How to Write a Remarkable Romeo and Juliet Essay
“Romeo and Juliet” is William Shakespeare’s masterpiece recognized and revered around the globe. Even if you have not read this tragic romance play, you know the story of the ill-fated young lovers pretty well. This story is about ardent infatuation, desperation and frenzy of adolescence, horrible human feud, desire and obligation, impulsive life-changing deeds, and, subsequently violence, death, and reconciliation. Romeo and Juliet essay is a common task for Liberal Arts students and particularly those who aim to get a degree in English Literature.
Not everyone knows, however, that the storyline itself stems from an old Italian folk tale, which was first translated by Arthur Brooke in poetic form. Another writer, William Painter, created a collection of tales called “The Palace of Pleasure”, where the theme of Romeo and Juliet appeared in prose. It is likely that William Shakespeare was inspired by both works and published his play about 30 years later in 1597. Yet, it cannot be said that the "Bard of Avon" plagiarized the mentioned works. He adapted the plots loosely, having added a range of original characters and endowed his play with special tragic-romantic flavor. The virtuosity of Shakespeare’s adaptation made his work accepted and admired on a global scale. This outstanding masterpiece has been further transformed into other forms of art. Besides being performed at its authentic realm – theatre, a variety of musicals and opera performances about the two famous lovers have not ceased to emerge to this day. Of course, there are several cinematic adaptations, including more traditional versions as well as alternative movies, such as a crime tragedy “Romeo + Juliet” by Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
If to briefly describe a classical plot, then we can easily remember the two central characters, Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague. When they meet for the first time, they do not realize that they belong to powerful feuding families. Thus, they fall in love, not knowing that an age-long vendetta is between them. After they find out about it, their feelings remain mutual and they decide to get married secretly against all odds. Of course, not everything goes according to the plan, especially when you start experimenting with portions, which make you look dead as a stone (even if, in fact, you have just turned into a temporary Sleeping Beauty with the help of Friar’s draught). The worst thing is that the plague affected Verona, and a life-saving message could not reach Romeo. It was supposed to reveal the truth that Juliet was actually alive. Fate was not kind to young lovers. They eventually died because of the reckless hurry and snap judgment. The main tragedy is that trying to escape from their squabbling relatives, they could not escape their own death. Yet, their deeds turned into the ultimate sacrifice, which put an end to the deep-rooted rivalry between the Montague and Capulet families.
Central themes of “Romeo and Juliet”
If your assignment is to write an essay on Romeo and Juliet, then you should delve into its key themes to collect some primary food for thought:
- Impetuosity. Although you can never predict how quickly young hearts can be infatuated with each other, it is essential to remain sane. The two young heroes fell in love and decided to get married too quickly. They never took some time to ponder on realistic consequences.
- Rivalry and Vendetta. It was typical of noble families of that era to be rivals and even enemies. If the Montague and Capulet families were not blinded by rivalry, they could have avoided not only the bloodshed but also the deaths of their children.
- Careless Infatuation. The protagonists fell in love as strangers. Their infatuation was based on mere appearance. The scenario could have been different if they knew about their feuding families right from the start.
- Sacrifice. The desire to be together was so strong that they could not estimate the scope of the sacrifice they were going to make. They were ready to be banished by their families, but they gave away their lives instead.
- Supernatural Allusions. Particular visions and premonitions warn the lovers against their subsequent actions. At the same time, those are the mystic elements of inevitable fate.
- Destiny. Despite those dreams and transcendental warnings, a reader often gets the feeling that their acquaintance is nothing else than destiny. It was their fate to meet, fall in love, and die to unite their families with such a horrific sacrifice.
- Predicaments and choices. The main predicament Juliet is faced with is being in love with Romeo while being forced to marry Paris. She is scared to confess to her family about her infatuation with Montague’s son, so she decides to follow the most dangerous “escape route.”
Let us move to the themes of Romeo and Juliet essay that you can use for similar literary projects.
Romeo and Juliet Essay Topics, Which Remain Relevant
If you cannot choose essay topics for Romeo and Juliet on your own, then you can make use of our suggestions. Our experts have completed papers on this topic numerous times. Having scrutinized the most typical themes, we prepared thought-provoking alternatives. We are sure that our topics will lead you through an in-depth and fascinating investigation of the admired classic.
- Why should we blame only these two lovers for the ensuing tragedy? Investigation of characters who are responsible for the death of young lovers.
- The dangerous side of spontaneous infatuation. Compare and contrast essay aimed to disclose the differences between genuine love and obsession.
