The Portrayal of Romeo and Juliet's Relationship in the Play
In my opinion, the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is portrayed
in lots of different ways. It is portrayed as tragic, united, shows
signs of true and untrue love, and also shows signs that the couple
are a victim of fate.
In the prologue, we learn that the play will end in tragedy.
'The fearful passage of their death marked love'
This quote is a good summary of their relationship; they are in love
but this love leads to death at the end of the 'passage'. This is also
an example of dramatic irony; the audience knows what is on the way,
making the story even sadder for them.
This happens a lot throughout the play, and Shakespeare
does it purposely to show their similarities, and therefore, their
In Act 1, Scene 3, we earn that Juliet is expected and slightly
pressure into marrying Paris but she shows signs of true love for
Romeo when she proposes to him instead of following her parent's
'Deny thy father and refuse thy nameâ€¦'
In the era that the play was written it was normal for young girls to
be 'set-up' by her parents and arranged her to be wed to a man who is
wealthy / successful etc. Shakespeare portrays Juliet's love as being
strong by having her choose ahead of her father and also ahead of the
expectations of people in this era.
Despite this evidence of unity between the couple, Shakespeare also
throws in a lot of negative pieces to show that maybe they are not
meant for each other.
In the balcony scene, Juliet surprisingly mentions marriage before
'Thy propose marriage, send me word tomorrow'
This action is slightly unexpected because from the beginning we know
that Romeo is desperate for love, and Juliet has only just thought
about it. Juliet's parents have put marriage into her head and may
have confused her. She may be doing this to please them and eliminate
any chance of marrying Paris.
The two are very vulnerable to love for different reasons; Romeo
desperately wants a sexual and loving relationship and Juliet know
feels she has to get married to please her parents.
Right at the beginning, In Act 1 Scene 1, we see that Romeo is with
Rosaline. Interestingly, he doesn't mention her name at all throughout
the play and only speaks about of her unwillingness to have sex.
'With cupid's arrow, she dath Dian's wit'
This quote shows that Romeo wants a sexual relationship as well as a
loving one. He may have noticed Juliet's naivety and vulnerability and
tried to exploit it.
Rosaline's name is mentioned once only, by Benvolio, throughout the
whole play. During this conversation with Benvolio, Shakespeare uses
oxymoron to show Romeo's confusion about the situation and about love