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Romeo and Juliet Notes on the Love Themes

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Romeo and Juliet Topic Tracking: Love

Love 1: This is the first notion of love that is mentioned throughout the play. Romeo's love for Rosaline is quick, impulsive, and unfortunately, unrequited. She does not return the love he has for her, and is therefore forced to grieve over her. More importantly though, Romeo is not really in love with Rosaline. He is in love with the idea of being in love. This love is in sharp contrast to the love that Romeo will later feel for Juliet - true love.

Love 2: Mercutio makes fun of Romeo's sorrow over his love for Rosaline. He finds it humorous that Romeo is so sick in love with her. His love for her, says Mercutio, is based on a weak foundation, much like how dreams do not hold strong ground.

Love 3: Romeo sees Juliet at the Capulet feast and falls instantly in love with her. Rosaline is simply a long-lost memory at this point. Even Romeo admits that he never really saw what true beauty or love was until this night, that he beholds Juliet. It is at this point that Romeo himself realizes the difference in the love he thought he felt for Rosaline and the love he now feels for Juliet.

Love 4: Juliet, from her balcony, proclaims her love for Romeo, who is below in the Capulet orchard. She is so in love with Romeo that she tells him she is willing to denounce her name, and no longer be a Capulet. This notion of what Juliet is willing to do for love is brought to a head at the end of the play, when she performs the most dramatic act of love throughout the play by killing herself.

Love 5: Friar Laurence is shocked when Romeo comes to tell him of his new love for Juliet. He finds it funny that Romeo can love so impulsively, and forget about Rosaline so quickly, when all he used to do was speak of Rosaline. He says that men love with their eyes, and not what they should love with, their hearts. This deals directly with two different kinds of love being presented: obsessive, passionate love (the kind Romeo feels for Rosaline), and true love (what Romeo and Juliet feel for each other).

Love 6: While Juliet is waiting for Romeo to arrive at her bed chamber, she speaks about her love for him. She says that he will be the stars in the night sky, and that all of the world will be in love with night, if this is so. She also is impatiently waiting to consummate her new marriage with Romeo.

Love 7: Juliet meets with the friar to discuss the issue of having to marry Paris. Her love for Romeo is so strong that she would rather kill herself than have to marry Paris, and thus, betray Romeo and their marriage together. This notion of what Juliet is willing to do for love comes up again here, as it did before, when she said she would denounce her name as a Capulet. The threat that she will kill herself if she has to marry Paris is foreshadowing the actual death to come at the end of the play.

Love 8: The friar gives Juliet a sleeping potion that will make it look as if she is dead. She knows that this will be a difficult plan to carry out, but she looks to her love for Romeo to give her the strength to make it through.

Love 9: Romeo learns that Juliet is dead, and leaves for Verona immediately. He buys poison along the way, intending to kill himself when he gets to Juliet in the Capulet tomb. He would rather kill himself than have to live without Juliet, his wife. This notion of love and death also appears over and over again. Just like Romeo would rather kill himself than have to live without the love of Juliet, she too says the exact same thing earlier in the play.

Love 10: Romeo gets to the tomb and sees Juliet. He gives a brief speech about his love for her. He promises that he will remain beside her forever, even if it is in death. He drinks the poison, and dies. This is the ultimate act of love - killing oneself for love. Love and death are inseparable here. Throughout the play, there is a lot of talk about love and death, but it is here at the climax and end of the play that they finally come together.

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