Love and Despair The ideas of love and passion are ever present in almost everyone’s lives nowadays, this intimacy can be felt for your parents, a lover, or any number of things, and many authors use these topics in their novels. William Shakespeare, author of Romeo and Juliet, does not shy away from the effects of love, specifically on people. Shakespeare uses qualities of love and attachment in an Elizabethan Era themed story and the character Romeo and Juliet, as well as the city of Vienna Italy. However, he also displays the negative fallout from affection for others, that eventually lead to reckless decisions.
These decisions can be detrimental to themselves, as well as affecting the people around the situation. Eventually these choices by the characters end in an unsatisfactory fashion for the members involved. The silver linings of love are clearly shown in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare as he demonstrates that love, when guided by passion and emotion, can lead to rash and impulsive actions which often result in disastrous outcomes. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, love is an immense theme between most of the characters, and the majority of the time are brought about by deep sentimental feelings.
One of the very first examples of love, is that of Romeo, the lack of returned affection from Rosaline in the beginning of the novel quickly results in Romeo finding his new emotional interest, Juliet Capulet a member of the rival family to the Montagues. At one point in the tale, Romeo and his friends enter a party hosted by the Capulets. Almost as soon as they enter the party, Romeo spots Juliet, although unaware of who she is, and is dumbstruck by her beauty, stating, “What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight? [… ] O she doth teach the torches to burn bright” (Shakespeare 1. 5. 48-51).
When Romeo speaks about Juliet he reveals his interest in her by saying that she “teaches the torches to burn bright”, in addition to the overall romantic tone of his speech. However, it is concerning how Romeo turns his interests from Rosaline to Juliet so quickly. On the other end of things, we see Juliet’s developing fascination in Romeo. Her feelings are brought to light in the novel when Romeo is comes to Juliet’s home and as he sits outside of her window, Juliet begins to talk to herself about Romeo, contemplating,” O Romeo ‘Tis thy name that is my enemy[… ] O be some other name, What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose by any other word would be just as sweet” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 41-45). As Juliet’s speaks her mind it becomes evident to both the reader and Romeo that the only barrier between each other is their two families, however in a way this ignites a passion in one another. Juliet even asks for Romeo to change his name, as it would mean that they be in love together. Soon the episodes of Romeo as well as Juliet we begin to see a love between Romeo and Mercutio, however it is not a romantic love so much as it is a friendship. From the start of the story mercutio had been helping Romeo through his problem with Rosaline.
But, his affection for Romeo begins to occur to the reader after the dance and Mercutio speaks to Benvolio, asking,” Where the devil should this Romeo be? Came he not home tonight? Why that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline, torments him so that he will sure run mad” (Shakespeare 2. 4. 1-6). Although the way Mercutio speaks of Rosaline may be a little bit heavy handed, his diction helps get his point to the reader and Benvolio that he cares about Romeo and who he is involved with. His involvement in Romeo’s love is guided by a passion for Romeo to be happy and Romeo feels this way toward him too.
Another illustration of love in Romeo and Juliet occurs with Friar Lawrence, the town’s priest and Romeo’s friend. When Romeo and Juliet finally decide to get secretly married, they ask the Friar to head the ceremony. At first he is hesitant about accepting their request, because it would go against the norm of the society in Vienna. However, Lawrence agrees to the proposal brought to him by Romeo, telling Romeo,” In one respect I’ll thy assistant be, for this alliance may be so happy prove to turn your households’ rancor into pure love” (2. 3. 97-99).
The Friar’s initial refusal to Romeo and Juliet’s proposition was because he did not want to go against the community. However, from what the Friar is saying in this quote, it is clear that his agreement to marry the two is because his emotions believe it will actually bring the two families together and end the childish feud between them. This shows that he has a love for the city as well as Romeo and Juliet because of his risk in marrying them. Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, in addition to playing a pivotal role in the plot, also has a strong emotional tie to Juliet.
Through the beginning of the novel he is very supportive of Juliet, especially because he raised Juliet from an infant to a teenager. At one point in the novel Count Paris approaches Capulet and asks for him to give Juliet’s hand in marriage and Lord Capulet responds, saying, “But saying o’er what I have said before. My child is yet a stranger in the world. She hath seen the change of fourteen years. Let two more years wither in their pride, ere we may think her ripe to be a bride” (Shakespeare 1. 2. 7-11).
