Discuss how act 1 scene 5 is structured between love and hate. Discuss whether there is more love than hate and what Shakespeare's message might be.pick a quote where juliet talks about love and...

Discuss how act 1 scene 5 is structured between love and hate. Discuss whether there is more love than hate and what Shakespeare's message might be.

pick a quote where juliet talks about love and hate and death at the end of the scene and explain.

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The duality between love and hate is present in the Prologue when the Chorus says:

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend

The dualities of "love" and "hate" run the course of Act I and can be found particularly in Romeo's monologues:

Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

Notice the use of equivocation (paradoxial language) and oxymorons (opposing pairs): "heavy lightness," "cold fire," "sick health."  The same goes for "the love I feel, that feel no love in this."  His meditation on love, just after the "fray" between the families, reveals the dual nature of the "love-hate" theme in the play.

Later, in scene 5, even the servants begin using equivocal language:

When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's
hands and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing.

Notice the duality here: "good" and "foul."  Also, hands are the main focus of imagery in the scene, as Romeo will later take and kiss Juliet's hand.  Here, the servant hates unwashed hands.

Later, Capulet uses more imagery to reveal the "light-dark" and "masking" themes that forshadow Tybalt's fiery hate when he discovers Romeo:

More light, you knaves; and turn the tables up,
And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.
Ah, sirrah, this unlook'd-for sport comes well.
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet;
For you and I are past our dancing days:
How long is't now since last yourself and I
Were in a mask?

Finally, the scene is capped off with a "rhyme" that she just learned when she danced:

My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.

This echoes what the Chorus said earlier.  The equivocal language of paradox and duality are again present, this time coupled with birth imagery "sprung," vision imagery "too early seen unknown," and time imagery "known too late."  This imagery threads together the play and foreshadows the tragedy to come. 

The play will end with the Prince again echoing the Chorus and Juliet when he says:

Their course of love, the tidings of her death:
And here he writes that he did buy a poison
Of a poor 'pothecary, and therewithal
Came to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet.
Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.

Read the study guide:
Romeo and Juliet

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