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Crucial Role of Love and Death in "Romeo and Juliet"

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Words: 1657 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Essay grade:
Good
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Words: 1657|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Essay grade:
Good
arrow downward Read Review

Throughout the Early Modern Period and the birth of a time of greater thinking, creating, and most importantly writing; many scholars and authors created pieces of writing soaked with human emotions. Setting its readers and audiences up to his or her own understanding and perception of those emotions played throughout their writings and play writes. While at the same time, writers held audiences at the mercy of their own portrayal of said emotions. More specifically, the Early Modern Period was a time where the very mindset of mankind was being shaped and manipulated in a way. Through writing and art, poems and plays, mankind was being taught how to perceive and understand certain emotions through culture. Love and death are two of the most well known emotions to be written out during this time period, throughout this paper, I will be bringing a connection between the two to light and discuss just how important of a role each played individually in Early Modern writing. Both were huge aspects of emotion when it came to writing during this time period, and my goal is to draw a connection between the two and how each emotion played out in writing during this time. Throughout this paper I will be using Shakespeare’s famous Romeo and Juliet play as a source of example to highlight the meaning of love and death during this time period, and how the two have a connection not only within this play, but in writing in general during this time period.

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There are a number of strong emotions when it comes to the human psyche, love being one of the strongest in humanities arsenal. Love, a very volatile emotion, was a very common theme throughout the Early Modern Period as many historic writers and play writes took advantage of utilizing this emotion. The famous play Romeo and Juliet is no different when it comes to this common theme. Throughout the play it is quite apparent love is at the forefront when it comes to any other theme or focal point. Throughout the play itself love is over exaggerated, trumps every other emotion, and throughout the play turns even violent. The play starts off by establishing there are, “Two households, both alike in dignity, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny. - A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;” (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1-5, Prologue) Before the play even begins it is already established there is a forbidden love between two members of opposing households, and their love is so strong that only death can end their connection. Throughout the entirety of the play love is not something that is static or just there, the emotion itself seems to have life, being propelled by the characters themselves. Enter Romeo in the beginning of the play talking to his kinsman Benvolio about his love for Rosaline. Romeo exclaims, “Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, Should without eyes see pathways to his will.” (Shakespeare, 176-177, Act 1) During Romeo’s banter about his love for Rosaline with Benvolio, he arguably brings up two clichés about love during the time of Shakespeare. Those clichés being “love is blind,” and “love will always find a way.”

We as the audience will also discover, compared to Romeo’s love with Juliet, his love with Rosaline is not matured or even nearly as emotional. As later throughout the play Romeo’s love to Juliet has much more life and meaning expressed by his words. When Romeo and Juliet finally meet, it showcases another cliché of “love at first sight.” As the two star-crossed lovers, who’s love is something otherwise worldly or love being controlled by god or some higher power, meet Juliet is struck the reality of Romeo’s house allegiance. In a small rant she exclaims, “My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious brith of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy.” (Shakespeare, 152-155, Act 1) Juliet is hit with the gravest news about her love, which is the fact she has fallen in love with a man who is her sworn enemy, the only man she is not allowed to marry. Reinstating the fact that even though she loves him, the two may never been allowed to marry or love one another because of their respected households, both are still enemies. However, the language and word choice throughout the play points to the fact that two opposite things will never be apart forever, especially if love is involved. Juliets’ plea about her love brings up a common theme seen throughout the play, things seem to happen far too early. For example Juliet says “Too early seen unknown, and known too late,” exclaiming the fact she has met her Romeo too early in her young life, and things might have been different if she had only met him later in her life. Continuing off the the theme of things throughout the play occurring too early, in the end of the play Romeo and Juliet’s love is only destroyed by time. As Romeo kills himself only moments before Juliet’s slumber ends. If time was on their side, the two star-crossed lovers could have been together forever. In Romeo and Juliet and many other plays during this time, love was a force that in a way, transcends everything else. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, their love is a force stronger and more powerful than anything else, in a way a force seen godlike. When Romeo sneaks into Juliets walled garden of the Capulet house, Romeo proclaims, “With love’s light wings, did I o’erperch these walls, For stony limits cannot hold love out.” (Shakespeare, 71-72, Act 2) In this scene Juliet is wondering just how Romeo was able to get into the walled garden, he argues that because of his love for her, he has no bounds and nothing not even walls will be able to stop him. As his love gave him the ability to grow “light wings,” giving him the ability to overcome these stony walls, which can be argued can be a metaphor to any other humanly obstacle to get in the way of these two's love.

