Romeo And Juliet Theme

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William Shakespeare presents love in different forms. He presents loving family loyalty whenever rivals brawl to protect family honour. Baz Luhrmann sets the civil brawl in a petrol station – unlike Shakespeare’s setting – symbolising the situation’s volatility; Tybalt ignites petrol by dropping his cigarette, thus representing the spark that ignites the brawl.

Shakespeare later shows Tybalt’s strong family loyalty: “Now by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin. ” Tybalt must passionately love Capulets, to risk his life and kill someone, for family honour.

Shakespeare portrays love between rivals when Lady Montague commands Montague: “Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe… ” thus protecting Capulets. Capulet protects Romeo from Tybalt: “I would not for the wealth of all this town Here in my house do him disparagement;” Shakespeare’s Romeo was uninvited, so Capulet protecting him suggests stronger love between rivals than depicted in Luhrmann’s film.

Shakespeare and Luhrmann present paternal love when Romeo’s parents fret about him and when Capulet protects Juliet from an arranged marriage.

Unrequited love features between Romeo and Rosaline then Paris and Juliet. “Out of her favour where I am in love”, shows Rosaline does not reciprocate Romeo’s love. Romeo’s unnatural, oxymoronic imagery: “loving hate … heavy lightness … cold fire … ” presents unrequited love as confusing and unnatural.

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Paris’ unrequited love for Juliet emphasises the strength of her love for Romeo, because Juliet loses everyone who loves her, rather than losing him. She loses Capulet: “you shall not house with me” Lady Capulet: “I have done with thee… and nurse: ”Romeo’s a dishclout to him”. In Shakespeare’s play, Paris dies: “I am slain… ” and Friar Lawrence abandons Juliet: “I dare no longer stay… ”, making Romeo and Juliet’s love seem stronger than in Luhrmann’s film. A shared sonnet of lovers’ prose at the party makes their romantic love and connection appear strong. Luhrmann uses white to symbolise strong love: whenever with Romeo, Juliet wears white, emphasising the strength of their love in a way Shakespeare does not.

What Is Love Romeo And Juliet

Shakespeare and Luhrmann show love’s evolution; I cited how Capulet’s paternal love for Juliet become fury, whilst Romeo and Juliet’s love evolves from superficial to sacrificial. This tragic contrast between Juliet’s love for Romeo deepening, but her family’s love becoming rage, emphasises hate’s connection to love. Initially, Romeo appears focussed on looks – shown by extravagantly hyperbolic description of beauty. Later, natural imagery reflects their natural love: “This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower … Ultimately, both commit suicide, to be together, showing their love has become deep and sacrificial.

Whilst Luhrmann places a fish tank between Romeo and Juliet, symbolising separation – caused by family enmity – forcing them to yearn, but never be together, even though their love evolves, Shakespeare shows that family enmity causes separation, when Romeo and Juliet die and family enmity, and therefore separation, disintegrate: “O brother Montague, give me (Capulet) thy hand. ” After the civil brawl, Romeo says: “Here’s much to do with hate but more with love. Implying brawls are caused by Benvolio loving Montagues and protecting family honour. Tybalt reinforces this: “Now by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin. ” This shows familial love engendering hatred for the rival family. Upon realising Romeo’s name, Juliet says: “My only love sprung from my only hate… ” showing love’s relationship with hate. In Shakespeare’s play – unlike Luhrmann’s film – Paris and Romeo fight because they love Juliet, so love and hate are more intertwined.

In Shakespeare’s death scene, Romeo says: “Forgive me cousin (Tybalt)”, showing that, although Romeo hated Tybalt for killing Mercutio, love for Tybalt vanquished hate for him, depicting love as a stronger force; Shakespeare shows love conquering hatred again, when love replaces family enmity: “O brother Montague, give me (Capulet) thy hand. ” In Luhrmann’s film, love never conquers hatred, so is less dominant. Upon hearing of Juliet’s death, Romeo recognises fate or ‘stars’ control him: “I defy you stars”, Shakespeare means Romeo will kill himself, thus defying his fate, which Romeo believes is to lose Juliet.

