Love and Hate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

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Analyze the Portrayal of Love and Hate in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ The emotions of love and hate are at the forefront of the theme in this play by William Shakespeare. The Oxford Standard English Dictionary defines ‘love’ as ‘to have strong feelings of affection for another adult and be romantically and sexually attracted to them, or to feel great affection for a friend or person in your family’ and defines ‘hate’ as ‘a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action dislike intensely, to feel antipathy or aversion towards someone or something’. However, words cannot portray such wide and powerful emotions. Love and hate include elements of life, passion, long-term bonding and dislike, disgust and loathing respectively. It is because…show more content…
He is also provoking Benvolio by using short sounds in words which suggest aggression ‘Have at thee coward’ (I.i.63) and the alliteration of ‘h’ combined with the consonance of ‘s’ in ‘heartless hinds’ (I.i.57) makes it appear as though he is hissing the words, showing disgust for Benvolio. The first time that love is explored during the play is when Romeo first speaks of Rosaline and his passion for her, even though he is ‘Out of her favour’ (I.i.159) which is a powerful statement as it shows that Romeo still has these feelings for Rosaline even though he knows she doesn’t feel the same. This is also the first occasion where love and hate coincide as Romeo is speaking about Rosaline when he hears of the duel and comments ‘Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love’ (I.i.166). The fact that the conversation switches from love to hate and visa versa so quickly shows that the two themes are closely linked and that one has an effect on the other. In this passage of speech Romeo speaks as a ‘Petrachan Lover’ as he elevates Rosaline in his language. He uses oxymorons such as ‘O loving hate’ (I.i.167) and ‘Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health’ (I.i.171) to add effect and drama to his speech, and his language is so exagerated it makes the audience believe that he really is in love. Shakespeare now demonstrates the long-term love that is shared by a family when
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