Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet explores the similarities of love and hate and portrays the complexity and interconnection of each emotion. Through the play we see the love and hate come through characters in a variety of ways, especially violence.In Romeo and Juliet, love is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that supersedes all other values of the characters. Juliet seems to lose herself in the love of Romeo; she is entirely devoted to him and would do anything, which she would not normally do, just to be with him. This devotion to Romeo is the overriding control of love, which drives her to declare, “be but sworn my love and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” As well as the devoted side of love that brings the characters to act, there is also the slightly insane side. Both Romeo and Juliet find themselves through the play threatening to kill themselves through the love of each other. Juliet, after being informed of Romeo’s banishment is lost in the consummation of love and is unable to see a future without Romeo, this leads her to rash thoughts of “if all else fail, myself have power to die”.There is a strong connection between love and hate in the play, which is directly related to the strong passion felt by the characters. The characters in the play are very passionate, in the hate of each other’s families and also the love of their own. As Juliet first eyes Romeo, the passion of her family’s hate of the Montagues and the love that she first saw in Romeo, collide. When the nurse reveals Romeo’s identity to Juliet, she sighs “my only love sprung from my only hate”. In addition to the fervour of Juliet, the depth of the character’s love can be seen when Friar Laurence warns Romeo of his impending doom.The Friar realises the importance that the passion of these two youths does not lead to a violent love that would have a violent end, “These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume”. The love and passion between Romeo and Juliet is brought about in the ‘Gallop apace’ soliloquy where Juliet anticipates their wedding night, naï¿½ve to the recent slaughters that have taken place. Juliet admits to being out of control with a passion so she should be hooded as an untrained eagle is, “hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks, with thy black mantle till strange love grow bold”.Just as love is an extremely strong emotion in the play, hate is an overwhelming force. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, there are some examples of the way hatred can overthrow people’s sense and thinking. When Tybalt has killed Mercutio, Romeo becomes very mad and reckless and rushes off to seek revenge on Tybalt, “this but begins the woe others must end”. As well as this notion of hate, there is also Mercutio’s hate of the enmity between the families. As he dies, he utters “A plague on both your houses!” three times emphasising the odium of the rivalry of the two family.There are various characters in the play where hate is a strongly overriding emotion. The extreme dislike between characters has less focus on the family’s hate of one another and more to do with the personal hate between individuals. As Romeo is portrayed as a more peaceful character, without many enemies, it is a surprise to see Tybalt hate him on a personal level with no provocation. Tybalt, a loyal family member of the Capulets, sees Romeo at the party and is outraged and consults his father about their guest “‘Tis he, that villain Romeo”. Tybalt’s hate of Romeo seems to be less one between families and more a personal vendetta. Tybalt offers to slay Romeo at the Capulet’s party and later in the book they fight, “thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here”Throughout the Play Romeo and Juliet, the emotions of love and hate are intertwined in the characters and plot. There is little difference between the two extreme emotions at either end of the continuum. Both love and hate evoke the same reactions and violence from the characters in the play; they bring out sacrifice for loved ones and fuel the feuds between families. The play shows how love and hate are not that different from one another although they may be opposites.
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