Romeo and Juliet: The Delicate Love Story

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In my English honors class, after reading Romeo and Juliet, we were asked to write a short essay on what we perceived to be the message the Shakespeare was trying to convey about love.

Submitted: May 31, 2012

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Submitted: May 31, 2012

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Romeo and Juliet: The Delicate Love Story

In the tragic play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare conveys the message that love is fragile, and, if treated with respect and care, can blossom into one of the most valuable things on earth. This is shown many times during the beginning of the play, when Romeo and Juliet are married. When setting the stage for Act II, Shakespeare writes: “But passion lends them power, time means, to meet, / Temp’ring extremities with extreme sweet” (Romeo and Juliet Prologue. 2. 13-14). This tells the audience that Romeo and Juliet’s true love for each other will allow them to overcome many difficulties by looking for the good that will surely come in the end. Although their families have forever been feuding, they will still find a way to be together, and even though their families would never approve, they ignore that and follow their hearts. This quote proves Shakespeare’s view on the preciousness of love because they are willing to face anything as long as they can be together. Right before Romeo and Juliet are married, Juliet says: “But my true love is grown to such excess / I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” (Romeo and Juliet 2. 6. 33-34). Juliet is saying that she loves Romeo so much that she cannot even begin to describe how happy and rich she feels. This shows Shakespeare’s feelings on the value of true love because he has Juliet express that she is so full of love and could never be happier, which proves that love can be one of the most precious things on earth to call your own and cherish.

After they are married, Romeo and Juliet face many difficulties as the pitiless world tries to rip apart their already fragile love. Romeo is banishèd from Verona, the city where he and Juliet live, met, and were married. When he learns of his banishment, Romeo cries: “…Heaven is here / Where Juliet lives…” (Romeo and Juliet 3. 3. 29-10). Romeo is lamenting the fact that while Juliet must stay and live in Verona, he must move away. He feels that heaven, the only place of true happiness and bliss, must be wherever she is, and since she cannot move with him because their families do not yet know about their marriage, he must leave his paradise with Juliet in Verona. This makes him completely distressed, and he says that he would rather die than leave Juliet’s presence, which also shows Shakespeare’s side on the issue of love by saying that Romeo loves Juliet with all his heart and never wants to lose her. When Romeo is in Mantua, where he moved after he was banishèd, he sends his servant to Verona to get news of Juliet. While waiting, Romeo sighs: “Ah me! How sweet is love itself possessed, / When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!” (Romeo and Juliet 5. 1. 10-11). What Romeo means is that even though he is not with Juliet, the mere thought of her makes him full of happiness; even though they are separate, Romeo can just think of Juliet and at least be somewhat content. This also proves that Shakespeare believes in love being an amazing thing because Romeo can be so happy even just having a small thought of Juliet, and the audience begins to wonder how much more joy he will have when they’re finally reunited. Therefore, Shakespeare proves that love, if treated gently, can be one of the most precious and amazing things in the world.


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