Discuss Love And Marriage In Romeo And

Discuss Love And Marriage In Romeo And Juliet Essay Research Paper Discuss the presentation of the themes of love and marriage in Romeo and Juliet Love and marriage are key themes that run throughout Romeo and Juliet The opinions of these two.

Juliet Essay, Research Paper

Discuss the presentation of the

themes of love and marriage in ?Romeo and Juliet? ??????????? Love and

marriage are key themes that run throughout ?Romeo and Juliet?. The opinions of

these two topics differ from each character. Shakespeare based ?Romeo and

Juliet? on an earlier poem by Arthur Brooke, ?Romeus and Juliet?. The opinions

of the authors about the subjects of love and marriage differ and it is shown

in their writing. Brooke condemned the conduct of Romeo and Juliet in a prose

address at the beginning of his book, describing them as: ?A couple of unfortunate lovers, thralling themselves to unhonest

desire, neglecting the authority and advise of parents?attempting all

adventures of peril for the attaining of their wished lust (and) abusing the

honourable name of marriage?? On the other hand Shakespeare took a more gentle approach

and was sympathetic to the lover?s plight as by the end of the play we only

feel sorry for the lovers whom had to battle against their obstructive

families.In this play it seems as if

love is doomed from the start by the society full of hate in Verona. The whole

play could have been based on the oxymoron ?loving

hate?, as love will always win over hate. From the very beginning of the

play love is condemned and in the prologue all references to love are described

with death: ?A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life? Act1 sc1 8 ?The

fearful passage of death-marked love? Act1 sc1 9.There

are always interruptions in the love scenes because hate is the backdrop. The

lovers? whole situation is fraught with danger. This is illustrated both in the

Balcony scene (Act2 sc2) and after the lovers have consummated the marriage

(Act3 sc5). During the balcony scene there is always the fear that Romeo may be

caught by one of Capulet?s guards and could be killed: ?The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, And the place death, considering who thou art, If

any kinsmen find thee here.? Act2 sc2 63-65The

feud in the play has corrupted many people especially Sampson, as his idea of

lovemaking is purely aggressive. His hate for the house of Montague is so

intense that he even wants to rape their women. ? 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.? Act1 sc1 14-16 There

we also have a sexist remark from Sampson saying that women are inferior to

men. In my opinion love is equal so here we see Sampson talking of sex in a

crude way and women as being subordinate. The effect of these words shows us

that the feud has taken over the hearts of these men so that they no longer

know what love truly is. Courtly

love is a literary convention and Romeo is the stereotypical Petrarchan lover

who pines for the love of a woman who is unobtainable, although Romeo goes too

far in his vocation as a courtly lover thus making his love seem pretence.

Romeo illustrates what was expected of a courtly lover: He

stays in sycamore groves, ?Where underneath

the grove of sycamore? Act1 sc1 12 He shuts himself away banished from society, preferring

night to day, ?Shuts up windows, locks fair daylight out, and makes himself an artificial night? Act1 sc1 130-131. Romeo is very melodramatic and

one of his lines can sum up the whole play: ?Here?s much to do

with hate, but more with love? Act1 sc1 166 ?We seem to get the impression that Romeo is

in love with the idea of being in love. The overuse of these oxymorons in his

speech makes the effect become artificial. ?Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!? Act1 sc1 171-172Romeo wants to be a courtly lover so he uses the language he expects

lovers to use. But he uses too much so that it begins to seem forced. It is a

clever use of language but too extreme. Romeo?s second speech is a very

intellectual use of wording: ?Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers? eyes, Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears? Act1 sc1 182-183. This

speech shows us the two sides of love ? happiness and rejection. A courtly

lover like Romeo sees both these sides of love although Romeo rarely sees the

happy side. Rosaline does not want anything to do with him but

Romeo still thinks that he is so in love that he has lost his identity. ?Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he?s some other where.? Act1 sc1 195-196 ?This is

Romeo again being over dramatic and I think it sounds a little pathetic and his

constant wooing of Rosaline will not change her mind. He complains that she

refuses to marry so her beauty will die with her. He has no consideration for

her feelings so maybe Romeo?s view of courtly love is a little self centred. It

shows that he may be again in love with the idea of being in love. Romeo

continues to protest that his love for Rosaline would never change and he even

says that if he did see someone more beautiful then his eyes would burn out

because they were liars. ?Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars. One fairer than my love! The all-seeing sun Ne?er saw her match since first the world begun.? ? Act1 sc2 92-92What matters to Romeo is the emotion he calls ?love?. It

makes him happy and yet at the same time it makes him sad. He tries to express

these two conflicting states by using oxymorons. ?Not I, believe

me. You have dancing shoes With nimble soles,

I have a sole of lead So stakes me to

the ground I cannot move.? Act1 sc4 14-16The language of courtly lovers can sometimes be cryptic.