What Juliet’s father is saying is he thinks she is too young to be married to the Count and that she will wait to marry him. Capulets refusal reflects his passion for Juliet because he could have gave his daughter away, but it shows he cares for her well being and the fact that she is a free human. The many examples of love, in Romeo and Juliet, reveal the power that William Shakespeare wrote with in an effort to showcase the different forms affection for others can take, such as friendship or love. From the many examples of love in Romeo and Juliet, not only ositives come to the surface, Shakespeare also shows the cons of actions that occur from love guided by urges. One such action occurs between Romeo and Juliet, when they decide to be together in secret even though their families are rivals and they had no knowledge of what was happening. At one time, in the the novel Romeo and Juliet decide to get married together in clandestine.
While Romeo is at Juliet’s castle in furtive he asks her,” Th’ exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine. ”I gave thee mine before thou didst request it, and yet I would it were to give again” (Shakespeare 2. 2. 34-136). In order to comprehend the hastyness of this proposal from Romeo you have to understand that this whole story took place within the span of about a week. The evidence shows that Romeo’s new love for Juliet lead to a quick action to ask her to marry him. The next instance of love being to forward transpires between Mercutio and Romeo. Later in the Romeo and Juliet, Romeo comes back to Mercutio and the rest of his friends. However, shortly after he arrives a fight begins between Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, Mercutio, and Romeo. Mercutio is mortally wounded by Tybalt during the brawl and he dies.
Romeo then approaches Tybalt and tries to exact his revenge, as Tybalt speaks first,” Thou wretched boy, that didst consort him here, shalt with him hence. ‘ ‘This shall determine that They fight, Tybalt falls” (Shakespeare 3. 1. 135-137). The problem of this situation, is without a doubt derived from Romeo’s friendship with Mercutio. Since Mercutio died Romeo was so sad about his loss of love that decided to kill Tybalt to obtain some reconciliation of his lost companion, this action overall was a terrible thought out plan fueled by Romeo’s woe.
Rapid irrational actions are not only a child’s game in Romeo and Juliet, there are also some adults in the story who make some unfavorable decisions due to emotions. One of these characters is Friar Lawrence, during the the novel the Friar decides that marrying Romeo and Juliet would result in a truce between the Capulets and Montagues. However, his choice was speedy and resulted from his emotional involvement with the two, as is stated in the novel, when Romeo and Juliet come to him to be wed,” These violent delights have violent ends” (Shakespeare 2. . 9).
Friar Lawrence’s the pain and suffering that lust and love can cause between two people. And yet, he decides to marry Romeo and Juliet not because it is his job, but because he is emotionally and passionately engaged with the families. The final case of hasty actions in Romeo and Juliet takes place between Paris and Lord Capulet regarding Juliet’s hand in marriage. The first time Paris meets with Capulet to ask for Juliet to marry him, Capulet refuses. But, the second time he comes to see Lord Capulet, he responds with a hearty affirmative.
During their conversation Capulet offers to give him his blessing, stating,” Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled in all respects by me. Acquaint her here of my son Paris’ love and bid her” (Shakespeare 3. 5. 13-16). Although the Juliet may not have agreed with her father’s decision, it seems that Capulet was doing his best to make his daughter happy by having her married to Paris. Capulets choice was “desperate” as he says, because he was acting on his emotions that were saying, make your daughter happy in her depressing times.
Therefore Capulets quick agreement with Paris was not out of spite or greed, but out of passion for his daughter. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare the majority of the decisions made by characters are a result of a deep emotional connection with other characters in the novel, thus resulting in spontaneous choices that negatively affect the people included. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare also displays the effects that quite decisions based on love can cause in people, such as, physical harm and sadness and loss.
The first case of one of the outcomes occurs with Romeo, after his bout with Tybalt. Once Romeo kills Tybalt in his plot for revenge over Mercutio, he runs off somewhere in the city. When the Prince gets wind of what happened asks Benvolio what happened. Benvolio responds and says why Romeo killed Tybalt, the Prince then responds stating, declaring,” And for that offence immediately we do exile him [Romeo)” (Shakespeare 3. 2. 196-197). In this case of love, we see that Romeo is not hurt physically, but he is hurt emotionally and morally because he can no longer see Juliet if he is exiled.
