Romeo and Juliet Thematic Essay
Romeo and Juliet, a romantic tragedy, written by William Shakespeare depict the tale of two young lovers whose intense passion for each other brought upon their lives, a world of turmoil and troubles. The sacrifices they make for each other threaten to overcome their boundaries for their love. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare utilizes the young lovers' sacrifices for love to illustrate that love is a powerful force that transcends boundaries.
While love transcends the boundaries, the long-standing Capulet and Montague feud is an evident limit that requires the young lovers to make sacrifices for their love
Juliet’s sacrifices for love shine a light on the idea that love is not one to have boundaries, such as the violent hatred of their families. Shakspeare demonstrates the idea that love has no limit when Romeo sacrifices his family name to prove his love to Juliet after the Capulet party. After the commotion at the Capulets’ party, Romeo mounts the wall of the Capulets’ orchard to see his new love, Juliet. When they talk on the balcony, Juliet asks Romeo to give up his family name for their newfound love. Juliet says to Romeo to “deny thy father and refuse thy name”(II.ii.34) to convince her that what they have together is true love. Juliet is asking Romeo to abandon his family name and ultimately his identity for love. If he abandoned his name then she would as well. Their family names remind them of the violent feud between the Montagues and Capulets; Juliet wants to assure herself that their love will not be influenced by their parent’s conflict. Romeo and Juliet have sacrificed the safety and security that their family names provide them, and they risk the inevitable wrath of their families in moving forward with this marriage. When Tybalt recognized Romeo at the Capulet party, Lord Capulet told Tybalt that he couldn’t fight because his family name holds a high presence in Verona. To give up her family and its name, that she has loved and known for years, for a man you met a few hours ago just exemplifies the intensity of love between Romeo and Juliet and how far they are willing to take their love. Furthermore, after Romeo is banished from Verona by Prince Escaulas after killing Tybalt, Juliet has a situation in which she risks her life for love. Turning to Friar Lawrence, Juliet drinks his potion to halt the upcoming marriage between Paris and her. She drinks with hope saying, “Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee”(IV.III.59) that her sacrifice wasn’t in vain. Juliet can’t be with her newlywed husband, Romeo, and couldn’t marry Count Paris, a respectable man, abiding by the wishes of her mother and father. Like she gave up her family name, Juliet loses the safety of her previous life by drinking the vial and she must sacrifice her comfort for love. By drinking the potion, Juliet will sleep as though she’s dead, awaiting her Romeo, and lying to her family and friends. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry and the two lovers pay the ultimate sacrifice for their love, their own lives. Juliet took the sacrifice of tricking her parents all to be with Romeo, which goes to show that they will do anything for love.
Romeos’ sacrifices indicate the passionate love that threatens to overwhelm him and overcome his bounds. After the commotion at the Capulet party, Romeo mounts the wall of the Capulet orchard to see his new love, Juliet. Juliet is worried about his health and what he’ll do for their love saying, “The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, / And the place death, considering who thou art, / If any of my kinsmen find thee here” (II.ii.66-69). By trespassing on the Capulet’s property, Romeo is risking his death if anyone from the Capulet household notices him there. The risk of being caught is ok with Romeo, as the only thing he wants is to see his one and only love, Juliet Capulet. He risks not only the wrath of his parents but also the forthcoming violence should he be caught on Capulet land. Romeo’s love for Juliet is passionate enough that he feels it’s worth it to risk his life. Moreover, following his untimely banishment from Verona, Romeo hides at Father Lawrence’s house terrified at the thought of losing Juliet. Love is worth the consequences that it brings tries to comfort him by saying that banishment is better than exile but Romeo is overcome with grief. Yelling at Father Lawrence saying, “Ha, banishment! Be merciful, say “death / For exile hath more terror in his look” (III.i.10-11). Living without Juliet is a penalty far worse than death and for Romeo, it is unbearable to overcome. In Romeo’s agitated state, the calming advice that Friar Lawrence offers to him is hard for him to process. He believes that without Juliet, life has no meaning or purpose. For Romeo, Juliet is worth dying for and without her, the consequences are as bad as his death. Their love travels beyond the grave and it is just as passionate as in real life. In the face of losing Juliet, Romeo chooses to sacrifice his life for their love, demonstrating how deep and far his love goes.
Romeo and Juliet’s sacrifices for love portray how love can’t have any feasible boundaries and that lovers will do anything in the name of love. Their love is so profound and everlasting that the only way to preserve their love is through death. Love is a force so powerful and violent that it overcomes all their limits.
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