Different Types of Love in Romeo and Juliet

2 February 2017

The theme of love is predominant throughout the entirety of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Many forms of love are incorporated throughout the play and displayed through the relationships of different characters. Romantic love between Romeo and Juliet is contrasted by a sensual perception of love in the play, while themes of familial love and friendship are discussed with regards to the superficial and unrequited love Romeo experienced with Rosaline. The theme of superficial love is firstly discussed through Romeo’s unreciprocated affections for Rosaline.After being approached by Benvolio to find out the cause of his grievances, Romeo reveals that ‘(he does) love a woman’ but ‘she will not stay the siege of loving terms’ and reciprocate his feelings for her. ‘With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew’, Romeo mopes over Rosaline’s decline of his romantic advances towards her for she ‘hath forsworn to love’.

He only emphasizes on her physical attractiveness through the repetition of the word ‘beauty’ but does not delve further to appreciate Rosaline as a person.Romeo harbours a superficial infatuation for Rosaline because ‘she is rich in beauty’ and thus fancies only her physical appearances, but is insincere in getting to know Rosaline despite proclaiming his ‘love’ for her. Another superficial implication of love lies in Lady Capulet’s disposition of love through appearance and as a materialistic property. In convincing Juliet to marry Paris, she speaks favourably of ‘young Paris’ face’ and finds ‘delight writ there with beauty’s pen’.She wishes for Juliet to marry Paris solely for his looks since her believe of love reaps from appearance and is without regards to emotion. When speaking to Juliet about ‘(liking) of Paris’ love’, she declares that ‘by having him’, Juliet ‘shall share all that he doth possess’ and derive possession from marriage. Lady Capulet implies that marriage will secure material possession and benefits for Juliet, like ‘that in gold clasps locks in the golden story’.

Different Types of Love in Romeo and Juliet Essay Example

She emphasizes on the materialistic wealth marriage will bring but gives little thought about other aspects of love in marriage.Lady Capulet equates love to physical appearances and harbours a superficial idea of love since she only expects to reap materialistic assertion through marriage. Yet another type of love represented in the play is the strong bonds of friendship between Benvolio and Mercutio with Romeo. Benvolio was the first to find out the cause of Romeo’s sadness and urged Romeo to ‘forget to think of (Rosaline)’ and to ‘examine other beauties’ in order for Romeo to recover from his emotional despair. At Romeo’s refusal to forget about Rosaline, Benvolio commits that ‘(he’ll) pay that doctrine, or else die in debt’.He genuinely cares about Romeo’s well-being and is sincere about helping him, even if it means sacrificing his life in the process. In Romeo’s time of melancholy, Benvolio offered advice to Romeo in an attempt to distract him from his infatuation with Rosaline.

He makes a painstaking and devoted effort of convincing Romeo to think otherwise of Rosaline’s beauty and is determined to ‘make (Romeo) think thy swan a crow’. He goes as far as endeavouring to change Romeo’s beliefs in rendering his help because he feels that it is the best way to help Romeo.Benvolio has a pragmatic and heartfelt intention in offering his help and support to Romeo and willingly makes sacrifices for him as a thoughtful friend. The love and support bridged in Romeo and Benvolio’s friendship proves itself in Romeo’s sadness through the unbridled support Benvolio offers him. Another instance of friendship in the play lies between Romeo and Mercutio. Unlike Benvolio that tries to console Romeo into forgetting about Rosaline, Mercutio adopts his humorous and practical approach towards love to make Romeo feel better.He is frustrated at Romeo’s depression and scorns Romeo’s mannerisms, advising Romeo to ‘prick love for pricking’ and ‘beat love down’.

Mercutio tries to make Romeo forget about Rosaline and regain his enthusiasm for love by encouraging and reminding Romeo to become the more powerful force of love. He attempts to make Romeo feel better by calling for Romeo in a joking manner, ‘Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover! ’, to lighten the spirit and remove Romeo’s depression through his puns. His display of care and friendship is further expressed when he says ‘my invocation is fair and honest, in his mistress’ name’.As a friend, Mercutio shows his concern for Romeo and disapproves of Romeo’s pursuit or Juliet because of the trouble it will bring Romeo’s family. Despite being bitingly cynical, Mercutio bears Romeo’s well-being in mind in his attempts to comfort Romeo. Both Benvolio and Mercutio try to help Romeo forget about Rosaline and render their support in Romeo’s time of unhappiness. The friendly concern and support between Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio establishes a clear affirmation of friendship as a type of love in the play.

The most evident type of love in Romeo and Juliet is the romantic relationship between the 2 protagonists. An intense passion sprung at Romeo’s first sight of Juliet and he was taken-aback by her beauty, claiming Juliet’s ‘beauty too rich to use, for Earth too dear’. The repetition of ‘too’ emphasizes on Romeo being overwhelmed by Juliet’s beauty and is only capable of noticing her, for her beauty is ‘as a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear’. With romantic love, nothing is more beautiful to Romeo than Juliet.He falls for Juliet instantly and humbles himself before her ‘with (his) unworthiest hand’. In the romantic love between Romeo and Juliet, they both idolize one another by referring to each other with a religious vocabulary. To Romeo, Juliet is a ‘holy shrine’ and ‘dear saint’, while Romeo is the ‘god’ of Juliet’s ‘idolatry’.

Love is likened to religion and it is of their nature and instinct to devoutly sentimentalize each other to be greater than themselves. Romeo feels that it is only natural like ‘it is the east and Juliet is the sun’.Juliet laments, ‘wherefore art thou Romeo’ and threatens to ‘no longer be a Capulet’ in a profession of her love and sacrifice for Romeo. She chastise that their family name ‘is nor hand nor foot nor arm nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man’. Romeo and Juliet’s romantic love for each other goes beyond name and reputation and their true love transcends societal branding. Juliet views that true love should not be anchored by their family’s feuds and is driven to defy the entire social world in pursuit if Romeo. With love’s light wings’, Romeo climbed the high orchard walls ‘for stony limits cannot hold love out’, suggesting a metaphorical implication that true love is stronger and more powerful than physical obstructions and triumphs all odds.

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