World-wearied flesh” and “Shake the yoke of inauspicious stars” shows Romeo cannot live without Juliet, so encourages fate to pull him faster towards death and his fate. Romeo predicts a tragic outcome of the party: “Some consequence yet hanging in the stars”. “He that hath steerage of my course Direct my sail… ” shows a conscience controls his fate. After killing Tybalt, Romeo personifies this conscience as ‘Fortune’: “I am fortune’s fool… ” suggesting Fortune betrayed him.

Fate has such control, the prologue predicts the tragedy: “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life… ; “fatal loins” shows Death’s and Fate’s involvement from birth; “star-crossed lovers take their life” reinforces this, because fate made them meet and commit suicide. Luhrmann’s use of a newsreader as the choric voice establishes the modern setting; when Friar Lawrence repeats the prologue, Luhrmann emphasises his crucial role in their fates, in a way Shakespeare does not. Death’s central role extends beyond the prologue. Death caused the tragedy: Mercutio’s death led to Tybalt’s death, which led to Paris’s and Romeo’s deaths, which resulted in Lady Montague’s and Juliet’s deaths.

Love is also a contributing factor in Shakespeare’s play, but less so in Luhrmann’s film; killing Tybalt, Paris and himself are impulsive actions, caused by love – for Mercutio and Juliet – which Romeo later regrets. Neither Paris’s death nor the quotation: “Forgive me cousin” occur in Luhrmann’s film; instead, Romeo’s progress towards Juliet and his death appears measured and calm. These differences suggest Luhrmann’s tragedy was not caused by love-induced impulsive actions; so Shakespeare’s play suggests love and death caused the tragedy, whereas Luhrmann’s film suggests death is the only cause.

On the other hand, Romeo is measured and calm in Luhrmann’s film, because there is no urgency, whereas in Shakespeare’s play, the Page causes urgency: “I will go call the watch”, which could suggest the suicide is more to do with desperation than love, suggesting love is more dominant in Luhrmann’s film. Shakespeare also links death to love, by linking the banquet where Romeo and Juliet fall in love to the death scene. Before dying, Romeo kisses Juliet: “Thus with a kiss I die… ” and Juliet kisses Romeo: “I will kiss thy lips… ” Shakespeare links these kisses to their first kisses, emphasising that love caused their deaths.

In Luhrmann’s film, Romeo takes drugs before the party: “Thy drugs are quick… ” this is also his last line before dying, hinting that the banquet where they fell in love caused their deaths; this means love and death are intertwined closer than in Shakespeare’s play, where Romeo takes no drugs before the party. Love and death are also connected in Shakespeare’s play, by contrasting light and dark, when Romeo describes the brightness of his lover: “her (Juliet’s) beauty makes This vault a feasting presence full of light”, then the darkness of the deathly tomb: “This place of dim light”.

In Luhrmann’s Balcony scene, light symbolises Juliet and love, but there is no contrast between her light and the dark of the tomb; weakening the connection between light and dark. The link between love and death is further emphasised in Shakespeare’s death scene, when Juliet lovingly describes means of killing herself: “Happy dagger” and “Friendly drop”. This shows Juliet would love to die and emphasises the connection between love and death; because, in Luhrmann’s death scene, she only says: “Friendly drop”, the connection between love and death appears weaker.

Romeo personifies Death in the death scene: “Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath”, identifying Death as a conscience. He then ponders why Death took Juliet: “Shall I believe that unsubstantial Death is amorous And … keeps Thee here in the dark to be his paramour? ” This rhetorical question suggests Death killed Juliet because he loved her; this quotation and the next emphasise links between love and death. “Seal with a righteous kiss A dateless bargain to engrossing Death… ” means when kissing Juliet, Romeo seals a bargain that he would die for her love.

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Romeo And Juliet Theme. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Romeo And Juliet Theme
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