True Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

1575 Words 7 Pages
Written in the Stars
Love, especially desperate, intense love, is a popular theme for many pieces of literature over the years. Because of love’s powerful and ubiquitous nature, many easily relate to it, which is perhaps a strong reason for its popularity as a theme in literature. But as many also know, love does not always work out perfectly. Two very famous stories, that of Pyramus and Thisbe, recounted by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, and also Romeo and Juliet, written by the great William Shakespeare. There is little doubt Shakespeare used the story of Pyramus and Thisbe as inspiration for Romeo and Juliet, and thus they have many similarities. Both stories share very similar plots with similar archetypal young lovers as characters.
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They both end up attending the same feast to compare their potential lovers to the rest of the available suitors in the city. When Romeo notices Juliet from a distance at the feast, he remarks:
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. . . .
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night. (2.2.2-24)
Romeo feels instantly attached to Juliet and when they end up first speaking, they share a passionate kiss without knowing each other’s name. This is very different from Pyramus and Thisbe in that we know exactly how the couple comes to fall in love. Both of these stories share the aspect of close spatial proximity when the couples fall in love, but Pyramus and Thisbe differs in that the formation of this passionate love took time whereas in Romeo and Juliet, it was nearly instantaneous. Partially due to the differences in the timeline of the formation of love in the two stories, there also exists a disparity in the length of time the lovers take to physically be with each other. In Romeo and Juliet, the lovers kiss very soon after meeting, completely unaware of whom each other are. Pyramus and

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