ROMEO AND JULIET IS A PLAY ABOUT LOVE/HATRED.
TOPIC SENTENCE. The contrasting darker forces of hatred inject a sense of urgency into the lovers’ relationship and lead to risk-taking sacrifices as an expression of their love. Tybalt and Mercutio represent the dark forces of each family that threaten the peace and undermine the profound love of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare suggests that these malign/evil forces are disruptive and divisive and only lead to death. As a fiery Capulet, Tybalt plays a prominent role in perpetuating the feud through his provocative and misguided attempts to protect their family pride. (playwright/s views and values) The playwright deliberately sets up a contrast between Tybalt’s indignant and fiery stance, and Romeo’s desire for peace to reinforce his point that the hatred only leads to death and division. (close passage) This is particularly evident during his fatal encounter with his mirror image, Mercutio. Mercutio cynically suggests that Tybalt (“Good King of Cats”) is a coward and urges him to draw his sword, “Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk” (3.1) Indignant after Prince Capulet’s defence of Romeo during the masked ball, Tybalt has been spoiling for this opportunity. The audience is aware that he hates “peace” as he hates “hell, all Montagues, and thee.” Tybalt deliberately seeks to wound Romeo’s pride as Mercutio wounded his. His claim to Romeo that, “thou art a villain”, could be referring to a man of inferior birth, such as a peasant, which is deliberately offensive and seems to offer Romeo no option but to respond. (link to Shakespeare’s views and values) The ensuring fight and subsequent deaths undermine Romeo’s conciliatory actions and accordingly, Shakespeare suggests that the belligerent (bellicose) actions of both become the catalyst for Romeo’s exile and the hasty marriage. (Link) As a result, Tybalt can be blamed for the chain of events that lead to tragedy, resulting in the lovers’ date with destiny.
Shakespeare presents Romeo’s and Juliet’s spontaneous love for each other as a solution to the constant hatred that swirls between the family. Although forbidden, their love is also inspirational and exalted, particularly because of the maturity of both the young stars as evident in their deft language choices and sensible tone. Ominously, Romeo attends the ball with a feeling of trepidation which Shakespeare suggests is integral to the manner in which their destiny is determined by the feud” “I fear too early, for my mind misgives Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars” . That Shakespeare gives Juliet equal right of reply in their first sonnets sets the scene for a relationship forged on mutual attraction. Shakespeare deliberately challenges the subordinate role of the female in conventional sonnets of the time to depict Juliet as an equal partner who is not typically silent. (reflects the desire to give her a substantial voice and a presence.. .) He also uses religious imagery to depict the exalted nature of their love and to set up a comparison with other types of love in the play. The oxymoronic contrasts that pervade the death-love nature of their relationship inject a sense of urgency and poignancy into their relationship. (sh suggests that love has the capacity to provide a solution, but is doomed whilst the feuders focus on their petty grievances…) but only with death)
Juliet’s love appears heartfelt and wise as she urges Romeo to express his feelings as faithfully and candidly as possible. Set against a context of lewd and physical love, Romeo and Juliet’s love appears to be profound and more spiritual (religious imagery) Juliet is distrustful of fancy phrases and implores/asks/beseeches Romeo to speak as plainly as possible. (“if thou doth love/pronounce it faithfully”) she implores Romeo to be himself and believes that the name is just a meaningless label that does not convey one’s true feelings. (“tis but thy name that is my enemy” ). She later states that words cannot convey the depth of her feelings, “but my true love is grown to such excess I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth”. She echoes Friar Lawrence’s advice to Romeo. He advises him to be clear and forthrightly because fancy words have a tendency to camouflage or hide one’s true feelings. He begs Romeo, “be plain good son and homely in thy drift”. Contrastingly, Rosaline and Romeo have a tendency to be pretentious and fancy.
WHO IS TO BLAME – FATE IS TO BLAME/ F LA IS TO BLAME…
(Topic sentence: link to topic)
As a fiery Capulet, Tybalt plays a prominent role in perpetuating the feud through his provocative and misguided attempts to protect their family pride. (Remember to include references to Shakespeare’s views and values) The playwright deliberately sets up a contrast between Tybalt’s indignant and fiery stance, and Romeo’s desire for peace to reinforce his point that the hatred only leads to death and division. (close passage) This is particularly evident during Tybalt’s fatal encounter with his mirror image, Mercutio. Mercutio cynically suggests that Tybalt (“Good King of Cats”) is a coward and urges him to draw his sword, “Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk” (3.1) Indignant after Prince Capulet’s defence of Romeo during the masked ball, Tybalt has been spoiling for this fight. The audience is aware that he hates “peace” as he hates “hell, all Montagues, and thee.” Tybalt deliberately seeks to wound Romeo’s pride as Mercutio wounded his. His claim to Romeo that, “thou art a villain”, could be referring to a man of inferior birth, such as a peasant, which is deliberately offensive and seems to offer Romeo no option but to respond. (link to Shakespeare’s views and values) The ensuring fight and subsequent deaths undermine Romeo’s conciliatory actions and accordingly, Shakespeare suggests that the belligerent (bellicose) actions of both become the catalyst for Romeo’s exile and the hasty marriage. (Link) As a result, Tybalt can be blamed for the chain of events that lead to tragedy, resulting in the lovers’ date with destiny.
