Relationships in Romeo and Juliet

Relationships in Romeo and Juliet

  • Submitted By: wunchester
  • Date Submitted: 04/06/2014 8:04 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 2584
  • Page: 11
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 Compare the way relationships are presented in Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare’s Sonnets 130 and 18.

From the beginning of “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare emphasizes the inevitability of the “star cross’d lovers” tragic fate, as the prologue encapsulates the enmity between the two families. The “ancient grudge” immediately sets the ominous tone of the play and allows the audience to understand that Romeo and Juliet’s demise is the only way to end their “parents strife” and was therefore destined to happen from the very beginning of the play, before they even met. Sonnets 18 and 130 were written in the same time period as ‘Romeo and Juliet’, however love is portrayed in a much more positive light. In sonnet 18 it is emphasized that life is not eternal, and that although we, as humans eventually die, love lives in the ‘eternal lines’ of the poem. The Sonnet also exaggerates the love held by its author to the fair youth, similarly to the way Romeo idealises Rosaline and Juliet. In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare uses a much more realistic description of his lover, and acknowledges the faults and flaws of the subject, which is quite different to Romeo’s elaborate and hyperbolic conceits as he speaks about love. The love displayed in both sonnets is much less ill-fated than that throughout ‘Romeo and Juliet’ where it seems futile and doomed from the start.

In the Act 1 Scene 1, Sampson and Gregory; two servants of the Capulet house are openly bragging about their strength and are clearly considering instigating a fight between the Montague and Capulet house, to prove their masculinity. Sampson says “We’ll not carry coals.” which shows that they will not accept insults, this immediately gets across the idea that even the servants of the Capulet’s and Montague’s share a mutual hatred for each other and feel the need to show themselves as better than one another. The witty remarks between the two servants later become much more misogynistic and violent, as Sampson...

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