One of the most popular stories in English literature is William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It is a sentimental tragedy that demonstrates the power of passion in human relationships (Gergi et al 2004).
Love as the Primary Theme
Despite the fact that the play has many themes, love is portrayed as the primary theme, uniting and influencing all other themes. In the novel, Romeo and Juliet struggle to sustain their hardships; however, their passion leads to tragedy, not just for them, but also for those around them. The death of Rome and Juliet at the end of the play was a tragedy that united their families, Capulet and Montague, which were engaged in feuds and hatred for a long time. Shakespeare used imagery, symbolism and dramatic effect to show how romantic love can be so intense and passionate that it may supersede all other values. In the story, love unites and makes people happy; yet it is violent and ecstatic. Indeed, love in the play overcomes all other forces such as emotions, hatred, violence, feud, and family expectations.
Love Overcomes Family Feud
Romeo and Juliet shows that love can overcome the force of family feud. The family of Juliet and Romeo, Capulet and Montague respectively, had a long feud that caused hatred between the two families. However, a strong love between the two teenagers overcame that hatred and strife (Tchaikovsky and Martelli 1994). The differences between the two families causes danger for the two lovers because their parents would not allow them to continue with their love. When it becomes impossible for Romeo and Juliet to get married due to the family feud, Juliet commits suicide, and Romeo joins her by also committing suicide. Romeo says, "Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight" (5.1.36). The two deaths finally convince the two families about the value of love, and they end their feud.
Love Overcomes Hate
Love also overcomes hate. Juliet was willing to be hated, as long as she remains in love with Romeo. She says, "But thankful even for hate that is meant love" (3.5.48). The hatred between Romeo's and Juliet's families did not stop the two lovers from loving each other (Barris 2016). Romeo defied all obstacles that hindered him from meeting his lover Juliet, and Juliet was willing to abandon her father's home to be with her true love. Juliet says, "Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet" (Shakespeare 2.2.34-36). In this regard, the hatred between the two families does not stop Juliet from being with each other; not even in death. Shakespeare also used symbols to show the strong love between Romeo and Juliet. Romeo says, "Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books" (Shakespeare 2.2.160). This statement means that people who love each other stick together no matter the situation.
Love Can Cause Violence and Destruction
Love is also capable of causing violence and destruction. Lovers in the play can do anything to maintain their lover. When Capulet asks Juliet to marry Paris and decides to organize a wedding for them, Juliet says, "If all else fail, myself have power to die" (3.5.242). This statement shows that Juliet is willing to die for his lover. Romeo also uses poison to kill himself when he notices that Juliet had died (Hutchison 2013). Love gives Romeo and Juliet the courage to face violence and exude the expectations of their families, even if it meant facing death. Romeo says, "Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so" (Shakespeare 3.5.24). In this regard, Romeo suggests that he can be willing to die for Juliet.
Love as the Most Powerful Force
Indeed, Shakespeare uses all manner of literary styles and forms of language to describe love as the most powerful force in human relations. In a society with strife between families and individuals, love remains strong and unites the people who are in love while driving them away from others. Romeo and Juliet had a strong and tragic romantic love that was not ended by various forces such as family feuds, restrains, violence and hatred. In the end, the lovers end in tragic deaths caused by love, but the tragedy ended feuds and hatred. Therefore, love is the most powerful force that overcomes all other forces.
Barris, Janine. Romeo and Juliet. Brilliance Audio. 2016.
Gergic, Nika, Sabina Halilovic, and Tatjana Koscic. The Theme of Love in Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice: Raziskovalna Naloga: Anglescki Jezik. Maribor: Prva gimnazija, 2004. Print.
Hutchison, Patricia. Romeo and Juliet. Costa Mesa, CA: Saddleback Publishing, 2013. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2009.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. 2017. Print.
Tchaikovsky, Peter I, and Carlo Martelli. Romeo and Juliet. London: Broadbent & Dunn, 1994.