“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. ” This quote by Alexander Pope sums up Shakespeare’s view of love in Romeo and Juliet. In the play, two young teenagers meet, fall in love, and decide to get married – all in one night. Of course, this rash decision ends in disaster. Throughout the course of the play, Shakespeare warns us of this tragic outcome. After the wedding, Juliet gets banished by her family and fakes her own death to get out of an arranged marriage. Romeo, thinking she is really dead kills himself. Juliet awakening, sees Romeo dead and really does kill herself.
In this way, Shakespeare demonstrates how love becomes complicated and disastrous when rushed. By doing so, he encourages the audience to take love at a reasonable and steady pace. Romeo displays how little control he has over his emotions towards Juliet when he rushes into marriage and says things about how he doesn’t care what happens so long as he can marry her. Romeo demonstrates recklessness and immaturity by rushing into love, not caring what follows. His passionate and emotional feelings towards Juliet cause him to be blind to the consequences that may occur by rushing the relationship.
Shakespeare portrays this when Romeo says to the friar, “Do thou but close our hands with holy words, then love devouring death do what he dare it is enough I may but call her mine. ” (II. vi. 6-8) In this passage, Shakespeare personifies death by saying death can do whatever it wants to Romeo after they get married. This puts an image in our minds of someone (death) killing Romeo. In other words, as long as Romeo can marry Juliet, he doesn’t care if he dies. Romeo continues to show uncontrolled passion and emotion in everything he does throughout the play.
We see an example of this when, fresh off a break-up, he says the following. “Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, to boist’rous, and it pricks like a thorn. ” (I. iv. 25-26) Shakespeare uses a simile to compare love to a rose. Like a rose, love is beautiful, but it has thorns and can cut, prick, and hurt. He enables the readers to understand how love can prick like a thorn. Of course, right after this, Romeo immediately falls in love with Juliet. This passage combined with later events demonstrates how Romeo’s emotions swing from one side to the other.
Romeo’s character in the play illustrates how uncontrolled emotions can lead to bigger consequences. Instead of letting his emotions rule him, he should slow down and have a more even view of love. Like Romeo, Juliet is not taking the time to think about what she is getting herself into. She should e getting to know Romeo better. She knows that it is wrong for a Capulet to marry a Montague and that she should be getting married to Paris. Similar to Romeo, she is thinking with her heart, not her head. We see this when Juliet tells Romeo, “Do not swear.
Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; Too much like the lightning, which doth cease to be ere one can say it lightens. ” (II. ii. 116-120) She admits it is too rash and that she is not even thinking about what she is doing. It is too unadvised; she has not consulted her family or the elders around her. It is also too sudden! They do not know each other. Shakespeare uses a simile to compare rash love to lightning. It happens in a flash and then it is over and gone. She is worrying that this will happen to their love.
She worries it will end as soon as it starts. Juliet wonders to herself if Romeo even loves her. She has no way to tell and it is constantly worrying her. Shakespeare implies this by having Juliet say, “Dost thou love me? I know thy wilt say ‘ay’; And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear’st, thou mayst prove false. ” (II. ii. 90-92) Shakespeare does not include any figurative language in this quote. Juliet just asks Romeo straight out, “Do you love me? ” Juliet says even though he will say he does, Romeo may turn out to be wrong – he could be mistaken or just plain lying, possibly to have sex with her.
Even so, Juliet believes him. He may be acting hotheaded, not thinking about what he is saying. He might not actually be in love, but just feels like he might be. Romeo might love her, but Juliet is unsure at the moment. Shakespeare uses Juliet to show how people should trust what they know is right to do, and not rush into love. At least, there are two ways that people can see this. For one, she knows better and realizes that rash love may end quickly. Secondly, she knows there has not been enough time to know if they are really in love.
Perhaps the character Shakespeare uses to most directly convey the idea that rushed love is a bad idea is Friar Lawrence. Romeo should have listened to the friar about taking love more seriously. It could have saved his life. On several occasions, Friar Lawrence hints to Romeo that he is moving too quickly. But Romeo chooses to ignore him. Romeo is a young teenager who has not had a lot of time to think about the things of life. Friar Lawrence is older and wiser. He has been around longer and seen it all come and go. Shakespeare gives us evidence for this in the following lines. Young men’s love then lies not truly in their hearts but in their eyes. ” (II. iii. 67-68) The Friar has seen many people in love and he knows how it goes! The friar uses a metaphor to describe where love is inside of young men. He knows young men do not think with their head and heart. They think with their eyes. He is saying Romeo is just infatuated with Juliet, not really in true love. Friar Lawrence is even more direct and dramatic in his next warning to Romeo. “These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which as they kiss, consume.
The sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousness and in the taste confounds the appetite. Therefore love moderately: long love doth so; to swift arrives as tardy as too slow. ” (II. vi. 9-15) Shakespeare uses a metaphor and simile in this quote. The metaphor being “violent delights” to refer to sudden passionate love, and the simile being calling such love “like fire and powder. ” The more dramatic the start of love, the more dramatic its end. Gun powder makes a big flashy bang, but in the end the powder is consumed. His advice is to love slowly, take it easy.
He explains that rash love is bad, that it could end up bad. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, it certainly does. Shakespeare’s point in all of this is that after reading or seeing this play, people should learn from the mistakes of Romeo and Juliet. They should take love at a slower pace rather than rushing into it. Over and over again, Shakespeare tells us this love affair will end badly and in the end, it does. He encourages readers to learn from Romeo and Juliet’s mistakes to take love more seriously and keep from rushing into it.