hi! ive just written a GCSE English literature essay on the Love between Rosaline and Romeo under timed conditions and was wondering if someone could give me some feedback on it, and potentially what grade they would expect it to get
here is the essay: (it may have some spelling mistakes as I havent properly read through it!)
Romeo and juliet essay :
In the stages of life where Romeo seems obsessive with roselaine ,he stands as an archetype for a typical Petrarchan lover. Through this love we see the pain, confusion and immaturity of Romeo, depicting also the masculine traits that seem to burst from his immature mind. Shakespeare uses this initial confusing love to juxtapose the love of Romeo and Juliet as more spiritual and sensitive while also indicating the damaging impacts of toxic masculinity. in this extract we have romeo discussing rosaline with Benvolio. Here explicitly we see the confusion that love causes Romeo , the lack of Rhyme scheme and the frequent punctuation depicting a confusion and jumbled mess of thoughts. the spasmodic rhetorical questions in the third line demonstrates Romeo’s seemingly infantilised and further confused nature, demonstrating how Romeo seems to obfuscate the love in his life. in ‘ O brawling love O loving hate’ the use of chiasmus demonstrates the confusion in his life, the turmoil that love seems to bring, the repetition of love indicating that love seems to dominate his mind, controlling him. The cascade of oxymorons that follow ‘heavy lightness’ and ‘serious vanity’ further demonstrate the overwhelming nature of love as it wraps around his mind. ‘misshapen chaos of well seeming forms’ stands as a metaphor for love which is usually deemed to be beautiful, but here is tormented and unpredictable. The audience at the time would have been confused as to Romeo’s position. Arranged marriage was common in Elizabethan England, hence many young people did not experience love. Romeo therefore stands a hyperbolic example if the effect of love in society. The oxymoron's that follow seem to depict love’s every aspect, hard, soft ,happy ,bright, sad, standing as a representation for all of the flavours of cupid's arrow. We finally conclude with a chiasmus with simple nature demonstrating how the love has tired Romeo into seeing love as hateful and dark.
love develops throughout the play. Between Romeo and Juliet the love seems more spiritual rather than objectified. the left between Romeo and rosaline is depicted to be rather shallow, as Romeo claims he only desires rosaline's love for intimacy. In stark contrast however Romeo and Juliet’s love seems to have more aspects of purity and emotion. as they meet we hear ‘my lips, two blushing pilgrims time to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss’, the biblical images of pilgrims bringing a celestial and seraphic nature to their love. This spiritual love juxtaposes the love that is depicted with rosaline where Romeo lists objects rather than the abstract noun of love ‘feather of lead’ . This further demonstrates how Romeo and Juliet’s love differs to with Rosaline, as it is more spiritual and pure. as the ‘rough touch’ is ‘smoothed’ we see a clear development from the violent imagery of ‘heavy lightness’ foreshadowing how the love is more likely to be successful and emotional. We hear again how Romeo and Juliet’s love seemingly perfect through ‘locks fair daylight out and makes himself an artificial night’. We see how the love with Juliet has freed Romeo from the clutches of darkness, Juliet’s angelic nature heightened by ‘fair daylight’ which juxtaposes the ‘artificial night’ of Romeo. The juxtaposition of ‘artificial’ and ‘daylight’ demonstrates how Romeo and Juliet’s love is more truthful and seems to be encouraged by the gods. This therefore demonstrates how Shakespeare represents the love between Romeo and Juliet as natural and spiritual, to lead Romeo away from the ‘love’ of rosaline.
Finally, we see how the love of Romeo and rosaline is depicted as violent and lustful. Although not spoken directly by Romeo, we see how Mercutio’s response to Romeo’s love reflects common masculine behaviour. We hear him quote ‘ if love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down’. The chiasmus of the first line demonstrates how the male encloses love within the walls of violence, the adjective ‘tough’ depicting love as aggressive and tangible. This aggression and masculinity is consolidated with the plosive lexis of ‘prick’, indicating phallic imagery that connotes masculine lust. Finally, ‘beat love down’ demonstrates a cynical view of love, as something to be conquered rather than nurtured. In the social climate of the Shakespearean era, masculine aggression was seen as acceptable. However, we see how Shakespeare condemns this love and demonstrates that love should not be violent or lustful , but rather pure and seraphic. Shakespeare therefore represents Romeo and rosaline’s love as undesirable and aggressive, fuelled only by the lust of Romeo. The aggressive imagery that surrounds their love juxtaposes Romeo’s development through ‘thy beauty hath made me effeminate and in my valour softened temper’s steel’. We see here how the sword, potentially representing phallic imagery, has been ‘softened’, demonstrating the impact of true love: it oppresses aggression and feeds a gentler nature.
In conclusion, Shakespeare uses aggression and confusion to juxtapose purity to demonstrate the materialism of romeo’s love for rosaline. The use of language depicts anger and sadness, alluding to the cynical and stygian view of love that contrasts the ethereal beauty of Romeo and Juliet’s love. This therefore demonstrates to the audience the dangers of masculine traits, that it can oppress the lightest and most truthful love of all.