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Romeo and Juliet Final Paper

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Love is defined as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. This emotion is so passionate it can even be considered dangerous. Without love, it is often next to impossible for one to survive. People in this world often conceptualize that love is necessary and crave the feeling of being in love. With that said, what is truly confusing is if people are truly in love with another person, or are they just in love with the ideology of being in love. In Ancient Greece, love was viewed in many different ways. For example, they thought it could be agape, eros, or philia. Agape refers to the pure views of love or the “love of the soul.”

Another view on love is philia, which is a disspassionate love one feels for family members and can mean “love of the mind.” Love can also be eros which is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Eros can mean “love of the body.” With that said, in the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the two main characters fall in such a passionate love that it deeply affects an already corrupted society. Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, were from houses that depsised one another, but due to the fact Romeo fell in love with Juliet before even talking to her at a party, he had no idea she was a Capulet.

Romeo had just fallen out of a truly pure love or agape, and he could not get over his last lover. When he falls in love with Juliet after just one look, eros takes over and her perfect beauty overwhelms him. Little did he know that his fate was far from perfect. Love is so blinding to Romeo that once he got caught into its’ trap, no matter what the obstacle he could not get out. Despite the fact Juliet was who she was, or that there was a miniscule likelyhood that they would ever end up happily together did not even phase Romeo.

Toward the end, Romeo despises love because it took Juliet away from him. He often wrestles the questions of love because he does not understand the consequences that come along with it. As for Juliet, she faces many social hardships with loving Romeo. Although her parents are begging her to marry Count Paris, she would rather kill herself than marry a man she does not love. Juliet is more agape than Romeo causing her to make rash decisions toward the end of the novel. Romeo is more in love with the ideas of love than Juliet. With that in mind, Shakespeare’s views on love can not just be answered in a definition.

He wrote the play to answer questions about love, so he had many different opinions because love is so diverse. I believe he thought love is so strong that it can blind people making it difficult to see what reality truly is. In my opinion, I believe love is confusing and in certain situations love can be more difficult and in some less. I believe that love is the strongest emotion a person feels and it is necessary to live, which is proved at the end of the play. In conclusion, in the play Romeo and Juliet, views on love are constantly changed and questions of love are answered that are exemplified through the actions of the characters.

Romeo is wonderstruck as soon as Juliet’s eyes meet his. His world is changed and there is no turning back. Prior to this inevitable feeling of love taking over, love had deteriorated Romeo’s spirits. His lover before Juliet, Rosaline, had broken his heart and refused to love him back. Due to this happening, he is very depressed in the beginning of the play. Being so passionate about love, Romeo could not function. He was so distraught that he questioned the existence of love itself. If he could not even love, then what is the purpose in life.

He describes love from very dark thoughts: “Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;/
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;/Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:/What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall and a preserving sweet.”(I, i, 197-201) Now that love did not have presence in Romeo’s life, he imagines it as a sorrow and madness. He starts to think there is no purpose to love because it results to madness. Knowing that Romeo is in such a dark state, Mercutio and Benvolio take Romeo to a party unaware of who was invited.

They want Romeo to find another attractive girl who will get Romeo’s spirits up and Rosaline out of his brain. When Romeo goes he finds a girl whose beauty stops him immediately. It takes his breath away and love strikes him once again. He does not even know who she is, but the essence of her beauty takes his breath away: “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!/It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;/ Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!/So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,/As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows./The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,/And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand./Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!/For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”(I, v, 78-90)

Romeo believes Juliet’s beauty is so radiant that he has never felt this way before. No one else had ever made him feel this way and Rosaline automatically leaves his brain for he is blinded by true beauty. Eros has struck into his life and he does not even know the girl yet. This suggests he may have never been in love with Rosaline to begin with, instead he fell in love with being in love. As he meets Juliet, he can not resist himself and he kisses her. He often can not stop thinking about her and uses religious language to express the love he has for her, for her even compares her to the sun and stars. When he finds out she is a Capulet when he is her family’s archenemy, nothing prevents him from pursuing her. He is so in love that he even takes her hand in a secret marriage ceremony, possibly putting himself at risk putting himself against his own kin. He is so blinded that he does not even realize the reality of his situation which is the corruption that can occur due to the love from Romeo and Juliet. When Juliet’s parents arrange for her to marry Count Paris, Romeo can not believe that she will not be with him any longer. He can not imagine his life without her.

