Romeo And Juliet Forms Of Love Analysis

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In ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Shakespeare shows a variety of forms of love the most prevalent of which is the love between Romeo and Juliet. To only consider romantic love as the only form of love in the play would be reductive. Whilst the love between the “star-cross’d lovers’” could be considered ‘true love’ other forms of love include the forced love felt by Juliet through the threat of marriage, family love and the infatuation that Romeo feels for Rosaline at the beginning of the play. Shakespeare shows the true nature of love, he refrains from showing an idealistic, fairytale version of the emotion. Shakespeare especially shows how love is so intertwined with violence. The pressure felt by Romeo and Juliet by their society is a catalyst for this…show more content…
The concept of a Petrarchan Lover comes from Petrarch’s sonnets where he idealises a woman called Laura. Petrarch idealises Laura and has set ideas of what love is which he applies to her. Romeo becomes a Petrarchan lover at the beginning of the play with Rosaline. We can tell this because his love towards Rosaline is unrequited and ‘childish’ also, like with Laura, we never meet Rosaline. Romeo is infatuated by Rosaline and he describes her using similar language and themes to Petrarch which he has clearly learned from a poem. This changes later on with Juliet where love is ‘experienced ‘ and not learned. Although Petrarch wrote his poems in the 1300s it is important to note that they were still popular during Shakespeare’s time and so he will have known of them and it is clear that during Shakespeare’s time men were still ‘courting’ women. This Petrarchan love can be seen through Romeo’s speech using poetic language such as “With Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit” comparing Rosaline to the goddess of virginity. The phrase “Cupid’s arrow” is one that is common in classical literature about love and it is clear that Rosaline is simply a target for this learned affection. Shakespeare’s use of oxymorons in Romeo’s speeches show the poetic nature of his ‘love’ for Rosaline. For example in the very first scene of the play Romeo uses the oxymorons “waking sleep”, “O loving…show more content…
Here Juliet is of course referring to Apollo, the Greek god of the sun. One of Apollo’s roles was to pull the sun across the sky hence the “fiery-footed steeds” of his chariot. Juliet tells these steeds to “Gallop apace” showing how she wants the day to end as soon as possible so that she can be with Romeo. This becomes a common theme in Juliet’s speech, the sun/day being the enemy and the night being good and “civil”. In fact Shakespeare personifies “Night” and describes Night as “gentle”. This is a clear opposite to the day which is described as “tedious” and simply a precursor to the night which cannot be enjoyed. This is backed up by the idea of being “in love with night” and paying “no worship to the garnish sun.” showing everything Juliet cares about can only happen at night because she cannot meet Romeo in the day. Juliet also says that love “best agrees with night” and this can be seen throughout the play, Juliet and Romeo meet at night, get married in the cover of darkness and now she is waiting for him for their wedding
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