It is a traditional idea that love enters through the eye and Benvolio is the

first to mention this by using many proverbs. He also feels that the cure to

solve Romeo?s love is to love another: ?Tut, man, one fire burns out another?s burning? Act1 sc2 44.??????????? When he

begins to speak of his love for Juliet the speech that he uses is very similar

to the earlier portrayal of his love for Rosaline. He uses courtly love

language and images: he describes Juliet as being so radiant that she

outshines the torches ?O she doth teach

the torches to burn bright? Act1 sc5 43 But quickly his speech becomes simpler and the lines are

shorter portraying that he is learning to speak of his true feelings for her. ?It is my lady. O it is my love! O that she knew she were!? Act2 sc2 10-11The love between Romeo and Juliet is extremely superficial, as they

have only fallen in love with each other?s looks.? The chorus also mentions this point: ? Alike bewitchÈd by the charm of looks:? Act1 sc5

148 When he sees Juliet he automatically forgets

Rosaline showing that he thinks beauty is just skin deep: ?Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne?er saw true beauty till this night? Act1

sc5 51 Juliet is very young and innocent and it shows that

this new love is overpowering for her. Romeo?s use of romantic language and

flattery conveys true love. It shows that they have really fallen for each

other as their speech is entwined in a love sonnet so they are in tune with

each other. J. ?Then my lips the sin that they have took. R. Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again.? Act1 sc5 107-109??????????? Parental love runs through the

play especially in Act one as Juliet?s father shows a more protective love for

his daughter. Capulet shows he cares for the feelings of Juliet when he says to

Paris that he will only agree to the marriage if Juliet consents: ?My will to he consent is but a part; And she agreed, within her scope of choice Lies my consent and fair according voice.? Act1 sc2 17-19 This parental sensitivity on the part of Capulet shows

that he truly cares about Juliet, as she is all he has left making her truly

precious to him. At this point in the play he gives Juliet a choice and wants

her to be loved by telling Paris to win her heart: ?But woo her,

gentle Paris, get her heart.? Act1 sc2 16 ??????????? Though later on in the play he bullies and

threatens, cursing his daughter when she refuses the proposal of marriage to

Paris. ?Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch! I tell thee what, get thee to church o? Thursday, Or never after look me in the face.? Act3 sc5 160-163Lady Capulet shows a love for her daughter but it is

very distant, as she has not looked after Juliet for much of her daughter?s

life. At that time there was a social tradition in the higher classes to have a

wet nurse. It would not have been fashionable for noble ladies to feed their

own infants. Instead they would give the baby to a peasant woman who had

recently given birth and who had plenty of healthy milk in her breasts. She

would have nursed the baby for three to four years and it would be likely for

the nurse to develop a maternal bond with the child. It is clear that Lady

Capulet is not very close to her daughter so she calls the Nurse back when she

realises that she does not know how to act with Juliet: ?We must talk in secret ? Nurse, come back again. I have remember?d me, thou?s hear our counsel. Thou know?st my daughter?s of a pretty age.? Act1 sc3 8-10Juliet at this point is very naÏve and talks of

marriage as: ?an honour that I dream not of? Act1 sc3 67 The Nurse shows some parental

love towards Juliet and she treats her like her own daughter. This affection is

strengthened by the fact that her own daughter, Susan, is dead. She enjoys to

reminisce about when Juliet was little. ?And since that time it is aleven years; For then she could stand high-lone; nay, by th?rood, She could have run and waddled all about;? Act1 sc3 36-38Lady Montague?s love for her son, Romeo, is so

profound that in the latter part of the play she died of grief for her son in

exile. ?Alas my liege, my wife is dead

tonight! Grief of my son?s exile hath stopp?d

her breath.? Act5 sc3 209-210Marriage is a topic that can be seen in many

different lights and the different characters have varying opinions. The

traditional marriage customs are illustrated in Act four, scene four with Paris

arriving to claim his bride with musicians, intending that they should wake

Juliet and accompany them throughout the day. This custom is typical of a grand,

sixteenth century, English wedding. ?The County will be here with music

straight, For so he said he would (music

within) I hear him near.? Act4 sc4 21-22The theme of marriage to death is very prominent in the latter part of

?Romeo and Juliet?. Juliet highlights the link of marriage to death when she is

desperate for the delay of her marriage to Paris. ?Delay this marriage for a month, a week; Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.? Act3 sc5

