In what way did William Shakespeare use act 1 scene 5 to illustrate the theme of Romeo and Juliet?

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bmadnick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Though there are several themes in the play, the theme of love and hate is illustrated in Act I, Scene 5. Romeo and Juliet meet at the party, kiss, and fall in love before they ever know who the other one is. From this point forward, the love that Romeo and Juliet feel for each other is pitted against the hate between the feuding families. In this act and scene, Tybalt recognizes Romeo's voice and wants to confront him.Tybalt leaves Romeo alone only because Lord Capulet forces him to, but we know that Tybalt will eventually confront Romeo when he says his body is shaking from the hate he feels for Romeo and the Montagues. At the end of the scene, Romeo and Juliet discover that each is in love with a bitter enemy. The couple knows that this is going to be a huge problem since the two families have been fighting for so many years. This feud and the hate between the families will be the main obstacle to the love between Romeo and Juliet.

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janeyb eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One theme of Romeo and Juliet is love/hate, and act 1 scene V plays on that polarity. Romeo's love for Juliet is strong at first sight, and equally strong is Tybalt's immediate disgust at seeing Romeo at his families banquet. He storms out saying, "I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall,/ No seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall.” Juliet sums it up best when she says, "My only love sprung from my only hate! / Too early seen unknown, and known too late!” The duality theme of hate and love continues throughout the play.

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