In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how does the quote below show that hate stems from love, yet can be defeated by love?  "Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. / Why then, O brawling...

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how does the quote below show that hate stems from love, yet can be defeated by love?

 

"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.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the theme of love vs hate is central to the story's plot.

The quote provided is spoken by Romeo, and considering that he starts out being rather "muddle-headed" about Rosaline, these words have a certain unlikely intelligence coming from the love-struck youth. In translation, the quotation means that much of what is going on here is centered around hate, but also around love; and that all emotions must be first created from some feeling, good or bad. Romeo also uses the familiar practice (by Shakespeare) of the oxymorons for noting the contradictions in life: "brawling love" and "loving hate." Romeo's quote is:

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! (I.i.173-175)

It seems that one does not exist without the other. In the experience of mankind, this is true. Can we not love somebody and hate what he or she does? Can we not start out disliking someone until he or she "grows" on us?

In this case, my first thought is that the servants are looking for a fight because they love those they serve, but hate their lord's enemy.

These lines continue the theme that Romeo and Benvolio began when Romeo earlier laments that things with Rosaline are not working out. Benvolio notes the paradox that love can be harsh: there is a dark side to love that rather than making one feel good, makes one feel sadness or pain, showing "the antithesis between love and hate." Benvolio observes:

Alas that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof! (I.i.177-178)

However, when Romeo notes the two extremes, love and hate, he notes that one must start with some feeling, inferring that hate may be the first emotion one feels, but that it has the potential to turn into love.

O any thing, of nothing first create! (line 175)

Here is an example of foreshadowing, where Shakespeare hints at exactly what will occur when Romeo and Juliet meet. They will love the person without knowing his or her name, and the hate that should follow will be subdued by their great love for one another.

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