Romeo imagery and language. It is used to display

Romeo and Juliet”: True LoveRomeo and Juliet is known as one of the most romantic love stories in literary history, furthuring this point is the true love and sincerity between Romeo and Juliet which is justified by religious imagery and language, the overall theme of fate, along with solemn tone regarding love found in the text. Throughout the play, Shakespeare consistently makes use of religious imagery and language. It is used to display how their love is “holy” and “pure”, and does not allow for it to be dismissed. The first conversation between Romeo and Juliet consisted of a shared sonnet, which was laced with heavy use of religious vocabulary. In the text, Romeo metaphorically considered himself to be a pilgrim approaching Juliet’s hand, a holy shrine, which he was unworthy of. He uses both physical and religious language when first meeting his future lover: “If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: / My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (1.1.93-96) He wishes to erase himself of his sins, which can only be logically done through kissing Juliet. He describes his lips as “blushing pilgrims” to assure Juliet that his intentions are pure. He wants to get personal, but he still remains spiritual as well. The sonnet includes vocabulary regarding body parts such as the hands, lips, and palms, as well as religious vocabulary such as shrines, saints, and pilgrims. They were fulfilling their physical desires while simultaneously addressing their religious concerns. The conversation is made up of several Christian metaphors, and has very strong religious undertones associated with it. This is clearly done to imply that their love is sacred, and can only be expressed by using religious vocabulary. By associating their feelings with something as pure as religion, Shakespeare essentially strengthens their relationship and justifies the reader that they truly love one another. Fate also plays a very big role in Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. The prologue mentions that the couple are “star-cross’d lovers”, meaning that their deaths were bound to happen to matter what they did to thwart it. This allows for the reader to determine how fate plays a part in all of their actions/choices, while still knowing how the play ultimately ended. Since Shakespeare wrote the prologue, and the prologue refers to the couple as “lovers”, it essentially indicates that Romeo and Juliet loved one another. If Shakespeare claims that it is love, then it is love by all means; he wrote the play. In addition to this, the characters in the play consistently make use of astronomical imagery: “I fear too early, for my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars / Shall bitterly begin his fearful date / With this night’s revels, and expire the term Of a despisèd life closed in my breast / By some vile forfeit of untimely death./ But he that hath the steerage of my course, / Direct my sail. On, lusty gentlemen.” (1.4.107-114). Romeo mentions that he’s worried that he’s going too “fast” to the ball, which suggests a reason as to why their relationship was so pressed in the first place. Romeo even goes as far as saying that he feels as though something will happen leading to his future death, which he had predicted correctly. A destiny was written out for the couple in the stars, and there was nothing that they could do to stop anything from happening, therefore validating their love. Shakespeare also displays the sincerity of Romeo and Juliet’s feelings for eachother through the way that characters speak about love. Mercutio particularly talks about love with free verse, and is seen expressing the physical side of love as opposed to the emotional. This can be seen when Mercutio says: “And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit / As maids call medlars when they laugh alone.— / O Romeo, that she were! Oh, that she were / An open arse, and thou a poperin pear. / Romeo, good night. I’ll to my truckle bed. / This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep.— /Come, shall we go?” (2.1.31-41) He focuses more on the sexual part of love in a very vulgar manner, and doesn’t consider the emotional part whatsoever. Mercutio makes several bawdy jokes throughout the play, and very rarely talks about love endearingly. The way that Mercutio talks about love contrasts the way that Romeo and Juliet express their love for eachother. This is displayed when Juliet says: 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.” (2.2.33-36) Juliet is asking Romeo to give up his Montague identity in order to be with her, but if not, she’s ready to swear her love for him and strip herself of the Capulet status. This shows how much she’s willing to risk, and how she has no hesitation in putting her family’s reputation on the line in order to be with him. Just the fact that Juliet has no problem with dishonoring her family to be with her love is powerful enough, and conclusively validates their love for one another. Through religious imagery and language, the overall theme of fate, and the solemn tone regarded with love that is consistently used in the play, it is justified that Romeo and Juliet’s love for eachother was sincere,valid, and true.


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