The Opposing Themes of Love and Hate in the Play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet there are two very strong
emotions which threaten their relationship. These two emotions are
love and hate. The love that Romeo and Juliet have is threatened by
there families full of hate (Capulet and Montague). These two emotions
interweave throughout the whole play.
In Act 2 Scene 2 Juliet makes a comment that displays both love and
hate. ‘If they do see thee, they will murder thee’. In this quote the
love is between Romeo and Juliet as she fears for his safety at the
hands of her kinsman. The hate is of Romeo by the kinsman as they are
after him prepared to kill.
The hate that the Montague and Capulet family have is like a law and
anybody who becomes a part of either family should automatically hate
each other. This will destroy Romeo and Juliet’s relationship as they
are both from each of the families.
Live, in Verona’s masculine society, is all about domination as the
males should always rule and be in charge. The macho servants of the
Capulet always joke about how the male could be aggressive without the
women having any power. In Act 1 Scene 1 they use words such as
‘stand’, ‘thrust’, ‘maidenheads’, ‘tool’ and ‘weapon’. All of these
words can be related to sex. This is a shallow way to look at love and
Shakespeare effectively contrasts it with the genuine love felt by
Romeo and Juliet. They would be prepared to die for each other and
this is in strong contrast with the hate that fills Verona.
When Romeo and his friends arrive at the Capulet’s party, it was said
to have been love at first sight. When Romeo first noticed Juliet he
said ‘For I ne’er saw true beauty until this night’. (Act 1 Scene 5).
What Romeo means is that out of all the girls and women he has seen in
his lifetime, none of them were as noticeable and as easy to love as
Juliet. She had true beauty and this is what Romeo loved.
Also in Act 1 Scene 5 Romeo quotes, ‘O she doth teach the torches to
burn bright’. This is a good example of a hyperbole because the
language used is extravagant and exaggerated. He expresses his love
for Juliet by exaggerating.
When Romeo and Juliet first meet face to face they are obviously
flirting. ‘O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do’. (Act 1
When most people meet they introduce themselves by shaking hands but
Romeo is hinting a kiss rather than the contact of hands. The language
is different in this part of the play because he is using religious
imagery to impress Juliet. She is impressed as she kisses Romeo back
and comments, ‘You kiss by th’ book’. (Act 1 Scene 5). This means
expertly and she obviously likes him to kiss him back.
When Juliet later discovers that Romeo is a Montague she is devastated