How is the theme of hate portrayed in Romeo and Juliet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet there's clearly enmity between Romeo's family, the Montagues and Juliet's family, the Capulets. The Chorus even says so in the opening lines of the play.

CHORUS. 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. (Prologue, 1-4)

It's an animosity that occasionally erupts into open hostility and violence—sometimes deadly violence—but does the enmity and animosity between the two families rise to the level of hatred? Is hatred the driving force in the Montague and Capulet's interactions with each other? Is hatred the driving force in the play?

The theme of a play drives the action of a play forward. Shakespeare's Othello is driven forward by Iago's hatred for Othello. Everything of consequence that happens in Othello is a result of Iago's hatred for Othello.

The action in Romeo and Juliet isn't driven forward by the feud between the Montagues and the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 977 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team