The action that Romeo took to kill Tybalt lead to his exile and then to eventually led to his and Juliet’s death. Another incident that derived from a terrible decision out of love in Romeo and Juliet, are the actions of Lord Capulet. After Capulet agrees to allow Paris to marry Juliet he goes to Juliet’s chambers to congratulate her. However he does know that Juliet is already married to Romeo so she is dissatisfied with his course of action. When Capulet eventually leaves Juliet conspires with the Nurse, questioning,” O God, O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?
My husband on Earth, my faith in heaven [… ] I’ll go to the Friar to know his remedy. If all else fails, myself have power to die” (3. 5. 216-217, 254-255). Capulets love for his daughter quickly turns into hate and evil once he tells Juliet, because she already had a love. After he leaves the room we see that Juliet thinks and decides to make a plan to escape her father’s clutches. The reason her pain and suffering is Capulets fault is because his choice, which he thought would please Juliet, infact did not and it triggered Juliet to make a very dumb choice.
The most iconic examples of physical harm or death arises obviously arises between Romeo and Juliet. As the novel moves toward the end, quite a bit of tension begins to surface after Romeo married Juliet. As Juliet is forced to marry Paris, and Romeo is banished from Verona, Juliet devises a plan to not have to marry the Count. She believes that if she takes a potion to make her seem dead she will be able to live free with Romeo. However, Romeo does not get the message Juliet sent to warn him, and he decides to go see Juliet’s body and kill himself to die with her.
When Romeo arrives he battles Paris who is guarding the tomb and enters, as he takes the poison he speaks,” Come bitter conduct, come unsavory guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on the dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark! Here’s to my love” (Shakespeare 5. 3. 116-119). What is evident in Romeo’s speech is that he is taking the potion for Juliet, hence him saying “Here’s to my love” as he drinks the potion. He does this because he has deep feelings for her. In addition, their marriage may have actually caused Romeo’s affection for her to grow and sent him over the edge, and caused him to think irrationally and take his own life.
During the whole event however, Romeo and Paris are not the only ones hurt. After Romeo dies Juliet wakes up and sees him dead on the ground. luliet then feels that she must die to, stating,” A cup closed in my true love’s hand? [… ] Haply some poison yet doth hang on them[lips], to make me die with a restorative” (Shakespeare 5. 3. 166-171). It’s easy to see that after her love Romeo died, Juliet became very upset and she thought that there was nothing to live for without Romeo.
The evidence also shows that this notion was derived from her relationship with Romeo and their quick and poorly thought out marriage. The final person, who practically started started the problem with affection in Romeo and Juliet, is the Friar. After his idea to marry Romeo and Juliet, the Friar helped both of them complete their plan to run away in secret. Of course we already know that that does not end well and the Friar is left to blame after the city finds out.
He respond to the outrage of the crowd explaining,” I married them and their marriage day was Tybalt’s doomsday [… Juliet pined you, to remove that siege o grief from her, betrothed and would have married her perforce to County Paris. Then she came to me to rid herself of her second marriage” (Shakespeare 5. 3. 242-250). The Friar’s actions in the confession although in his thoughts were justified because they were guided by his affection for Romeo and Juliet, actually were a negative result of it. Since he agreed to help with the marriage and their plan to be together after out of love and emotion he caused the massacre that occurred after.
Although many actions guided by love result in happiness in Romeo and Juliet, those guided by fast and badly judged decisions result in suffering. In Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses the power of love to reveal that when passion and emotions take over, the people involved begin to make hasty decisions, ending in a catastrophic result. The first and most prominent idea in Shakespeare’s novel is love, and he shows that passion and emotions can play a huge role in attraction with the characters in the story.
Shakespeare uses these ideas of love in Romeo and Juliet, to describe how they can lead to rash or quick choices between the people that feel the attraction. However, the author does not fantasies love and it’s characteristics like many main stream media companies nowadays, although he shows that love can create happiness he also incorporates the idea that love can have painfully mental or physical damage. Love is a strange phenomena because it can take so many forms and it even has the power to create life or destroy it.