It is quite apparent the weight love holds throughout this play, as Romeo and Juliet are in a way used as pawns to showcase the power of love as portrayed by Shakespeare himself. Shakespeare and many other writers and play writes used love as a common theme, as it seemed to drag the audience in. Love however, was not the only common theme during this time period. Death was another popular theme writers used, and Romeo and Juliet is no different as love and death seem to be intertwined.

From the very beginning of this story, not only is love declared, but an imminent death is as well. In the prologue it is written, “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; - Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife, The fearful passage of their death-marked love” (Shakespeare, 6-8, Prologue) Right off the bat it is quite apparent Romeo and Juliet who are inseparable due to their grandeur love for one another, both are also stricken with a certain inseparable death. At the same time, the prologue also exclaims their death will bring about the end of their parents strife. Meaning, the very thing keeping their love apart, their household allegiance, will ironically end due to their death. Like many writers during this time period, Shakespeare uses death throughout this play as a way to move things along in a way. Of course these deaths cause problems for the two star-crossed lovers, and throughout the play both of premonitions of their timely death. When Mercutio comes to his untimely end by the hand of Tybalt, he tells Romeo, “A plague o’ both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me.” (Shakespeare, 111-112, Act 3) In some of his final moments Mercutio curses both houses, in a sense creating a huge roadblock when it came for the two star-crossed lovers to end up together smoothly. Enraged by his Mercutio’s death, Romeo duels Tybalt and ends up slaying him, and thus being banished by the prince. As a result, this death and banishment results in many more problems down the line for our dear Romeo and Juliet, as banishment might as well have represented death in itself for Romeo. Thus we as an audience come to the conclusion of the play, the death of both lovers. Romeo, after returning to fair Verona believes Juliet is dead, exclaims that dying would be better than loosing his love, “The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss, A dateless bargain to engrossing death.” (Shakespeare, 114-115, Act 4) And kills himself out of grief. Moments later, Juliet awakes to see her dear Romeo dead, and stricken with her own grief, takes Romeo’s dagger and kills herself, “Then I’ll be brief. O, happy dagger, This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die.” (Shakespeare, 174-175, Act 4) As it seems fate would have it, love and death in this story were two things intertwined. Thus no matter how powerful love may have seemed throughout this story, death still prevailed and gave these two star-crossed lovers an untimely death.

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In conclusion, Romeo and Juliet is play that has a far deeper meaning than just a tragic love story. The play itself is a testimony to the common themes of the time of Shakespeare, love, death, hope, and despair. It is no surprise Romeo and Juliet has stayed such a famous play for decades, as it will be one of the worlds most famous plays for many more years to come. The play does a wonderful job of showcasing the importance of love and death, and how both play a role in not only the lives of our dear Romeo and Juliet, but in the real world as well.

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This essay was graded by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
Essay’s grade:
Good
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Expert Review
This essay explores the roles of love and death in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.' The author's organization is clear and focused, with a well-structured introduction and conclusion that bookend a body of well-developed paragraphs. The essay's sentence structure and grammar are strong, with the author demonstrating a good grasp of syntax and effective word choice. The voice is appropriate for a formal essay, with a sophisticated use of vocabulary and tone. Overall, this essay is a strong piece of writing that demonstrates a clear understanding of the play's themes.
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What can be improved
The essay 'Love and Deaths' Crucial Role in Romeo and Juliet' does a good job of exploring the themes of love and death in the play, but there are a few shortcomings that could be addressed to improve the overall quality of the essay. One issue is the repeated use of the word "shows" to introduce the author's analysis. For example, the sentence "This shows how the theme of love is a crucial element in Romeo and Juliet" could be revised to say "This illustrates how the theme of love plays a crucial role in the development of the play." Similarly, there are a few instances where the author could benefit from a stronger use of evidence to support their points. For example, when discussing the role of death in the play, the author states, "Death is a central theme in the play and provides a backdrop for the story." Instead of using the vague term "provides," the author could offer more specific examples from the text to support this claim. Overall, the essay would benefit from a stronger use of evidence and a more varied vocabulary.

Cite this Essay

Love and Deaths’ Crucial Role in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/love-and-deaths-crucial-role-in-romeo-and-juliet/
“Love and Deaths’ Crucial Role in ‘Romeo and Juliet’.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/love-and-deaths-crucial-role-in-romeo-and-juliet/
Love and Deaths’ Crucial Role in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/love-and-deaths-crucial-role-in-romeo-and-juliet/> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
Love and Deaths’ Crucial Role in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/love-and-deaths-crucial-role-in-romeo-and-juliet/
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