What are the best Romeo and Juliet quotations that present love and can be analysed in great detail?
I want to know what they mean anad an explanation of why they have been chosen and some suggestsion of how they can be analysed in great depth.
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Since Romeo and Juliet is a love story, there are many, many examples of and discussions of love. You can use these quotes to find the context in the play and analyze the detail in the story.
The prologue introduces us to the healing power of love, as it describes Romeo and Juliet as star-crossed, and comments that they will end their parents feud by dying.
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrowsDoth, with their death, bury their parents’ strife.
I would continue with Benvolio’s line in Act 1 Scene 1
Alas that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof! (enotes etext p. 15)
Benvolio is trying to comfort Romeo, who is upset because he lost the girl he thought he was in love with. Benvolio points out that love is not really gentle, and can often be tyrannical and cruel. This line also personifies love, or compares it to a person.
Romeo also speaks of love figuratively, and his metaphors are very appropriate.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;(190)
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers’ tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.(195) (p. 16)
Romeo’s comparison of love to smoke is appropriate because passionate love is normally described as fiery, yet where there’s fire there’s smoke!
Romeo also comments that love pricks like thorns, a simile.
Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,
Too rude, too boist'rous, and it pricks like thorn. (p. 26)
Act 2 Scene 2 contains probably some of the most famous lines in Shakespeare, but Romeo’s comparison of Juliet to the sun is still beautiful and moving.
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(5)
That thou her maid art far more fair than she. (p. 38)
Romeo sees Juliet silhouetted on the balcony, and he imagines the moon being jealous of her because she is so much more beautiful.
After Romeo and Juliet get married, Romeo is content and does not worry about the danger.
Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death. I am content, so thou wilt have it so. (p. 78)
In Act 5 Scene 3, the prince comments that love is more powerful than hate, and reminds us of the comments in the prologue about the young lovers burying their parents strife with their lives.
Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montage,
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love! (p. 115)
As you can see, Shakespeare presents a complex view of love. It can be painful and enlightening, and it can be intoxicating but also peaceful.
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