Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and classical tragedy plays where two young lovers are destined to be together but their families bitter hatred towards one another forces them apart. They soon realise that one cannot live without the other and would rather be dead then live apart; so they end up committing suicide under tragic circumstances in which fate destroys them.
Shakespeare enhanced tragedy his play by the loss of Romeo and Juliet’s intense and passionate love affair. “O, speak again bright angel, for thou are as glorious to this night being over my head, as a winged messenger of heaven.” (Act II, scene 2) These are the words of Romeo as he stands outside of his beloved Juliet’s bedroom. Having fallen in love at first sight, Romeo and Juliet are attracted to each other greatly; she by Romeo’s words, and he by Juliet’s beauty. This romantic, but tragic story points out in many ways that this idea is realistic and holds true to this day.
Love being the most predominant theme of the play, has a part to play in the intensity of the tragic events. However, Shakespeare preferred to portray love in a different style in contrast to the dainty version of the prettied emotion, as he chose the route of a brutal, powerful emotion that captures individuals and catapults them against their world, and, at times, against themselves. Since, the love Romeo and Juliet share is blinding and the nature of it is empowering and almost violent in the sense that both people are prepared to overthrow all values, loyalties and emotion, even going further as deifying their own names as Juliet exclaims, “deny thy father and refuse thy name… and I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (Act II, Scene 2) Romeo on the other hand, abandons his friends, Mercutio and Benvelio, at the Capulet feast in order to go and meet Juliet (who he has just met after mourning over Rosaline) in the garden.
Shakespeare reveals his intensifying love by describing it as a form of religion from the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo describes his Juliet’s hands as being a “holy shrine” and she refers to him as a “pilgrim” and from there, there is a repletion of religious description to put forward the image of innocent love blossoming as they question the act of touching skin being a sin. Shakespeare’s use of these religious terms portray to the audience how important religion is in the Elizabethan times as religion was an important factor of a person’s life.
Shakespeare’s portrayal of the two families, Capulet’s and Montagues were brought to the audience at the very beginning where they hate and envy between the two houses were shown, “two households, both alike in dignity… from ancient grudge to new mutiny.” Although, Shakespeare doesn’t reveal what the source of the quarrel was but it had been going on for years now. Audiences may wonder why the Montagues and Capulets can’t move forward and forgive as blood is spilling in the streets and their children wind up in an awful situation.
The want for revenge leads many of the characters in Romeo and Juliet into murderous acts which eventually leads to severe punishments and a further need for revenge. The everlasting revenge in Romeo and Juliet is first born from ancient grudge between the Montagues and Capulets, which curiously was never fully explained in the play. This ancient grudge is the initial justification that accounts for the two family’s first dispute. This is ultimately settled with the tragic, abrupt unifying factor of both Romeo and Juliet’s death. Several instances within the interactions of the characters suggests that vengeance is the driving force of the plot, and that and that consequently must ultimately be an end to the feuding and recoil, due to the fact that there must be a resolution after the thrilling climax— insert quote(s) into this paragraph