Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
How does Shakespeare present the themes of love and hate in Act 1 (focusing on Scene Five) of Romeo and Juliet?
The presentations of both love and hate reach their first climaxes in Act 1, in the meeting of Romeo and Juliet, and in the hatred that Romeo stirs in Tybalt during that meeting. The characters playing major roles in this scene, Romeo, Juliet and Tybalt, are each seen to experience both ends of the emotional spectrum, and the way Shakespeare orders events highlights this contrast, and also helps build dramatic irony.
Shakespeare's presentation of love and hate is defined in the Prologue, where the Chorus recites a sonnet that informs the
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The wait before scene five is also used to establish the personality of Juliet; her meekness toward her parents is made evident, as well as her relationship with the Nurse, in Scene Three of Act 1. Juliet's impending marriage to Paris is also introduced, and by examining the way it is discussed, we can deduce a lot about the attitudes toward love and marriage held by Juliet, Lady Capulet and the Nurse, and perhaps even Elizabethans in general. Juliet calls the marriage an “honour” before even meeting her prospective husband, showing that love was not considered important for marriage, and also giving her eventual (informal) elopement an element of self-sacrifice. The Nurse says “Women grow by men”, compounding this idea, and adding that increased status was more an incentive for marriage than love, which shows that Juliet's affair with Romeo would have been considered atypical and rather risqué by an Elizabethan audience. Today however, Juliet's actions would have been thought of as a liberation from the constraints of society, and therefore applauded.
Scene Five opens with dialogue between two servants rushing busily around the stage, a sequence that’s purpose is to break the static atmosphere left by the previous scene; dissipate the fraught passion left in the wake of Mercutio’s 'Queen Mab'