The Different Types of Love in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet although widely considered to be a love story, in depth,hate is quite exceedingly apparent it is noticeable that love is played in the backdrop of hate, hate between the Montagues and the Capulets, noble families in the city of Verona, Italy with an “ancient grudge , while love is frolics between the children of the noble’s families, Romeo- from the Montague family- and Juliet» from the Capulet family. To say that love is only between the two children would be quite naive as they are different variations of love that are evident within the play and Shakespeare writes about them not as if they are polar opposites, but rather as if they are identical.

In the opening scene of the play (Act 1- Scene 1) we see that two servants of the house of the Capulets start to provoke other servants of the house of the Montagues, by “biting their thumb” this was considered a huge offense and therefore – after momentarily arguing- a riot occurs In this hate is apparent because random citizens who are not even of the households join in screaming “down with the Montagues, down with the Capulets”, This shows the deep rooted hate between the Capulets and the Montagues because the hatred casqued down to the levels of the servants who don’t even know why they are fighting each other.

Benvolio tries to stop the fight between the citizens, shouting “part fools” he did this because he loved peace more than the feud between the servants, when he asks for Tybalt (lord Capulet’s son) to help to create peace, he (Tybalt) says that he “hates that word, as he hates hell, all Montagues and him (Benvolio)” and starts to join the servants in fighting.

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By Tybalt doing this it shows the intense and inveterate revulsion for the Montagues by descending or stooping to the level of his servants fighting, it is hereby visible that Tybalt is characterized as a boy full of bitterness towards the Montagues.,.evident when he threatens peacemaking Benvolio. Benvolio- who is one of Romeos good friends- shows the type of love called ‘philia’ or friendship towards Romeo when he hears that he is depressed because of being- a victim of Petrarchan love- rejected by Rosaline, by telling Romeo to “give liberty unto thine eyes’i He is determined to make sure that Romeo gets over her. When Benvolio says ‘1’“ pay that doctrine or else l’ll die in debt’ it shows how much he cares for Romeo, so much so that he would rather die than give up on his promise to get Romeo out of his depression of loving Rosaline.

Later it turns out that Benvolio’s advice pays off, evident when Romeo sees Juliet, it is love at first sight. After seeing Juliet, Romeo starts to question if he “has ever loved till now”, He almost immediately gets over Rosaline comparing her to “a scare crow” and Juliet a “clove” among them, It is quite moderately discernable that Romeo was not in love with Rosaline, but was rather in love with the ‘idea‘ of being in love with her, he was just infatuated with her. Romeos love for Juliet was more than infatuation, he woos her with religious imagery, ‘if I profane with my unworthiest hand, the gentle sin is this: my lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand, too smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss’ this shows that Romeos love for Juliet is poetic, full of fire, flames, imagery, filled with metaphysical conceits suggesting that his love for her will last Tybalt again, later in the play (Act 1- scene 5) shows his detestation towards the Montague family when he over hears Romeo talking about Juliet in the party. ‘To strike him dead I hold it not a sin’ this meant that Tybalt considered the death of Romeo not a sin but an honor for his ancestors to strike down a Montague. After calling for his sword ready to fight he is dissuaded by Lord Capulet who does not want the festivities to be spoiled, this only enrages .

Tybalt‘s anger and causes him to vow revenge against Romeo, ‘patience perforce with willful choler meeting makes my flesh tremble in the different greetings, I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall now seeming sweet convert to bitterest galls Parental love is visible as we see that Lord Capulet is hesitant to give his daughter up for marriage ‘she is the hopeful lady of my earth‘ Lord Capulet wants Paris to wait for “two more summers’ but only if Paris is able to woo her then he can marry her, This shows that as a father he respects Juliet‘s choice on who she is going to marry Juliet also is sad when she finds out that Romeo is from her rival family ‘my only love has sprung from hate’ she later in the play (Act 2 7 Scene 2) makes a comment that displays both the theme of love and hate in the story. ‘If they do see thee, they will murder thee’ this phrase shows the love of Juliet for Romeo as she is scared for his safety at the hands of her father‘s kinsman. The fact that the kinsmen will kill Romeo on sight shows hate because of the fact that the kinsmen are commanded to kill any Montague on Capulet property When Friar Lawrence hears that Romeo wants to marry Juliet he is inspired to bring the hatred of the two households to an end despite the misgivings of the misgivings over the speed of the proceedings ‘ for this alliance may so happy prove to turn you households rancor’ to pure love’

Mercutio shows love and loyalty for Romeo when Tybalt shows up“. when Tybalt calls Mercutio and his people a “ consort” he gets quickly offended, this was because he considered himself to be much more than part of a ‘group’ to Romeo, more of a brotheri Furthermore, even though Romeo does not want to fight Tybalt, Mercutio decides to fight for him, trying to defend his honorl Later though however Mercutio shows hatred towards both houses after he is struck down by Tybaltm ‘A plague on both your houses, they have made worms meat of me. 1 have it, and soundly too Your houses too!’ Mercutio blamed the enmity between the two households for his death, and curses both families for his demise,” In conclusion, the statements above support as evidence that the two oxymorons of love and hate play an important role in the story We can see that although the whole story begins at hate, when the servants were fighting love ultimately overcomes hate at the end of the story with the double suicide of the two main characters.

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The Different Types of Love in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare. (2022, Sep 24). Retrieved from

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