Romeo and Juliet Themes

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  • Romeo and Juliet Themes
    • Love
      • Prologue: "fearful passage of their death mark'd love"
        • Juxtaposition; imagery
        • "passage" is a pre-determined route with only one possible way out
        • adjective "fearful" emphasises the harm and pain the will come
        • juxtaposition of "death mark'd love" suggest love has already been tainted and stained.
      • Romeo: "O brawling love, O loving hate"
        • oxymoron
        • oxymoron of "brawling love" highlights the conflict and tension in the play, but also the violence that becomes more and more frequent
        • the contrast of "loving hate " suggest powerful, passionate feelings, but also how quickly one emotion can turn into another.
      • Romeo: "arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon"
        • Ironic because at the end of the play Juliet does not "arise" and it is she who is killed. so if Romeo had stuck to Rosaline he would be alive.
        • metaphor shows Romeo  comparing Juliet to the sun and Rosaline to the moon. His new love for Juliet has killed his love for Rosaline.
        • The relationship between the sun and moon ends in death like all of the violence in the play.
    • Family
      • Capulet: "she's the hopeful lady of my earth"
        • The quote shows Capulet's protection over and care for Juliet
        • Metaphor
        • Juliet is going to be the one to carry on the Capulet legacy and he wants to make sure she marries the into the right family that will help keep their status and money.
      • Friar: "to turn your households' rancour to pure love"
        • Juxtaposition: There is a contrast between two conflicting ideas
        • on the one side the "pure love" of R and J may seem powerful to a modern audience.
        • however to a Shakespearean audience the importance of loyalty to "your households' rancour" may be more important than true love.
      • Nurse: "O woeful, woeful, woeful, day"
        • The Nurse's grief is emphasised by fractured sentence structure and repetition of "woeful"
        • Repetition of "O" highlights the natural, unshamed sorrow the Nurse feels - it is instinctive and human, rather then reserved or rehearsed. All of her funny stories, humorous jokes or caring advice have disappeared
        • The heavy assonance of the "o" vowel sound in "O", "woeful" creates a negative tone, mimicking the deep pain and anguish she feels
    • Conflict
      • Prince: "see what a scourge is laid upon your hate"
        • Personification
        • The Prince describes the whole scenario as a "scourge" (plague), a word that could have religious connotations, as if the outcome was a plague or punishment from "heaven" for their behaviour.
      • Tybalt; "Peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee"
        • List of three
        • Tybalt's hate of the Montagues sits up top with hell. He cannot accept peace as longs as the Montagues are still alive.
      • Romeo: "fire-eyed fury be my conduct now"
        • The repetition of the "f" sound is violent and aggressive, foreshadowing the scene ahead. Much of Shakespeare's audience would see this behaviour as the correct, "masculine" way of behaving.
        • The personification of "fury" being "fire-eyed" depicts and image of someone not being able to see clearly. Romeo is blinded by fire, something deadly and destructive, and his wish to avenge Mercutio's death is all consuming.
        • Yet again, Romeo has placed his fate in the hands of something else. the phrase "be my conduct" once again suggests he is not making his own decisions.


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