As we all know, Romeo and Juliet is the famous tragedy written by William Shakespeare who is a well-known playwright. It is said that this tragedy has been adapted from an Italian tale. The story has happened in Verona in Italy. The basic plot is so familiar to the public that almost everybody even a child can vividly tell the story without the slightest effort. The two local families, that is Montague and Capulet have been feuding with each other for generations. However, Romeo, the only of the Montague falls in love with Juliet, the daughter of the Capulet at first sight. The love is so strong that they have married secretly without their parents’ permission.
But pleasant hours fly fast. Romeo has been exiled by the Prince for the revenge for the death of his friend on impulse. At last, these two young lovers have chosen death in order to get a perfect love: one drinking the poison, the other thrusting at the heart with a knife. Fortunately the two families have a congenial handshake. Romeo and Juliet can be buried together. The lovers who risk their lives to love, the dialogues written in flowery language and the soul-stirring plot make Romeo and Juliet become the most popular masterpiece of Shakespeare. In addition, there are several different and complicated types of love among several characters coexisted in the tragedy, mainly can be classified as five kinds which will be analyzed in the following text.
The first kind of love is between Romeo and Roseline. This can be called unrequited love which means love is not returned by the person that you love. At the beginning of the tragedy, Romeo is so restless and disquieted that he has stay at home for a long time. He looks very worried and sighs like a furnace. Because Roseline whom he loves does not respond to his love at all. For example, “Out of her favour, where I am in love” (Act1, Scene 1).Therefore Romeo does not like this feeling just like the text says, “This love feel I, that feel no love in this” (Act1, Scene 1). He is only overcome with grief in his heart. Because Roseline is beautiful and bright as if she has Dian’s wit, she swears to remain virgin until her death. She has to refuse Romeo’s love for sticking to her oath. Although her decision makes Romeo sad and upset, this episode sets off the meeting of Romeo and Juliet. In short, the love of Romeo to Roseline is one-sided and wishful thinking. Therefore it cannot bear fruit.
The second kind of love is between Romeo and Juliet which is the main clue of the play. The love is romantic when they have first met at the ancient feast of Capulet’s. “Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (Act 1, Scene 5). When Romeo has seen Juliet for the first time, he declares that the former lover like Roseline is not true, but his love to Juliet is the real one. Romeo lives for the love of a woman, and Juliet is her name. The memory of other beautiful women has already faded from Romeo’s mind. Although Romeo comes from the Montague and Juliet from the Capulet, Romeo believes that their love will overcome the feud between the two families. The most crucial faith in Romeo’s mind is that love is more important than life itself just like the text says, “ my life is my foe’s debt” (Act1, Scene 5). Fortunately, this time, the love is mutual. When Juliet has seen Romeo for the first time, she is decided to marry him no matter who he is just like the text says, “Go ask his name: if he be married. My grave is like to be my wedding bed” (Act1, Scene 5). Although she gets to know Romeo is the son of the Montague, she never gives up her love to Romeo and never regrets her marriage with Romeo without the permission of her parents. The love between Romeo and Juliet is so strong that it leads to the choice of death when they realize they cannot live together, they would rather bury together.
The third kind of love is between Juliet and Paris. There is no love at all, only a forced marriage of the command of the parents. Paris is a young nobleman and kinsman to the Prince. He only wants to have a beautiful and suitable wife to bear children for him. Therefore he is too impatient to wait for Juliet reaching the age of fourteen just like the text says, “Younger than she are happy mothers made” (Act1, Scene 2). Even when Tybalt is dead, he has not console the relatives of the deceased such as Juliet. He makes an offer of marriage once again which shows he is a selfish man. Fortunately Juliet has not a good opinion of Paris just like the nurse says, “as lief see a toad, a very toad, as see him (Act2, Scene 4). More than that, when the nurse praises Paris, Juliet will be so angry that her face turns pale.
The fourth kind of love is between parents and children which is so-called family love. For example, Montague and Lady Montague are very careful to treat their son and consider what Romeo thinks. When Romeo is restless about the love to Roseline, his father says “We would as willingly give cure as know” (Act 1, Scene 1). He pays attention to Romeo’s self-esteem and cares for his son’s feelings and tries his best not to touch the sensitive string of Romeo’s heart. Therefore he asks for Romeo’s friends to find out what’s wrong with his son. His reaction to the abnormal behavior of Romeo fully manifests the parents’ love to their children and respects the privacy of their children.
The last kind of love is between the nurse and Juliet. It can be called spiritual love. The nurse not only brings up Juliet but also becomes the closest friend of Juliet. The nurse always thinks about Juliet’s happiness just like she says to Romeo “if you should deal double with her, truly it were an ill thing” (Act2, Scene 4). If she knows Romeo deceives Juliet with his sweet words, she will never forgive him. As the nurse of Juliet, she has devoted herself heart and soul to Juliet. When she thinks of the interesting things of Juliet when Juliet was a little baby, the nurse’s love comes through in overtones. The love from the nurse to Juliet is more profound than Juliet’s parents have.
To sum up, as the most significant play of Shakespeare, it offers not only a beautiful love story to the public, but also gives some insight and a role model to the lovers all over the world. However the readers should also pay attention to other types of love which have appeared in the play because they can help the readers understand the play much better. Moreover it displays a panorama that reveals the current customs of marriage and conditions of society. The most important lesson that the play teaches is love is more powerful than hate.