Romeo and Juliet’ is one of the best love stories of all time. From beginning to end, the plot is filled with romance, with nearly every character possessing an object of desire. Love is an extreme emotion that occurs when a person feels a strong attraction to another person. When anyone is deeply in love with someone, they will do anything to defend and be with them. Love blinds people in love, and they will do anything to save their love in situations where they are being fought. In this play, love seems to be a strong and dominant theme (Gale). With the two star-crossed lovers who end up dying due to love and with their death uniting their families.
In Romeo and Juliet love is an overpowering force, violent and ecstatic in nature that goes beyond all the other values of loyalties and emotions. In the play, the young lovers are forced to go against the social world due to their love for each other (Moore). The enmity and hate between their families provide obstacles for their love. However, that does not stop them from falling in love with each other (steinbrecher). (“Deny thy father and refuse thy name,” Juliet asks, “Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet”); (2.2.6) friends (Romeo abandons Mercutio and Benvolio after the feast to go to Juliet’s garden); and ruler (Romeo returns to Verona for Juliet’s sake after being exiled by the Prince on pain of death in 2.1.76–78). The clash between love and hate is particularly highlighted in when Romeo and Juliet first meet. Once Juliet becomes aware of Romeo’ lineage she proclaims my only love sprung from my only hate (I, v, 139)
The love that Romeo and Juliet possess for each other involves struggling against the public and the social institutions that oppose their love. Such institutions include their families and how they place the family’s power in the father, the desire and the law for public order, the importance of honor and religion. The institutions come into conflict with one another. These societal institutions are responsible for placing obstacles between the love of Romeo and Juliet. The patriarchal nature of their families where power is bestowed on the father places Juliet in a lot of trouble (Rose, 30). Their love is so strong that it goes beyond religion which requires couples to consummate their love after they get married, they begin to think of each other in blasphemous ways for instance when Juliet calls Romeo ‘ the God of idolatry” (2.1.156).
Romeo and Juliet decide to accept death just for the sake of their love rather than being separated. Shakespeare foreshadows their end throughout the entire play with death being the central theme in act 5. He frames death to be a heroic act since the lovers died due to their love. Romeo hears about Juliet’s death and decides to buy poison; he had a dream which foretells his death “I dreamt my lady came and found me dead” (5.1.6). When he finds Juliet, he speaks to her saying “the yoke of inauspicious stars / from this world-wearied flesh” (5.3.111–112). He then goes ahead to kiss Juliet, drinks the poison, kisses her again and dies. The two lovers are united together by their death (Huang 156).
True love is such an intense emotion when experienced between two people. People who fall in love can go to great length even death to ensure that they remain together. Romeo and Juliet is an example of a tragic love story where in the end they die due to the love they had for each other (William Shakespeare).
Gale, C. A Study Guide for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2015.
Huang, Linyun, and Young-Chul Bae. “Behavior analysis in love model of Romeo and Juliet with time delay.” Journal of Korean Institute of Intelligent Systems 25.2 (2015): 155-160.
Moore, Sarah. “Sacrificial Love and Selfish Love: A Deconstructionist Approach to Romeo and Juliet.” Proceedings of Student Research and Creative Inquiry Day 1 (2017).
Rose, Angela. “Time in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: Using temporal deictic to understand the play.” Metaphor 4 (2014): 30.
Steinbrecher, Stephanie A. “The Durability of Adaptation: Fate and Fortune in Romeo and Juliet.” (2015).
William, Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Strelbytskyy Multimedia, 2017.