Love In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
The legend of Romeo and Juliet had been popular for more than a
hundred years; by the time Shakespeare wrote his play. Shakespeare's
primary source for 'Romeo and Juliet' is a popular poem-'The tragicall
Historye of Romeus and Juliet', by Arthur Brooke (1562). Brooke's poem
is based on Luigi Da Porta's tale of Romeo and Giulietta. Da Porta was
the first to insist that the lovers were historical figures, which
still exists today. Shakespeare uses the moral of the original and
turns his young lovers into the victims of parental control. In
Shakespeare's version it is the adults who must accept responsibility
for their children. This is what time was like when Shakespeare was
writing. As was with women even though there was a Queen Elizabeth,
women were very much controlled they were told what to do and even
forced to marry whomever their father wished for them to marry. Romeo
and Juliet is a tragedy, there is a great amount of love and passion
in this play and the characters have very different perceptions of
love. Romeo and Juliet was first performed at Shakespeare's Globe
theatre in London around 1594. It has inspired music, opera, ballet,
literature, musical comedy and film.
During the play there are several types of love depicted in the play.
In the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet the audience meets Samson and
Gregory who both have very based views about love. The conversation
between these two characters, shows their love is vulgar and
unpleasant. Their views on love are a complete contrast to the views
of Romeo and Juliet's love, which is pure and special.
Samson says "Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels,
are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague's men from
the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall." Here Samson is saying he
will rape and hurt Montague's maids. This is very vulgar and shows his
view on love is very based and physical love.
He goes on to say "I will cut off their heads" And "Ay the heads of
the maids, or their maidenheads, take it in what senses thou wilt."
Yet again another vulgar comment, saying he will take their virginity.
Showing his attitude to love is that love is sexual and physical.
Showing they have never experienced true love before and see love in a
vulgar way. This is an example of bawdiness.
Other characters who use bawdy humour when talking about love is the
nurse, she also sees love very much in a physical way. In act 1,scene
3, she jokes to Juliet but repeats the joke "Thou wilt fall backward
when thou hast more wilt, wilt thou not, Jule?" She's bawdy and more
course, showing her vulgar idea of love. Also when speaking of Paris
she says, "He's a man of wax." She's more interested in appearance.
Very superficial idea about love.