- The self-centeredness of love. The effects of decisions and actions of Romeo and Juliet on such characters as Tybalt, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.
- Comparing the themes of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” and comedy “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
- Romeo and Juliet sacrifice: was it all contrived?
- Romanticism versus skepticism: proving that the relationship between the two young lovers does not embody true love.
- Imaginative essay. The scenario in reverse: What could happen if both heroes stayed alive.
- Delving into the turbulent history: Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in light of the 16-century conventions.
- Making “Romeo and Juliet” modern. Rewrite the story, thinking of young lovers as today’s teenagers.
- Elucidation of irony in Shakespeare’s famous play “Romeo and Juliet”.
- Drawing parallels between young characters of discrepant works: “Romeo and Juliet”, “Oliver Twist”, and “The Doll’s House”.
- How do Shakespearean eloquence and vocabulary choices influence the reader’s perception of the tragic play “Romeo and Juliet”?
- Revealing similarities between Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice”.
- The hastiness of dying. Romeo and Juliet preferred death to life unreasonably.
- Reasons behind the all-embracing popularity of “Romeo and Juliet”.
- The analysis of female roles in “Romeo and Juliet”: decisions and emotions, which guide the fatal course.
- Parental substitutes in “Romeo and Juliet”, which lead to fatal choices.
- The grim tricks of timing. Possible scenarios if time was on the lover’s side.
- The underestimated role of Mercutio. Revealing a sly technique to kill a strong character prematurely.
Amazing Romeo and Juliet Essay Examples You Can Get
Romeo and Juliet is known to be the most powerful and acclaimed tragedy written by famous English writer William Shakespeare. Moreover, the love story of the main play’s characters – Romeo and Juliet – is amazing, but at the same time, it is alarming because of their feuding families, whose hostility eventually leads to the death of lovers. Nevertheless, since the strong feelings of the two youngsters overcame the hate of their families and faced death, their true love would always exist there. Forbidden love is recognized to be one of the most important themes within Shakespeare’s play. In Romeo and Juliet, love has different guises, but it remains to be a violent, furious, obsessive, and irresistible force that replaces other all other values and emotions. Shakespeare’s treatment of love in the tragedy is multifaceted – the playwright uses various ideas of love to link together major relationships in the play. For instance, Romeo’s fickle love for Rosaline contrasts his romantic love towards Juliet. Moreover, Romeo treats his friends Mercutio and Benvolio with platonic love. As for Juliet, she shares romantic love with Romeo as well as platonic love to her Nurse. Therefore, William Shakespeare expressed fickle, romantic, and platonic ideas of love through Romeo and Juliet in cognominal tragedy.
Romeo’s immature infatuation of Rosaline at the beginning of the play can be determined as an idea of fickle love. The feelings of a young man are shallow and they have no such depth as, for example, Romeo’s treatment of Juliet. Furthermore, Rosaline does not reciprocate Romeo’s feelings to her and thus she does not share his angguish after their separation, “Out of her favour, where I am in love” Therefore, a little later in the play, Romeo grieves for Rosaline and shares his emotions with his friend Benvolio – the youngster talks about girl’s perfection and that he cannot snatch her from his heart, “She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow/Do I live dead that live to tell it now.” Thus, such relationship represents Shakespeare’s idea of fickle love that he has expressed through Romeo feelings to Rosaline. Romeo believes that his love to a girl is true and deep, but actually it is just a fad. Romeo has experienced unrequited love towards Rosaline and thus becomes gloomy and depressed. Benvolio attempts to calm his friend and advises him to penetrate Capulet’s ball where he will be able to see much more beautiful women than Rosaline. Romeo agrees to go there only because of his only love, “I’ll go along, no such sight to be shown, But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.” In addition to this, Romeo is blinded by his feelings and cannot think of anyone except Rosaline.
Therefore, Romeo’s romantic love towards Juliet is in sharp contrast to his fickle love towards Rosaline. The feelings between Romeo and Juliet are true and deep, while with Rosaline, the young man emphasizes only on her appearance and physical attractiveness. Moreover, Romeo does not try to see the inner world of Rosaline and appreciate her as a person. Romeo’s love to Rosaline is superficial because he notices first of all her beauty and thus he is in love with her appearance, but he does not know her personality. The young hero is insincere with himself – he believes that he is in love with Rosaline, but actually he refuses to penetrate further and see more than attractive appearance. In addition to this, Romeo is not really in love – he just likes the idea of being in love. Thus, Rosaline’s beauty has striked Romeo through the eyes, and made him fall in love. Romeo’s fickle love and fleeting passion bring him only sufferings.
