How does Shakespeare present strong feelings in Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers
iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, there are quite a lot of strong feelings. After all, the play explores a diverse array of situations, from tender romance to grisly murder. The most common way that Shakespeare exhibits these strong emotions is through his vivid dialogue and verse. Take, for instance, this famous quote from Act 2, Scene 2:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! (2-3)

In this quote, Romeo uses incredible figurative language to liken Juliet to the rising sun. The intensity of the comparison very clearly presents Romeo's strong feelings for Juliet. By comparing Juliet to the sun, Romeo shows that his love for Juliet is of vital importance: just as the sun gives life and light to the earth, so too does Romeo's love for Juliet sustain him. As such, through a single comparison, Shakespeare unlocks an incredible presentation of strong emotion. 

teachnlearn2 | Student

First, exploration of Shakespeare's projection of strong feelings can be an endless adventure. One reason Shakespeare's plays are famous is the strong feelings his audience responds with. The Elizabethan times restricted individuality in thinking, so the plays written are full of them. 

In Romeo and Juliet, strong emotions are vital. It is the connection that binds each pivotal action or event. Therefore, by the dialogue and by the actions, strong feelings influence the audience/reader to even change their perspectives along the storyline. 

For example, there are two types of strong feelings that are boldly shown. One, the love between the main characters are strong enough for them to want death for the sake of their love. Two, the hate between the groups that separate the two and can be the culprit of the tragedy. 

There are other strong emotions that are not popularly mentioned or regarded. The desperation, the bravery, the dedication, it can go on. I notice the strong feelings expressed and made to effect the reader throughout each scene. Shakespeare is a rare icon because of the minimal words he uses that can communicate an expansive way of thinking. Hence, quotes from Shakespeare are famous.  If you need specific examples, please respond with that specified in your question. I can select specific lines, though your question is to explore the strong feelings. 


kittythyme | Student

Honestly? The prevalent theme of loyalty throughout the play's script is evident of the strong feelings (love, really; just not romantic) that characters exhibit towards each other.

A prime example: the argument between Romeo and Tybalt; Mercutio intervenes which leads to his death.

  • Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt because the latter is related by blood to Juliet, Romeo's wife-to-be.
  • Tybalt, being Tybalt (and not understanding the true situation), gets even more angered and challenges Romeo.
  • Mercutio, as a cousin of the Prince, didn't have to jump into the argument between Romeo and Tybalt, but he did it for Romeo's sake. Loyal friend right there.
  • Tybalt is a big butt and kills Mercutio because he can; the Prince finds out, Romeo gets exiled.
  • Juliet gets depressed and fakes her death so she can be with Romeo when he comes back (as long as everyone else thinks she's dead).
  • The news of Juliet's "death" doesn't reach Romeo in time, and he mourns... then decides to go and kill himself off because he thinks she's dead... so he can be with her.
  • Cue sad scene where Juliet wakes up to Romeo's dead body, finds his sword, then stabs herself in the breast with it so she can be with him. IRONY.
professor24 | Student

Shakespeare presents strong feelings in Romeo and Juliet by portraying the drama of youth, “the first bewildered stammering interview of the heart,” with the passion of first love, but love thwarted by fate and death. Strong feelings are evoked through the follow incidents that occur in the play: The under-plot of the servants of Capulet versus those of Montague; the fatal duels, the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt; the ball where Romeo, a Montague falls in love with Juliet; the impassioned love-scenes in the orchard; the encounter of the nurse and Peter with the mocking gallants; the meetings at Friar Laurence’s cell, and the marriage of Julie there; Romeo’s banishment; the attempt to force Juliet to marry the County Paris; the Friar’s device of the sleeping-potion; the night scene at the tomb, Romeo first unwillingly killing Paris and then taking poison; the waking of Juliet, who stabs herself by her husband’s body; and the reconciliation of the rival families. The Prologue to the play sums up the events in the story that Shakespeare presents to elicit strong feelings:

Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose 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.

Strong feelings are also presented in the setting of Verona and Mantua, Italy, which gives the story a deep melancholy. The setting consists of a warm climate in July, which coincides with the strong feelings of animosity between the two families. The heat also is representative of the strong passionate feelings Romeo and Juliet have for each other. The other aspects of the setting elicit strong feelings in the readers. There is a dense gray dew on the leaves and grass in the morning, the cicada’s song, the nightingale, the half-closed flower-cups, the drifting perfume of the orange blossom, stars burning dilated in the blue vault.

severusm00 | Student

Shakespeare presents strong feelings mainly through speech. This is evident in the Nurses' conversations with Juliet. It is also displayed through Romeo's intense soliloquies. However, strong feelings are also displayed through the characters actions. This is evident in the house members willingness to die for their master. Shakespeare also presents this idea through Juliet's death. She loves him so much that she cannot live without him and chooses to kill herself, in order to be with him.