How can I write an essay on a theme from Romeo and Juliet?
William Shakespeare incorporates a number of important themes into Romeo and Juliet. Some of the most prominent themes in the play address love’s power, the power of fate, the danger of haste, and the collision of opposites. Shakespeare conveys his message about these themes through the words of the characters, the events of the plot, and the various motifs that recur in the work. Choose one of the central themes of Romeo and Juliet and trace it throughout the play, explaining not only what message Shakespeare conveys but how he manages to convey it.
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You will need to choose one of these themes, and develop a thesis around it. For example, the danger of haste is an interesting one. Your thesis should clearly state your point and purpose.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare develops the theme of the danger of haste by demonstrating the consequences of haste for a variety of characters.
The most obvious case for haste is obviously the constant dueling. Characters are ready to fight at a moment’s notice. In the first scene, a stroll turns into a large brawl. The citizens all get involved.
Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! beat them
down! Down with the Capulets! Down with the
Montagues!(70) (Act 1, Scene 1, p. 12)
This haste to fight is just because the person is from a family with whom the family you are associated with feuds. It is ridiculous, and destructive. This fight leads to the proclamation the prince makes that anyone caught fighting will be severely punished. This in turn leads to Romeo’s banishment when he kills Tybalt.
Clearly Romeo and Juliet’s hasty marriage is also trouble, and leads to destructive behavior in both of them. However, it is not the only example of haste.
Another example of haste would be Juliet’s parents’ insistence that she marry. If they had waited, she would not have needed to fake her death.
Monday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon.(20)
Thursday let it be— a Thursday, tell her
She shall be married to this noble earl.
Will you be ready? Do you like this haste? (Act 3, Scene 4, p. 77)
If her parents had not pushed her, she would not have felt trapped and faked her death. Romeo would not have killed himself thinking she was dead. It would have saved both their lives.
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