What is Shakespeare's theme about young love in Romeo and Juliet?

It seems reasonable to argue that Shakespeare’s theme about young love emphasizes its transcendent qualities. It’s clear from the respectful way that Shakespeare treats the love between Romeo and Juliet that this isn’t just puppy love we’re dealing with here. This is a very powerful love that allows the two lovers to transcend the bitter feud between their respective families.

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In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare represents young love as something so intense and perfect that it cannot last long. The play takes place over the course of a few days, which contain the courtship, marriage, and deaths of the young lovers.

The perfection and intensity of Romeo and Juliet's love is represented by the sonnet formed by the first fourteen lines the couple speak to each other when they meet. This formal device shows how perfectly matched they are. Romeo clasps Juliet's hand and addresses her with the first quatrain of a sonnet. Instead of withdrawing in alarm, Juliet continues and improves upon the imagery in another quatrain. The contrast with the first stumbling banalities spoken to each other by lovers in real life could not be more marked.

Even as he shows his audience what perfect love would look like, Shakespeare emphasizes that it cannot last. In the prologue , we are told that Romeo and Juliet are going to die, and they only spend one night together before Romeo has to leave...

(The entire section contains 6 answers and 1057 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on July 6, 2020