Friar Lawrence must shoulder a great deal of the blame despite his good intentions to settle feud as amicably as possible. Ironically, his ill-fated plan undermines his desire for unity and peace. … inadvertent actions contradict his he preaches moderation: wise… stumble… (reflects the Elizabethan view that the world is a divinely ordered medium where harmony can be achieved if good and bad are tempered and kept in harmony… He believes that passions must be kept in check. Strong and wilful passion can have disastrous consequences (Tybalt) he also hopes that the union of lovers will overcome the “rancour” between the families… opts for love – tries to facilitate the conciliation of families.. .(showing Shakespeare view that love will triumph if the will is sufficiently strong) He is depicted in the spice garden – natural wealth, medicines, healing. However, Shakespeare sets up a contrast between his advice and his misguided deeds as he lays the foundations for a foolish plan.
Inadvertently, both the lovers contribute to their downfall in ways that undermine (or contradict) their best intentions. Firstly, Juliet’s passionate defiance of her authoritarian father as well as the ardour of her love for Romeo lead to the secret marriage. (quotes) ETC.
In his own way, Romeo unwittingly contributes to his demise because of his inability to constrain the two warring foes during the fatal encounter that precipitates his exile. Tybalt and Mercutio are both spoiling for a fight and ironically, the more Romeo seeks to reconcile the two enemies, the more he aggravates/exacerbates/provokes the duel. In this regard, Romeo becomes a victim of their confidential love affair and his confession to Tybalt that he “love(s) thee better than thou canst devise” enrages Mercutio. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to show the differences between Mercutio and Tybalt who seek to provoke each other, and Romeo who prioritises peace and cooperation. Romeo’s tragedy seems to arise because he struggles with his sensitive persona that conflicts with the furious undertones of gang warfare. He struggles to articulate the consequences of his profound love that have an impact upon his conduct. He professes to Tybalt, “villain am I none”, “I see thou know’st me not”. However, his offer of peace is misinterpreted by Tybalt as a reason to fight. He intercepts the fight and pleadingly, reminds them of the Prince’s decrees. To no avail. The stage directions announce that Tybalt “under Romeo’s arm stabs Mercutio, then flies with his followers.”
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Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in Romeo and Juliet and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Romeo and Juliet at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1 : The Use of Foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare uses foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet to warn the reader that danger or a perilous situation is near. As the play opens in the city of Verona, and the audience settles down to hear the tale of the star-crossed lovers, it is evident that things are not going to turn out well for the pair. The story of Romeo and Juliet progresses and the foreshadowing becomes heavier. The witty word play that Shakespeare so often employs serves as a double entendre for the impending events, such as Mercutio’s admittance that the next day will find him a “grave man". In what scenes of the play is the foreshadowing the strongest, and what is the event being foreshadowed? What does Shakespeare hope to accomplish with the foreshadowing, and what does use does foreshadowing deliver to the audience? For this essay on Romeo and Juliet, consider the overall importance and role of foreshadowing using the questions listed here as a guide.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Power of Destiny in Romeo and Juliet
The powerful concept of fate and destiny has intrigued many writers, including William Shakespeare. Although Romeo and Juliet scheme up many ways to be together, it is almost certain that they have no hand in their fate; they are merely being pushed along by fate. As Juliet prepares to leave everything she loves, Romeo is caught up in the cosmic warfare between his family and the Capulet’s, fighting for his life against her cousins and is eventually banished by the King. Using these examples, as well as Shakespeare’s own textual hints, describe how destiny controls the end result Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated union. Did they ever have a chance together? Why or why not?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3 : The Role of Religion in Romeo & Juliet
The theme of religion appears quite frequently throughout the text of Romeo and Juliet. In what ways does religion in Romeo and Juliet allude to the feelings that the lovers have for each other? Romeo compares Juliet to a saint as he kisses her hand, saying that he is unworthy to do so, and at several moments, the duo declare their love as divined by God. What is the connection between their affair and the heavens, and do they perhaps overestimate God’s favor? If God really approves of their love, why is it that the one religious figure in the play causes their deaths? Also, in what way does the language used between Romeo and Juliet add to the consecration of their relationship?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4 : The Depiction of Romantic Love in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is, at its core, a story about the undeniable power of love. Before Romeo and Juliet meet, both of them are involved with another. Romeo is infatuated with Rosaline, who does not return his feelings, and Juliet is betrothed to Paris by her father, but shows no true feelings towards him. However, once Romeo meets Juliet, their prospective romances fall apart as their feelings for one another eclipse their respective feelings towards Rosaline and Paris. In what instances is their love for one another different from their feelings towards Rosaline and Paris? How do their interactions vary, and in what ways do the people around them notice these changes?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #5 : Romeo & Juliet and the Role of the Feuding Families
The role of the family in Romeo & Juliet is perhaps the most important, as the feuding families end up being the ultimate downfall for Romeo and Juliet. Were it not for the battle between the Capulets and Montagues, the ending of Romeo and Juliet would have turned out far differently. The feuding causes Romeo’s banishment, the death of Tybalt, and the ultimate suicide of the lovers. In what ways are Romeo and Juliet driven to destruction by the wars of their families? Do the lovers underestimate the hatred between their fathers and overestimate the power of their love to overcome the family feud?
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This list of important quotations from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from Romeo and Juliet listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text they are referring to.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." (I.v.52-53)
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief That thou her maid are far more fair than she." (II.2. 2-6)
“O, find him! Give this ring to my true knight And bid him come to take his last farewell." (III.ii.142-143)
“I dreamt my lady came and found me dead” (V.i.6).
“Then I defy you, stars!" (V.i.24)
“Oh! I am fortune’s fool" (III.i.131)
“God joined my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands" (IV.i.55)
“Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,/Which is the god of my idolatry,/ And I'll believe thee." (II.ii.113-115)
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet." (II.i.74–78)
“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife" (Prologue. 5-8)