream not of." (I, iii, l.71) She does not care for Paris or any other man, but in less than forty-eight hours, everything changes dramatically. Following their encounter, there is a manifestation of myopia. Romeo and Juliet, both innocent teenagers, are plagued with thoughts of suicide and a willingness to experience it. Romeo draws out a knife in Friar Lawrence's cell and threatens to kill himself after he has been banished from Verona. (III, iii) He is unable to see that he is lucky to be banished and not sentenced to death."Thy fault our law calls death, but the kind prince, /Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law/ And turned that black word 'death' to 'banishment.'/ This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not." (III, iii, l.26-30)Just two scenes later, Juliet says, "Give me some present counsel, or, behold, / 'twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife shall play the umpire/... Be not so long to speak, I long to die." (IV, I, l.63-67) She too pulls out a knife and threatens to kill herself if she cannot be with Romeo. These acts disprove...

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