Explain the themes of love and violence in Romeo and Juliet.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The best way of responding to this question is through an analysis of how love and violence coexist. From the very beginning of this famous tragedy, the two are clearly linked, as Romeo and Juliet are described as "star-crossed lovers" who fall in love with each other in spite of the feud that exists between their family and the violence that each family practices on the other. Consider how the initial speech from the Prologue introduces this:

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

Violence and love are therefore never apart in this play, and one is shown to exist with the other constantly, right up until the very end, when peace is only bought at a very expensive price: the death of the two lovers. The two states of love and violence are therefore shown to coexist and live off each other. When one dies, so does the other, just like siamese twins.


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