Relationships in Romeo and Juliet Essay

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In this essay, I will be examining Shakespeare’s treatment of relationships in Romeo and Juliet. As a poet and playwright, he wrote 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems and 38 plays, one of his most famous plays being Romeo and Juliet. There are many different types of relationships between characters, and these are essential to the play. The prologue tells us that the play is about two star-crossed lovers from two feuding families, the Montagues and Capulets. There is hatred between these two families, this explains this, ‘Thou villain Capulet’. This quote suggests because of the hate between their families, the lovers are doomed from the start.

Romeo’s relationship with Rosaline shows he is deeply infatuated and passionate. In act 1,
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He uses rhyming couplets, ‘as a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear, Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear’. This suggests his love for her is so powerful, it changes the way he speaks. Romeo also uses religious imagery to describe Juliet, such as ‘This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this.’ He compares her to a shrine which shows how their love is pure and how he worships her. This shows he has confused his love with religion. In act 1, scene 4 Romeo says, ‘I fear, too early, my mind misgives some consequences yet hanging in the stars.’ This suggests that he feels something is going to go wrong, which shows that their relationship is doomed from the start. In Elizabethan times people were superstitious and thought that their lives were mapped out in the stars. If you tried to change your destiny it was considered a sin. They also believed that their lives were planned by the wheel of fortune. Philosopher, Boethius proposed a theory of that people can rise in power of luck, but; it has to come down. In act 3, scene 5 Juliet refers to this. ‘O fortune, fortune! All men call thee fickle.’

Juliet and Lord Capulet at first have a caring relationship but soon after Tybalt’s death this changes. It was planned that she would marry Paris when she was fifteen but after her cousin’s death, the marriage is brought forward. In Shakespearean times, it is not unusual for girls to have marriages arranged by their parents and also to
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