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How Is Love Portrayed In Romeo And Juliet?

827 words - 3 pages

Shakespeare portrays love in Romeo and Juliet in many ways. Their love is portrayed by images of light and dark and is juxtaposed against death, and he sets next to Romeo and Juliet the love associated with sight and appearances. In all, their love is of another world.The love of Romeo and Juliet is portrayed as otherworldly and heavenly. They are "star-crossed lovers", with their destiny pre-determined; they and other humans have no control. Instead the control lies with fate and God. The lovers are "fortune's fools". This dependency on fate and otherworldly powers lend their love a sense of being something heavenly, "hanging in the stars". With their love, they are able to rise above their world and everyone else. Their love is a means to escape the world of reality and to create their own world of darkness. This world of darkness is their consequential deaths, because their love is "death-marked". Their love is too passionate and powerful to remain in their world, ruled by family hate and violence.Shakespeare describes love in terms of sight and appearances. Romeo and Juliet's love is blind, they first meet at a ball, where Romeo is "covered in an antic face" and Juliet's identity is unknown to him. Their first meeting is love at first sight. Romeo has "ne'er saw true beauty till this night" and this shows their love's dependency on sight. During their second meeting at the balcony, Juliet asks Romeo to "doff thy name", as names are also a type of disguise and mask. Romeo in turn replies that he is hidden "from their sight", so that his appearance is seen only by Juliet, who has the "mask of night" on her face. Despite both of them admitting that they love each other, their love is heavily depended on their sight and the appearance of the other person. This theme is an important element of Shakespeare's portrayed love because the play itself is based on sight, appearances and masks like the family name.In the play, a common theme is contrasting images of light and dark. Shakespeare uses these images of light and dark often in terms of light and day. Most of Romeo and Juliet's meetings happen at night. At the Capulets ball, Romeo's first description of Juliet is that "she doth teach the torches to burn bright". To Romeo, Juliet, the "fair sun" will be forever associated with light. But to Juliet, she links Romeo, "bescreened in...

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