Love and violence in romeo and juliet Essay
Romeo and Juliet, a play by William Shakespeare, is often referred to as the greatest love story of all time. It presents love and hate as equally potent forces of nature.The powerful nature of love can be seen in the way it is described, or more accurately, in the way descriptions consistently fail to capture it in its entirety.Juliet says of love,
"But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up half of my wealth" (3, I, 33-44)
In other words, love is too powerful to be so easily contained or understood.This play portrays the chaos of being in love.However, the play also combines extreme images of violence and death. For instance, the Capulet and Montague families have held a long-time grudge against each other that is assumed to have existed for hundreds of years, and is the impetus of what strives to keep Romeo and Juliet away from each other. This paper seeks to examine what is achieved by the connections between love and violence.For clarity, I will be including death as a measure of violence, because death by violence is violence in its most potent form.
Throughout the play, love seems to push the two lovers closer to violence, not further away from it.Love and violence are intertwined from thefirst moment Romeo and Juliet are together at the Capulet's party.Romeo has crashed the party hoping to see his beloved Rosaline, but catches a glimpse of Juliet instead, and falls instantly in love with her.
"Oh she that doth teach the torches to burn bright…
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And touching hers, make blessed my rude hand." (1, v, 42-51)
However, only a few lines later sees Tybalt and intends to kill Romeo, the very moment he sees him at the party:
"This by his voice should be a Montague.