200-203 She threatens that she would rather die than marry

Paris and so Father Lawrence would have to make the bridal bed in the family

vault. Capulet, on hearing of the death of his daughter, personifies death

itself by linking it to a marriage with Juliet. ??Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir; My daughter he hath wedded.? Act4 sc5 38-39Arranged marriages were conventional in those days and it is seen as a

duty to have your children married off. Juliet is obedient to her mother?s

wishes as she says she will try to love Paris. However this obedience does not

last as she later changes when she meets Romeo.Lady Capulet thinks of marriage as a way of sharing

wealth and nobility and has nothing to do with love. Paris and Juliet would

share glory and honour through marriage. ? That book in many?s eyes doth share the glory That in gold clasps locks in the golden story: So shall you share all that he doth possess, By having him,

making yourself no less.? Act1 sc3 92-95 This is a rather superficial view and could come from

Lady Capulet?s personal experiences. She says that some women younger than

Juliet have been married. This opinion also ties in with Paris? as he too says: ?Younger than she

are happy mother?s made? Act1 sc2 12 Lady

Capulet does describe marriage using images ? Paris being a book who ?only lacks a cover? i.e. he has not got

a wife and there is an implication that Juliet is the natural cover to the

book. It is again mentioned of love entering through the eye saying that if she

did not find love in Paris? face then look to his eyes.All the views on love so far have not mentioned physical love however

the Nurse and Mercutio especially use this as a subject to make sexual puns.

The Nurse is more positive whereas Mercutio is more cynical about love. Their

speech is rather crude and they are both garrulous. ??????????? The

Nurse uses colourful language when describing an event when Juliet was younger

and fell over and she still manages to place sexual connotations in the story. ?And yet, I warrant, it had upon it brow a bump as

big as a young cockerel?s stone, A perilous knock; and it cried bitterly.?Yea?, quoth

my husband, ?fall?st upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou com?st to age;

Wilt thou not, Jule?? It stinted, and said ?Ay?.? Act1 sc3 53-57 The Nurse sees love as something fun and tells

Juliet to go and have a good time: ?Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days? Act1 sc3

106 Here she is referring to happy nights as lovemaking;

this again shows her crude ideas about love.?

Lady Capulet mentions about marriage and how women do not make

themselves less by marrying. Again the Nurse sees a chance to comment, saying: ? No less! Nay, bigger women grow by men? Act1 sc3

96 She mentions that women grow bigger when they become

pregnant. She sees marriage as fun and fulfilling. ??????????? Later

in the play we again see the Nurse?s view of marriage as when she comes to wake

Juliet on her wedding day (to Paris) she comments that Juliet should sleep

longer today as she will be awake all night for lovemaking. ?Sleep for a week; for the next night, I warrant, The county Paris hath set up his rest That you shall rest but little.? Act4 sc4 5-6??????????? Mercutio

throughout the play is very cynical about love and mocks those who are in love,

usually Romeo. During much of this mocking he uses his vivid imagination and

sexual innuendoes. ?If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Now will he sit under a medlar tree, And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.? Act2

sc1 33-36 In most of his speech in act two, scene one we are

reminded of Romeo?s previous passion for Rosaline whom he worshipped as a

goddess. Mercutio?s own attitude to women is a complete contrast; there is no

emotion only sexual desire.He jokes and is sarcastic to Romeo saying: ?You are a lover, borrow Cupid?s wings,? Act1 sc4 17 He has no time for sentiments and his Queen Mab

speech is a perfect example of his scepticism of love.? He says that she does bad things to women

who dream of kisses – ?with blisters

plague?. Later in the play Romeo sums up Mercutio when saying

that he has never been in love yet mocks it: ?He jests at scars that never felt a wound? Act2 sc2

1The love between Romeo and Mercutio was very

special. Mercutio, although he loves to fight, was also defending Romeo?s good

name in the dual against Tybalt. Therefore when Mercutio is slain Romeo returns

that regard for his friend, for a moment forgetting his bride, and attacks her

cousin in vengeance for the death of his friend. ?Alive in triumph! And Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, And fire-ey?d fury be my conduct now!? Act3 sc1

122-124??????????? With

the language and characters Shakespeare uses he manages to get a kaleidoscope

of views spanning extremities and so making the reader ultimately feel sympathetic

for the two lovers. Using these very different characters the play is motivated

by using love to conquer hate. We find in ?Romeo and Juliet? love will always

win and at the end of Act one, scene five the chorus tells us this: ?But passion lends them power, time means, to meet, Temp?ring extremities with extreme sweet.? Act1 sc5

156-157