R+J essay for literature paper 1 Watch
im not sure i could do better than this, so welp
quotes i used:
"neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike"
"dear saint", "pilgrims"
"pens himself, shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out"
Q) How does Shakespeare present Romeo's attitude to love?
Shakespeare presents Romeo’s attitude to love as impulsive and passionate as he would abandon his family’s name and honour for love. This is done through “neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike”, where Romeo says that he would disown his family’s name for Juliet’s sake, if she doesn’t like the fact that he is a montague. This shows that he cares more for love than family, which suggests that he is impulsive as family bonds are tight but he’d be willing to throw it away for Juliet. An Elizabethan audience would feel shocked about Romeo’s attitude, as family is an important part of peoples lives and cannot be easily replaced like how easily Romeo does it for love. This would also be seen as shameful to his family’s honour as they don’t mix with Capulets, as it is a sort of family rule, and doing so would make him irresponsible as he is due to marry, so his family’s honour wouldn’t allow him to taint their name. Therefore you could infer that Romeo has a reckless and impulsive view on love, which is that it is the most important thing. Shakespeare could have done this to show the audience that being passionate about love still has its negatives and consequences-- investing in romantic relationships can impact your family relationships.
Romeo’s attitude to love is also presented as a need, through religious imagery throughout the play. He calls Juliet his “dear saint”, which compares her to something godly, a figure of worship. A feminist critic would be pleased to hear this as Elizabethan women had little role in society, and weren’t respected as much as the “saints” that Romeo compares her to, which shows that Romeo loves Juliet not just for her physical beauty. However, making someone other than god for your one to worship would be frowned upon by Elizabethan people as god had more priority to worship, going to church was mandatory at sundays so religion was very important to them, so romantic love for Juliet should not have a place above religion. Romeo’s love is also presented religiously through describing his love as “pilgrims”-- which is a religious journey to a sacred place. This would suggest that he is metaphorically on a religious journey to find his “dear saint”, which is Juliet. Therefore you could infer that Romeo uses the importance and need of religion to present his love for Juliet.
Romeo’s love is also shown to be unrequited through a sense of pathos, where he sulks in response to rejection of his love. This is seen when Montague is discussing with Benvolio of what happened to Romeo after he was turned away from Rosaline-- we learn that Romeo “pens himself, shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out”. A “pen” could refer to a hut that animals or livestock are kept in, which shows Romeo to be dehumanizing himself and therefore feeling unworthy and pitiful. He shuts himself out to all of humanity by locking himself metaphorically with the animals, and he “locks far daylight out”, which you could say that this is him shutting himself off from all that is bright and good, as “daylight” is very bright which connotes to happiness and growth, as plants need it to grow, just like Romeo may do-- he needs a new happiness in his life to grow into a better person, but he dismisses it-- “lock” gives the sense that he is hiding the feeling away forever and may not want anyone to see. You could also suggest from this that Romeo is hiding himself away from any help, and therefore pities himself, and feels defeated by rejection. The audience would feel sorry for Romeo, as Shakespeare has purposefully made Romeo’s reaction dramatic, to evoke strong feelings in the audience and make them think of how important love is to Romeo, that he isolates himself this easily.
yh sorry lol