The Struggle Between Love And Hate In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

Decent Essays
In Shakespeare’s cautionary tale Romeo and Juliet, there is constantly a struggle between love and hate, causing tension throughout the play. But even the most powerful love simply can not conquer this burning, consuming rage we see surrounding the love. In the end, hate is always the victor of the struggle in ‘fair Verona’.

Firstly, we see how love has conquered hate through Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. As Juliet says, it’s her “only love sprung from (her) only hate”. This oxymoron conveys how her love has seemingly come from the hate surrounding it, it has survived despite there being overwhelming hate. We see that this love is also giving them strength. In the ‘balcony scene’, Romeo says that her love makes him “proof from their enmity”.
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When Tybalt challenges Romeo to a fight, he uses hateful, condescending language such as “villain” or “my man”, attempting to anger Romeo and provoke him to fight. But Romeo does not rise to the challenge, he chooses to love, as he is obliged to love Tybalt, as he loves Juliet. He responds in affectionate tones calling Tybalt “brother” and insisting that he “loves (him) more than (he) can devise”. This is also use of dramatic irony, as only the audience and Romeo know of this forbidden relationship. All of the characters are incredibly confused as we see Mercutio believing this is a “vile, dishonourable submission”. This attempt to keep peace failed dismally, as Mercutio chooses to fight. Romeo quickly shifts from love to hate, when Mercutio is brutally slain, we see him choosing to have “fire eyed fury be (his) conduct”. His metaphor emphasise how burning, unstoppable and enraged he is at Tybalt. His view of love has shifted, ridding his love of Juliet temporarily to choose hate. He blames love instead of praising it, saying it “hast made (him) effeminate” and “weakened valour’s shield”. This words have negative connotations of being weak, timid and powerless, and so the hate surrounding the small love pushed Romeo to choose hate instead. The love just couldn’t beat the hate in this
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