According to (Cash, 2013), Shakespeare shows the fault in romantic love by contrasting it with anti-romantic love. In Romeo and Juliet, binary opposition is used to convey this. Binary opposition can be explained as a literary device that uses two opposite concepts to convey contrast (Baldick, 2008). This device is used to emphasize opposing themes when compared and provides a deeper understanding of the characters. It enhances the readers experience and provides comic relief. Romantic love focuses on the innocent and pure aspects of Romeo and Juliet as well as Friar Laurence. Anti-romantic love contrasts this love by focusing the more lustful and realistic nature of love which is expressed by Mercutio and the Nurse. The result is that the audience tries to answer the question of what love is.
Friar Laurence is one of the characters who represents the ideals of romantic love. Although he believes the love Romeo and Juliet share, is young and changeable, he still believes love is spiritual and transformative power. “Till holy church incorporate two into one” shows he believes that marriage will unite their souls and possibly their families to end the feud (3.1:37). The repetitive use of the word “holy” and religious imagery such as the church and heaven indicate his idea that love is spiritual and eternal. He advises the couple to “love moderately” because the Bible advises to avoid extremes which lead to sin (2.5:14). Consequently, the Friar understands that true love is