In comparison with feelings between Romeo and Rosaline, romantic love between Romeo and Juliet differs by its sincerity and deepness of treatment and values. At the Capulet feast, Romeo sees Juliet and falls immediately in love with her. The young hero instantly forgets about Rosaline and his feelings to her. Moreover, Romeo admits that neither true beauty nor love has been seen by him until the meeting with Juliet, "Did my heart love 'til now? Forswear it, sight / for I ne’er saw true beauty 'til this night”. Therefore, romantic feeling to Juliet helped Romeo distinguish between the love he felt for Rosaline and the love he was captured from the first side by seeing Juliet. The powerful nature of love captivated the hearts of both young people by its passion and magic, “Alike bewitched by the charm of looks”. Therefore, the love Romeo shares with Juliet is more deeper and unique than fickle love the youngster felt for Rosaline. Furthermore, Romeo gradually moves from his superficial idea of love to more serious comprehension of this strong feeling. Romeo’s romantic love inspires him to begin to develop his language of love and make it the most beautiful and charming poetry. Love to Juliet compels Romeo to do different dangerous things: the young man sneaks into the garden of his family’s enemy risking his life only to see his beautiful lover. The idea of romantic love Romeo shared with Juliet is extremely strong, and hearing of Juliet’s death forces him to suicide because he cannot imagine his life without his lover.
Juliet, as well as Romeo, expresses the idea of the romantic love – the young girl also shares the feelings of Romeo and meets him in return. Despite being deeply in love with Romeo, Juliet can assess realistically rash decisions of her lover and his tendency to romanticize everything. Nevertheless, Juliet’s guiding priorities are love and devotion for Romeo as it can be seen in the scene of Romeo killing of Tybalt where the girl makes an important decision for her. Juliet describes her strong but at the same time complicated feeling of romantic love for Romeo, “But my true love is grown to such excess / I cannot sum up some of half my wealth”.
The young girl is so in love with Romeo that she is ready to reject her name and no longer be a Capulet:
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
Thus, Juliet’s willingness to renounce her own family depicts the powert of her love for Romeo. Juliet female character personifies confidence and braveness of young woman – when she finds out Romeo dead, she as well as her lover, refuses to live and kills herself with a dagger. Therefore, such sacrifice of two lovers witnesses about incredible dedication to each other and the depth of feelings.
In addition to this, Shakespeare expressed the idea of platonic love through the relationship between Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio, as well as sincere feelings between Juliet and her Nurse. Despite different views on things, Romeo is equally close with his friends Mercutio and Benvolio, who is also Romeo’s cousin. Each of these male heroes shows a close understanding; they care, respect, and protect each other’s honor. To some extent, this love can be compared with romantic love between Romeo and Juliet - two lovers risk their lives for each other as well as Mercutio dies protecting Romeo’s honour. Moreover, Mercutio supports Romeo when he has been down about Rosaline and worries about his life and warns him of marriage with Juliet because it will cause his friend many troubles due to the enmity between two families. Mercutio sees that Romeo is deeply in love and he express his anxiety, “Romeo! Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover!”. Benvolio is also a good friend of Romeo, who treats him with platonic love. Benvolio is a true friend – even not knowing about his cousin love troubles with Rosaline, he still cares about Romeo and makes an effort to help him.
It should be noted that, Juliet and the Nurse experience platonic love to each other. The Nurse is a very loving lady who protects Juliet and treat her with kindness and care. Moreover, the Nurse is so filled with maternal love to Juliet that this young daughter of Capulet has become a substitute for her own daughter. In addition, the Nurse wants to protect Juliet and support her happiness like Mercutio and Benvolio make attempts to care and protect Romeo. Therefore, the Nurse supports secret meetings of Romeo and Juliet and their wedding, which is very meaningful to Juliet while the whole family is against her. Juliet and the Nurse can be regarded as the best friends – they are sensitive to each other, caring, and trustful. Thus, Juliet treats the Nurse with platonic love that is very similar to a romantic one because it is also powerful, sacrificial, and tender.
To conclude, William Shakespeare expressed fickle, romantic, and platonic ideas of love through his prominent characters Romeo and Juliet. Romeo’s fickle love to Rosaline is far from his true romantic feelings and emotions he experiences towards Juliet. Only in comparison between these two feelings, Romeo reaches the point that he knows nothing about true love until meeting with Juliet. In addition to this, the idea of platonic love is expressed through relationship between Juliet and the Nurse as well as through relationship between Romeo and his friends Mercutio and Benvolio, who can go to sacrifice for each other.
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