‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare is a romance tragedy play that displays the theme love. However, hate and fate are other themes that are also revealed throughout the play through various Shakespearean and film techniques. Love is one of the main ideas in the play. The play revolves around the romantic and mutual love between the protagonists; Romeo Montague and Juliet Capsule. This love is displayed in Act 1, Scene 4 where Romeo meets Juliet at the Capsule feast. A sonnet is used to show that what they re talking about is associated with love.
Shakespearean use of this technique highlights that the love between them is real and that they are compatible with each other because they are completely in sync as they speak. A sonnet is also used in the prologue at the beginning to indicate that the play is about love. The use of sonnets has certainly proved that one of the key themes in Romeo and Juliet is love. Infatuation is one of the many types of love explored in the play. To show Romeos unrequited love for Rosalie, Shakespeare uses oxymoron like ‘…
O brawling love, O loving hate’ and Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health’. By using two contradictory words beside each other, it gives a sense of confusion. Thus showing that Romeo is experiencing mixed feelings and his feelings for Rosalie is confusing and complicated. Romeos love towards Rosalie confirms that romantic love is not the only type of love in the play. Another key theme in Romeo and Juliet is hate. In the first scene, Sampson, a servant of the Capsule, starts a brawl with the servants of the Montague by biting his thumb.
The gesture of biting the thumb at someone else at the time was noninsured an insult. By using the idea of servants from the Capsule and Montague insulting and fighting with each other, the audience can tell just how deeply the hatred runs through each household, since not only the head of the family hate each other, but also the servants working for them. In that same scene in Ziegfeld’s version of Romeo and Juliet, the Capsules are seen wearing red and yellow while the Montages are seen wearing much darker colors.
By using the contrasting colors, each family group are easily distinguished. Hence, due to the lack of respect the two household have for each other and the obvious difference in the color of their clothing, the audience can tell how deep the two household hate each other. Hate is also seen through the scene where Table fights Mercuric. The setting and lighting in this scene immediately darkens to indicate the change in atmosphere. The weather also worsens and the soundtrack becomes more intense when Romeo kills Table to focus on the seriousness of his actions.
The hate that Romeo holds towards Table when he kills Mercuric is strong enough for him o kill Gullet’s cousin out of anger, without releasing how much this action can affect his chances with Juliet. Weather and music mimicking the character’s emotions and actions throughout the play help emphasis the contrast between the themes love and hate. The theme fate and free will is also explored in the play Romeo and Juliet. Before the play begins, Shakespeare uses a prologue to set the setting of where the play is taken place.
The prologue not only tells the audience of the setting but also tells us the destiny of the two lovers before the actual story begun. Romeo and Juliet were flirts introduced as ‘a pair of star crossed lovers’. This phrase meant that the couple were destined to be together but their love was doomed. By revealing the ending of the play, it gives the effect that fate had already decided for them to be born from enemy households, for them to fall in love and for them to both take their life in the end. Shakespeare used ‘star crossed’ because stars symbolisms fate.
This is also shown when Romeo said “Then I defy you stars” when he finds out that Juliet had died, showing that Romeo is opposed to the destiny that has been decided for him and Juliet. Fate is seen throughout the films through camera angles. At the party, in Learner’s version, when Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capsule the camera moves further away from Romeo. This causes the effect to seem as if Juliet is getting further away from him, displaying that they are being pulled away from each other by fate. Along with this, the sound of the surrounding is tuned down and instead, focuses on the dramatic sound effects.
The change in Romeos call expression also implies that he just found out that the person he fell in love with is supposed to be his sworn enemy. The use of camera angles and other techniques in this scene help display the theme fate. Romeos words: “O’ here’s much to do with hate but more to do with love”, does describe the play in which the general theme is love, however, other themes are also evident through multiple Shakespearean and film techniques. As a result, the themes hate and fate are also seen along with love during Romeo and Juliet.