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The Contrast Of Love And Hate In William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

1787 words - 7 pages

The Contrast of Love and Hate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a love story that has more hostility and bloodshed
than most of to day's common television series. The play begins with
an insurrection of the civilian people, ends with a double suicide,
and in between of this hostility and bloodshed there is an act of
three murders. All of this takes place in the duration of four petite
days. In the love story of Romeo and Juliet it is frequent for love to
turn to hate from one line to another. This indistinctness is
reflected throughout Romeo and Juliet, whose language is riddled with
oxymorons. "O brawling love, O loving hate," Romeo cries in the play's
very first scene, using a figure of speech and setting up a theme of
love and hate that is played out during the five acts.

In act one scene five Romeo lays eyes Juliet for the first time, he is
stunned by her exquisiteness and describes her beauty using the
language of a sonnet. The imagery used by Romeo to describe Juliet
gives central insight into their relationship. Romeo firstly describes
Juliet as a source of light, like a star, against the darkness: "she
doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the
cheek of night." As the play progresses, a cloak of interwoven light
and dark metaphors is emitted around the pair. The lovers are
repetitively associated with the dark, an association that points to
the undisclosed nature of their love. During this confrontation it is
the only time they are able to meet in safety. During Romeo and Juliet
confrontation, the light that surrounds the lovers in each other's
eyes grows brighter to the very end, when Juliet's beauty even
illuminates the dark of the tomb. The association of both Romeo and
Juliet with the stars also continually reminds the audience that the
two lovers' fates are "star-crossed."

Romeo believes that he can now differentiate between the
disingenuousness of his love for Rosaline and the indisputable
feelings that Juliet inspires. Romeo acknowledges his love was blind,
"Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight / For I ne'er saw true
beauty till this night."

Romeo's begins to use religious imagery from this point on in the
play. He begins by describing Juliet as a holy shrine. Romeo begins to
move towards a more spiritual contemplation of love as he moves away
from the overblown, overacted imagery of his love for Rosaline.

Such otherworldly moments of the expression of true love never last
long within this feuding society. The threat of violence
instantaneously interrupts the romantic atmosphere created by Romeo's
sonnet when Tybalt recognizes Romeo's voice and wants to eradicate him
then and there. Although forced to accept Capulet's judgment as head
of the family to allow Romeo to stay, Tybalt utters a threat...

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