What are the different types of love in Romeo and Juliet, and how does love change in different characters throughout the play?

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Romeo and Juliet begins with the love of revenge, if that's a love.  The Capulet and Montague servants and households cannot wait for their enemies to bait them toward violence.

When Romeo and Juliet meet, we have infatuation (puppy love) and love at first sight.  This is the destructive love which leads to their hasty marriage and deaths.  It is a passion-only love, and Romeo and Juliet forget consequences, responsibility, law, and common sense by expressing it.  Later, on their honeymoon night together, Romeo and Juliet consummate their love physically (eros).

Friar Lawrence wants to express brotherly love (philea) between the families.  This is why he marries the couple secretly, in hopes that their love will smooth over the love of revenge.

The Prince loves the law, and he tries to uphold it by threats of punishment, but it is to no avail.

Lord and Lady Capulet love obedience in their daughter.  They love throwing parties.  They love their high status in Verona.

The Nurse loves Juliet, and at first she wants to make her happy regardless of social propriety.  But she later sides with Lady Capulet in demanding Juliet marry Paris.  So, in the end, the Nurse loves the obedient daughter as well.

The play ends with love of peace, a reconciliation.  Lord Capulet erects a statue of pure gold to honor Lady Montague, and the two families bury their hate (love of revenge).


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