When Juliet takes a sleeping potion to fake her death, Romeo believes it and kills himself:”How oft when men are at the point of death/Have they been merry! which their keepers call/A lightning before death: O, how may I/ Call this a lightning? O my love! my wife!/Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath, /Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:/Thou art not conquer’d; beauty’s ensign yet/ Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,/ And death’s pale flag is not advanced there./Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet? /O, what more favour can I do to thee,/Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain/ To sunder his that was thine enemy?Forgive me, cousin! Ah, dear Juliet,/Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe/That unsubstantial death is amorous,/And that the lean abhorred monster keeps/ Thee here in dark to be his paramour?/For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;/And never from this palace of dim night/Depart again: here, here will I remain/With worms that are thy chamber-maids;

O, here /Will I set up my everlasting rest,/And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars/From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!/
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you/The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss/ A dateless bargain to engrossing death!/Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!/ Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
/The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!/ Here’s to my love!/
O true apothecary!/ Thy drugs are quick./

Thus with a kiss I die.” (V,iii,100-132) In this exerpt, Romeo is trying to explain that death becomes an act of love bceause he thinks that it will enable him to be with Juliet. He believes Juliet is actually dead, and he cannot fathom not having her in his life. He cannot believe she is “dead” and he takes his own life because he knows if he does he will be with Juliet forever. Romeo has come to a conclusion that society controls love, and that when a person finds ultimate love consequences come along with it making it dangerous.

If the Montagues and Capulets did not despise each other, Romeo and Juliet would probably have already been married. Due to social pressures, Juliet does what is right because she does not truly love Paris. Even though she does not kill herself at first, it is almost a set up to have Romeo kill himself. Overall, Romeo believes love is sinister when one is not in it, and the best feeling in the world when one is in it. He questions love constantly but always comes back to the same conclusion in which love prevails.

Juliet Capulet starts off in the play being a wealthy daughter of a landowner in Verona. She is very beautiful and very unexperienced when it comes to love. Due to the fact her family has a very high social status, they have very high expectations of who she will marry and spend her life with. From the beginning of the play, she is set to marry Count Paris. In the beginning she does not have many views on love because she is young and has not loved enough to know. As opposed to Romeo, who has loved and lost. She is very smart and aware of who she is. Juliet is also blindsided by Romeo due the fact Romeo is charming and she enjoys his company.

She is smitten with his charm but she is hesitant to admit she likes him at first especially when he chases after her: “(Juliet) How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?/The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,/ And the place death, considering who thou art,/If any of my kinsmen find thee here. (Romeo) With love’s light wings did I o’er-perch these walls;/For stony limits cannot hold love out, /And what love can do that dares love attempt;/Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.(Juliet) If they do see thee, they will murder thee.(Romeo)Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye/Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet,/And I am proof against their enmity.
(Juliet)I would not for the world they saw thee here.(Romeo)

I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight;/ And but thou love me, let them find me here:/My life were better ended by their hate,/Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.(Juliet) By whose direction found’st thou out this place? (Romeo) By love, who first did prompt me to inquire;/He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes./ I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far /As that vast shore wash’d with the farthest sea,/I would adventure for such merchandise.”(II,ii,62-84).

Romeo is eager to prove his love for Juliet by telling her anything she wants to hear by responding the sweetest things and even risking his life to talk to her under the balcony. He will do anything to impress her and is trying to say he will do anything for her to prove his love. She answers back with smart answers because she is hesitant to commit to Romeo and almost acts as if she is too hard to get. She wants to reassure herself that she is making the right decision by loving Romeo.

Romeo is very aggressive and she is not sure she can love Romeo as romantically as he loves her.Although she questions the commitment that comes along with love, she cannot deny she loves Romeo: “Well, do not swear: although I joy in thee,/I have no joy of this contract to-night:/It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;/Too like the lightning, which doth cease to beEre one can say ‘It lightens.’ Sweet, good night!This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet./ Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest/Come to thy heart as that within my breast!” (II,ii,123-131).

In the quote, Juliet knows she loves romeo but she is also very cautious because this love sprung up so suddenly. Juliet is very smart and realizes that love does come with consenquences, for she knows she has to also marry Paris and cannot question her parents’ decisions. She also comes to terms that being too passionate can be dangerously blinding, which is why she keeps her guard up.Romeo has a very romantic, strong personality about love while Juliet is very timid to the idea and has to fully accept the idea of love before actually loving.

