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Threading throughout the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is the conflict between Love and Hate. Expressive of this is Romeo's early monologue in Act I, Scene 1 in which he speaks in oxymorons that prove to come true:
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!
Misshapen 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. (1.1.173-180)
Then, in Scene 5 of this first act, Juliet underscores the integral connection of the two passions, love and hate as, when she learns Romeo's name, she exclaims,
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 (1.5.147-150)
In Act III, the juxtapostion of love and hate is again present in the confrontation of Tybalt with Romeo, who protests that his hatred for Tybalt has now turned to love:
Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting. Villain am I none.
Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me not. (3.1.51-54)
Of course, this love soon returns to hatred after Mercutio is slain. And, likewise, in Act III, Scene 2, Juliet is tormented with the conflict of the two passions as her love for her new husband finds hatred for his act of killing her beloved cousin Tybalt. Her monologue ironically echoes the contradictions of feeling expressed by Romeo in Act I:
O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st—
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh? (3.2.76-85)
Indeed, the theme of Love/Hate recurs in act after act of Romeo and Juliet, tragically finding its violent end in death.
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