Love, Haste and Contrasts in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
In this assignment, I will be looking at the play of Romeo and Juliet.
I will analyse how Shakespeare has used language in the play for
symbolic effect. I will observe on how Shakespeare has presented love
and the way in which Romeo and Juliet talk to each other, I shall
decide whether their love was real and talk about their parents
contrasting views and opinions. I will also comment on the plays
relevance today and see how Shakespeare has used dramatic devices and
structures to enhance the conversation between the young lovers.
Throughout the play there is a constant theme of love and fate, I
shall analyse this theme and show how it affects Romeo and Juliet.
An important scene is the Capulet's ball where Romeo and Juliet first
meet. This shows their love-at-first-sight and can be interpreted into
many different ways. In Act 1 scene 5, Baz Luhrmann's modern film
version presents Romeo and Juliet first seeing each other through a
tropical fish tank. This is a very effective way of showing how they
met, Romeo and Juliet didn't understand the quarrelling between their
families but they were caught up in it, the first thing they truly
understood was that there was something they wanted that was the other
side of the tank, each other. Something tantalising because of the
fish tank, yet the tank made it unattainable. You can walk round a
fish tank and they met each other soon enough, but it turned out that
in the end it was unattainable, in a way that was far more disastrous
and that they were too innocent to see. This is a transported, unreal
scene where anything is possible. A moment when nothing, in fact can
happen, but which promises so much, everything, so there is hope. The
tank subtly brings their virtual selves closer through magnification,
while it separates their real selves completely. They are so close,
yet cannot touch, and so near to being able to love each other freely,
yet so far away. In the play, this scene sets the atmosphere up as
being magical and, perhaps in the end, impossible.
At Capulet's ball, we can contrast pure and innocent love with the
violence and hatred of Tybalt. Capulet, as a gracious host, praises
Romeo 'virtuous and well-governed youth' and asks Tybalt to 'endure'
him. This is a well-intentioned act by Capulet but it arouses the
anger of Tybalt 'convert to bitterest gall'. Tybalt later issues a
challenge to Romeo and it results in the death of Mercutio, Tybalt and
the banishment of Romeo, which darkens the plays atmosphere. Romeo's
use of language changes from his earlier speeches, before he was
agonising over Rosaline using oxymoron's to portray how tormented and
confused he felt. He was only thinking of himself and claiming how
'lovesick' he was:
'A madness most discreet, A...