Literature Review: Romeo and Juliet
As its most central concept, the whole of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet revolved on the topic of love. However, despite the overexposure of the topic of love that often leads to numerous authors and poets to provide love a shaky and shallow framework, Shakespeare managed to provide a fertile ground on Romeo and Juliet in discussing and tackling love. This can be attributed for the sole reason that Shakespeare had provided a wide and almost all encompassing discussion of love. It can be said that the whole of Romeo and Juliet is a discourse of discovery of what love is. In the story, William Shakespeare had provided us numerous way of viewing love. In the story, the nurse, together with Mercutio had discussed love in one of its most earthly and physical form. Rosaline and Romeo’s affair can be regarded as young and juvenile form of love. For Paris and Juliet, the love or the relationship that they share is purely contractual wherein one is obliged to ‘love’ the other for other ends. As commonly said, they are marrying not the person but rather the title and the wealth. Lastly, Romeo and Juliet had brought to show a love that is superior and beyond the kind of love by the other characters. Romeo and Juliet’s love is both spiritual and romantic. Their love transcends on the juvenility, passion and malice of love itself and move towards the higher or the highest form of love.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet can be compared to Plato with the latter’s discussion of love in his dialogue Symposium. Though presented in a not so straight forward way in categorizing love itself, Shakespeare had provided us an almost the same way of discourse that Plato provided us in his Symposium. The whole of Plato’s Symposium was dedicated in the discovery of the real meaning of love and its different kinds and classifications. It was presented in an almost straight forward manner openly discussing the different kinds of love. As stated earlier, Shakespeare also provided almost the same way of discourse in tackling and discussing love. However, Shakespeare had used an entirely new framework which is somehow obscure and hidden in his discussion of love. He used a full pledge story or novel with characters founded in a great deal of emotions and depth that are engaged in numerous forms of love that we stated above. As we understand and analyze the actions of such characters, we can understand that Shakespeare and Plato (i.e. Symposium) both dedicated a part of their intellect and creativity in unraveling the mysteries of love.
Aside from love, the whole of Romeo and Juliet is characterized by the duality. In many aspects, Shakespeare had provided us the dual nature of things. The feud between the families is the most basic of these dualities. In fact, this particular duality had posed the greatest influence in the whole story. Other duality that Shakespeare had provided us involves love and death. As the couple died, does their love end and fade or it just manifested in its highest form? Is love exclusive to living or we can bring the wonders of love even in our grave?
William Shakespeare in his one of greatest work had tried to solve one of the greatest mysteries of mankind. The topic of love is one of the most controversial and most difficult discourses to be engaged. He provided us a good view on how to view love itself with its numerous forms. An ordinary and mediocre novelist or poet will just choose a particular kind and form of love and discuss it all throughout his work. Only the most advanced artists and intellectuals can provide us the same degree of discussion the Shakespeare Plato did. This is the reason why William Shakespeare is a classic and most widely known with this novel work on the discourse of love, Romeo and Juliet.
Bateman, John. The Dramatic Works of Shakespeare. Part VII Romeo and Juliet. J. Pattie, Brydges Street. Covent Garden. 1839. Print.
Johnson, Bill. The Power of Passion of Love and Hate: A Review of Romeo and Juliet. The Story is a Promise. Web. Accessed 14 July 2010.
Novel Guide. Novel Analysis.: Romeo and Juliet. Novel Guide. Web. Accessed 14 July 2010.