Using Act 1 Scene 5 As A Starting Point, Show How Shakespeare Presents Ideas About Romeo And Juliet's Love In A Dramatically Effective Way.

1626 words - 7 pages

Romeo and Juliet's youth produces a problem for Shakespeare: he must convince the audience of the sincerity and genuineness of their love for each other. He accomplishes this in a variety of ways. He presents courtly love and romantic love to highlight the authenticity of the romantic love and uses different techniques in his writing to strengthen this impression such as oxymorons, imagery, contrasting strong emotions and the impending tragedy.Romeo's love for Juliet has a very different effect on him compared to his love for Rosaline. Romeo's love for Juliet seems to uplift him, whereas Romeo's love for Rosaline weighs him down and confuses him. This helps the audience believe that his love for Juliet is more genuine compared to his love for Rosaline, which could be said to be courtly love. Courtly love was a literary tradition going back to the medieval times and is still present in Shakespeare's play. Courtly love is when young men fall in love with a beautiful young woman who they would worship but had no hope of marrying. It could be said that Romeo's love for Rosaline is courtly love. When we first meet Romeo in Act 1 Scene 1, he is sinking "under love's heavy burden" for Rosaline. Romeo pines for her as he is "out of her favour" and creates an "artificial night" for himself by shutting his windows, locking "fair daylight out". He goes out "early walking" but returns as soon as the "all-cheering sun" rises in the "farthest east". When Romeo speaks to Benvolio later in the scene he is depressed and his feelings are confused. He uses oxymorons, two opposite words placed next to one another, to show this. He speaks of "loving hate", "heavy lightness", "feather of lead", "cold fire" and "sick health". In Act 1 Scene 4 Romeo goes on to speak about how he is weighed down by his unrequited love for Rosaline: he has a "soul of lead" that "stakes him to the ground" so he cannot dance. Although Romeo says he will remain loyal to Rosaline and will "rejoice in the splendour" of her as soon as Romeo sees Juliet he is struck by her beauty and all thoughts of Rosaline are removed from him, even though he took his love for Rosaline so seriously before. Shakespeare uses imagery to portray Romeo's vision of Juliet and her beauty. Romeo thinks her beauty stands out "like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear" and sees her as "a snowy dove trooping with crows". Jewels sparkle and against dark skin would stand out. Doves traditionally represent peace and beauty and are also white - signifying purity, whereas crows are traditionally a witch's familiar and are black - signifying evil and darkness. Romeo is saying that Juliet is so much better than anyone else in the room that she makes everything and everyone else blur into darkness and look unpleasant with her attractiveness.In case the audience is doubtful of the genuineness Romeo's love as it is based purely on sight, Romeo then continues using imagery when he first speaks to Juliet, sharing extended religious...

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