In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, what character-based examples demonstrate the contrast of love and hate?

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

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In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the character-based examples of love and hate that comes to mind first are Juliet's parents.

When Paris approaches Capulet in the first act to ask for Juliet in marriage, Capulet is hesitant, saying that she is too young. Paris should give her two more years before marrying Juliet.

My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride (10)
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. (I.ii.8-11)

There is also the understanding that she will have some choice in who she marries. If she agrees to Paris' courtship, so will Capulet.

But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;
My will to her consent is but a part.
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.

Juliet's mother is supportive of not rushing too quickly into the wedding, asking Juliet just to think about it.

However, perhaps because of Tybalt's death, Juliet's mourning (both for Tybalt and Romeo) and how uncertain life is, Capulet swiftly changes not only his mind (Juliet and Paris will marry in three days), but his attitude is altered as well. He demands that Juliet marry Paris, and when she resists (she's already secretly married to Romeo), Capulet threatens to drag her to the church or to throw her out into the street and disown her. Her mother is at first amazed with her husband. Capulet says:

Mistress minion you,
Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds, (155)
But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next
To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!
You tallow-face! (III.v.154-160)

At first, Lady Capulet asks her husband if he is crazy, saying he is too "hot under the collar;" she supports Juliet's cause, saying...

Fie, fie! what, are you mad?...

You are too hot.

Juliet begs with her father. The Nurse tries to speak up but Capulet tells her to be quiet.

Capulet is furious; he has found a good match for Juliet, but she refuses. He says he does not care: if she will not comply, he will throw her out and disown her...

But, an you will not wed, I'll pardon you.
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me.
Look to't, think on't; I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend; (200)
An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good. (III.v.196-203)

Capulet leaves, and Juliet laments her situation. Suddenly, Lady Capulet also rejects Juliet saying she's had enough of her child:

Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word.
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. (III.v.211-212)

Also, there is some love and hate going on when Juliet discovers that Romeo has killed Tybalt. She is torn between the two, at first blaming Romeo—until she realizes that her allegiance belongs to her husband.

My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain; (110)
And Tybalt's dead, that would have slain my husband.
All this is comfort; wherefore weep I then?
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death,
That murdered me...
‘Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banished.’
...that one word ‘banished,’
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt's death
Was woe enough, if it had ended there... (III.ii.110-120)

Juliet realizes how much she loves Romeo. His banishment is like a death sentence.


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