Romeo and Juliet: so Much Love and Affection

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A debatable point about Friar Lawrence’s use of personification is that he believes that there is always good and bad, or different perspectives on the same topic. He says “The Earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb; What is her burying grave, that is her womb”. Here, Friar Lawrence personifies the Earth as “nature’s mother” and says that many wonderful things come from the Earth, but all the wonderful things will be destroyed or will die. He also says, “The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,/Check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light” . This personification of the morning and the night also shows how he believes that both good and bad perspectives are possible in the world.

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Friar Lawrence shows that he is helpful and moral. He says “In one respect I’ll thy assistant be,/For this alliance may so happy prove/To turn your households’ rancor to pure love” . He agrees to help Romeo and Juliet get married even when most people wouldn’t because of their enemy houses. He also says, “And art thou changed? Pronounce this sentence then:/Women may fall when there’s no strength in men”. Here, he shows concern for Romeo when he suddenly stops loving Rosaline and starts loving Juliet. He clearly tries to get Romeo to become stronger and more reliable for his own good.

One opinion that Mercutio expresses when he and Benvolio discuss the letter from Tybalt is that this is a dangerous situation for Romeo. He says, “Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead,/And is he a man to encounter Tybalt?”. Mercutio is clearly worried about what would happen if Romeo goes to fight against Tybalt. He also discusses Tybalt’s strength and skill, showing his concern for Romeo. One opinion that Benvolio expresses is that there is not much to worry about Romeo. He says, “Nay, he will answer the letter’s master, how/he dares, being dared”. He is confident that Romeo will answer Tybalt’s letter, and he doesn’t show as much concern as Mercutio does.

The change in Romeo’s behavior that prompts Mercutio to say “Now art thou Romeo” is that he used to always be sad about love, but now jokes around with him. Romeo solemnly asked “Is love a tender thing? It is too rough,/Too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn”. This caused Mercutio to talk about Queen Mab jokingly to counteract his sadness and his belief that dreams are real. Now, Romeo says that Mercutio is only good for joking around, he calls him a goose and counters Mercutio’s claim “Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting. It is a most sharp sauce” with “And is it not well served into a sweet goose”. Romeo shows that he is more witty and can joke around with Mercutio, causing him to say “Now art thou Romeo”.

In I.v., the Nurse shows loyalty to Juliet when she goes to ask for Romeo’s name even if he is from the enemy house. She returns and says, “His name is Romeo, and a Montague,/The only son of your great enemy”. She also shows loyalty to Juliet when she tells Romeo, “I nursed her daughter that you talked withal./I tell you, he that can lay hold of her/Shall have the chinks”. She clearly thinks highly of Juliet and keeps her image. One feeling Juliet experiences while she awaits the Nurse’s return in I.v. is infatuation. When she sends the Nurse to go ask for Romeo’s name, she says, “If he be marrièd,/My grave is like to be my wedding bed”. She is saying that if Romeo was married, she would rather die a “spinster”, so to speak, than be married to someone else. One feeling she expresses when the Nurse finally delivers Romeo’s message is dejectedness. She exclaims, “My only love sprung from my only hate!/Too early seen unknown, and known too late!/Prodigious birth of love it is to me/That I must love a loathèd enemy”. She is clearly upset that she had fallen in love with him before she knew that he was a Montague. It is interesting to me how Friar Lawrence describes Romeo and Juliet’s love before their marriage. He uses contradicting words, “violet” and “delight”, which I think accurately describe their relationship because of their enemy houses. He suggests that by marrying each other, they will have “violent ends” or cause many conflicts between their houses. I wonder why he decided to help them get married even if he knew that their love would lead to an inevitable doom.

Shakespeare probably decided to stage Romeo and Juliet’s wedding offstage because how they got married is not that important to the story, and the fact that they got married is enough. In, they clearly show that they are passionately in love, so a detailed scene of their wedding is not needed. Friar Lawrence says, “Come, come with me, and we will make short work,/For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone/Till Holy Church incorporate two in one”. This clearly suggests that Romeo and Juliet get married and that they can’t resist showing affection to each other whenever they are together. Because Romeo and Julietshow so much love and affection towards each other already, a wedding scene can seem redundant and unneeded in the play.  

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