When Romeo is sent away to Mantua because he kills her cousin Tybalt, she is so crushed because she knows she loves Romeo, and the killing awakens the ideas of how hostile the tensions are between both families. Knowing how upset Juliet must be over Tybalt’s death, Lord Capulet moves the wedding date closer and Juliet cannot fathom life without Romeo. She cannot marry a man she has no feelings for over a man she is head over heels for:”O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,/From off the battlements of yonder tower;/ Or walk in thievish ways; or bid me lurk/Where serpents are; chain me with roaring bears;/Or shut me nightly in a charnel-house,/ O’er-cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones,/With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls;/Or bid me go into a new-made grave,/And hide me with a dead man in his shroud;/Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble; /And I will do it without fear or doubt,
/To live an unstain’d wife to my sweet love.” (IV,i,78-90).

Juliet went from being cautious about love to craving it. She knows she cannot live without him, so she takes a sleeping potion causing everyone to think she is dead. After seeing she is dead, Romeo can not take it anymore and kills himself so they can be together. Juliet’s views on love change because she learns to let her guard down and learns to love because it is necessary. She even loses her life to it, and she realizes how important it truly is. Unlike Romeo, Juliet’s view on love change due to her just letting her guard down.

As for Romeo, he is such a romantic and craves love. He is very open to new opportunities and almost falls in love too easily, which is why people question his sort of love in the first place. He goes back and forth about love when Juliet knows that when she loves someone she will automatically know and she found love in a place where love is hard to find. The main difference between both views on love is that Romeo is more open and easy going about it and Juliet is more hesitant to love.

They balance eachother out by one person loving with such a passion, and the other trying to accept themselves before they know they truly do love. Romeo almost enables her to fall in love, because when she has to marry Paris she pretends to be dead so that she does not have to marry him. Overall, Juliet had to have more time to ease into a type of agape love as opposed to Romeo who immideately feels an attraction as soon as he sees Juliet just like eros. Although they both are opposites, they both are very similar because they share an overall love for eachother despite the hate society puts on them.

Romeo and Juliet are not the only people with changing views on love involved within this play. The writer, William Shakespeare, also has many changing views on love. Without his intellect and playfulness on words in the dialogue, there would be no meaning within the text. I believe Shakespeare was trying to prove that love is the most important emotion known to man. Without love, there is no meaning to life and there is no meaning to having a soul. Love also tears down the barriers of social status and fears and can often even blind a person from reality. In the play, love is the overall question.

It is the question the play tries to answer, and Shakespeare uses Mercutio to question what love is in the first place. He tries to prove to Romeo that in a dark place that has endured constant fighting and is so tense that love does not have to be placed in the same category. Mercutio believes love should be happy and make a person feel at ease:”You are a lover; borrow Cupid’s wings, /And soar with them above a common bound” (I,iv.17-18). Mercutio puts love into a better perspective for Romeo and helps him realzie there is life outside of sorrow. He tries to tell him that love can make you go anywhere. I believe that Mercutio might be Shakespeare’s voice coming into the play. I think that Romeo and Juliet are so blinded and confused which is what Shakespeare is trying to prove.

He is trying to prove that love can cause people in bad situations to act irrationally because there is this conception people have that love has to have consequences. With those consequences, love will find its way but it may not always be in the best of endings. Mercutio is almost a gateway back to reality proving another point about love so that the viewer in the audience can determine their own views. I think Shakespeare tries to make it a puzzle for the viewer.

It causes the reader or viewer to question how they would act in their situation and if you were put in a position that you loved someone but it was socially unacceptable, what would happen? No one at this time era questioned marriage outside of your social class, which caused Shakespeare to be viewed as a risk taker who set a precedent on plays of his time. No one ever dared to question the Tudors, but Shakespeare did in a subtle way. Just like Mercutio questions what love does to a person in his Queen Mab speech. He is stepping outside the box resembling Shakespeare: “O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you./She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes/In shape no bigger than an agate-stone/On the fore-finger of an alderman,/Drawn with a team of little atomies/O’er men’s noses as they lie asleep;…”(I,iv,55-59)

Mercutio uses metaphors to describe love and sex to ease Romeo and make him realize love is not a dream. This is just like Shakespeare, he uses language to prove that love can be evident in any situation. It is almost a parallel for Shakespeare to use his voice within the play in a subtle way to get his points of reality across.

Since the Tudors in England at this time were into their social houses, which is what it is being compared to, Shakespeare is trying to say that social class should not affect love because without love there is no point to living. Without the ability to love those that are not the same as you makes it near impossible to actually live life, because then you are just dreaming a lie. Romeo and Juliet died a tragedy because no one listened to them and there was no way they could change it, just like it was in old England. Shakespeare’s whole play is to say that love is very dangerous, but necessary in order to survive. Loving is a terrifying emotion for those who refuse to accept reality.

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