How Does Shakespeare Present the Theme of Love in Romeo and Juliet?

3876 Words Feb 16th, 2011 16 Pages
‘Romeo and Juliet’, a play by William Shakespeare is one of the most famous love stories of all time and, while most people think that it focuses on just romantic love, it also includes many other types of love such as courtly love, friendly love, parental love and sexual love. Sexual love is used in this play as comic relief between the serious parts, as an ice-breaker and to keep the audience entertained. Shakespeare included sexual love in this play because at the time, the audience for whom he’d be performing wouldn’t be very educated and including this would grab their attention straight away
Sexual love is the first type of love displayed in this play. You meet two Capulet servants, Sampson and Gregory in the first scene. They are
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She immediately jumps to the conclusion that he was asking for sex before even considering the other options. Shakespeare includes this because it shows that anyone can have sexual thoughts about another, even someone like Juliet who appears to be so innocent and young.

Sexual love, while present throughout the play is not the only love explored by Shakespeare in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Courtly love is also present, but only in the beginning of the play. At the time ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was set, courtly love was very popular and many poets were using it, thus including it in the play was making the play very fashionable for its time. Romeo is the character that feels courtly love for Rosaline, meaning that his love for her in unrequited but he seems to love her anyway.
The first time you meet Romeo he is pining over Rosaline because ‘she’ll not be hit with cupid’s arrow’ and won’t return his feelings for her. He is acting very pathetic and spewing out long speeches full of oxymorons and rhyming couplets, making it very obvious that he’s practiced what he’s going to say because people don’t go around just talking in rhyming couplets and oxymorons. His long speeches have a rather pathetic ending. He has put together very fashionable, lengthy spiels full of oxymorons about ‘loving hate’ and ‘heavy lightness’.
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