What link does the symbol of fire have to a unifying thread running through Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Shakespeare uses the recurring symbol of fire in Romeo and Juliet in several different contexts but always with respect to intense emotions. Fire symbolizes the intense emotions of love and hatred and helps to illustrate the both of these themes. In addition, the symbol of fire serves to illustrate just how unstable intense emotions are and just how much damage they can cause.

One of the first places we see the symbol fire is in Prince Escalus's first speech in the very first scene. Here, he relates the raging emotions the Capulets and Montagues feel for each other to fire, as we see in his lines:

What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins! (I.i.79-81)

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(The entire section contains 389 words.)

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