Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is one of the most famous love stories in English literature. Love is naturally the plays dominant and most important theme.
The play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. Although the lovers only meet five times through out the play, Shakespeare allows the audience to believe the two main characters are utterly in love by actions and memorable quotes.In Romeo and Juliet, love is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that takes over all other values, loyalties and emotions. In the course of the play, we see the lovers abandon families Deny thy father and refuse thy name Juliet asks or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and Ill no longer be a Capulet and sacrifices friendships to be with one another. We see this as Romeo leaves Mercutio and Benvolio behind after Lammas eve in order to go to Juliets garden and when Juliet eventually gives up her relationship with Nurse who has breast-fed her when she was young and has looked after her up until now she calls her O most wicked fiend. Romeo also breaks the law because of his love for Juliet, he returns to Verona for Juliets sake after being exiled by the prince. The powerfulness of love between the couple is also noticeable in the way it is described. At times Shakespeare describes love in terms of religion as in the sonnet when Romeo and Juliet first meet.
If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this and at other times love is described to be a sort of magic Alike bewitched by the charm of looks Perhaps Juliets love for Romeo is best portrayed by not talking about it But my true love is grown to such excess I cannot sum of half my wealth.Shakespeare connects the themes of love and death together to show that the love between Romeo and Juliet is powerful and overwhelming. The passionate love between the couple is linked from the moment they first meet much like love at first sight. From then on, they are often plagued with the thoughts of suicide and a willingness to experience it. This is evident as Romeo brandishes a knife in Friar Lawrences cell and threatens to commit suicide after he has been banished from Verona and also his love.
Juliet does so, three scenes later. Finally, each imagines that the other looks dead the morning after their first, and only sexual experience. Juliet says Methinks I see thee as one dead at a bottom of a tomb. Shakespeare foreshadows the double suicide indicating to the audience that the love between Romeo and Juliet is so profound that they are willing to end their lives in its defense. Shakespeare also develops the intensity of the relationship between Romeo and Juliet by using an accelerated time scheme.
By compressing all the events of the love story into just a few days, Shakespeare adds weight to every moment and gives the sense that love is happening so immediate and overwhelming, the characters barely have time to react and eventually their passion for one another takes control.