Love In Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet Essay

“Under love’s heavy burden do I sink,” (1. 4. 22). William Shakespeare constantly points out the misfortunes that are involved in love. Romeo and Juliet is a play based on the tragedies of young love and is one of the many plays that connects love with death. Shakespeare ties love to a responsibility that ultimately leads to the demise of many, as shown in Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. Romeo and Juliet additionally show through their suicidal impulses that adolescent love can often be hasty and careless.

Shakespeare links a self-destructive tendency with love as shown by the suicidal impulses Romeo and Juliet exhibit, which reveals the instability that characterizes young love. First off, Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet to show how destructive love truly is. Romeo and Juliet are a pair of lovers that repeatedly try to take their lives whenever an unpleasant incident happens. “What is it [love] else? A madness most discreet, A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. ” (1. 1. 184-185). Romeo compares love to a madness that no one knows how it feels if they have not experienced being in love.

How he sees it, love is something so sourly sweet that choking on it is inevitable. “Is love really tender? I think it’s too rough, too rude, too rowdy, and it pricks like a thorn. ” (1. 4. 25-26). Love is usually considered something beautiful and sought-after but to Romeo, love is anything but desirable. In his eyes, love is forceful, harsh, and unforgiving. “Prodigious birth of love it is to me, that I must love a loathed enemy. ” (1. 5. 140-141). Juliet compares love to a monster for making her love Romeo, the son of Montague and enemy of Capulet. She verbally bashes love for all it stands for.

Juliet despises how love made her affectionate towards someone she is sworn to hate. The play Romeo and Juliet repetitively interprets love as a devastating pursuit similar to several other of Shakespeare works. Additionally, Shakespeare wrote the play Antony and Cleopatra as one similar to Romeo and Juliet with numerous twists which ends with the lovers’ inevitable death. Antony and Cleopatra is a play of power struggles, war, betrayal, shame, forgiveness, honor and love. “She is cunning past man’s thought” (1. 2. 147. ). Antony tells how Cleopatra is cunning, never displaying loyal affection.

Cleopatra, to Antony, is a manipulator and someone who has him under her power. “These strong Egyptian fetters I must break or lose myself in dotage. ” (1. 2. 118-119). Antony says he must break free of Cleopatra’s hold or else he would be deemed as a fool infatuated. Antony knew that Cleopatra basically governed his actions and he could not break free due to his never-ending affection towards her. Cleopatra, after being accused of betrayal commands one of her servants to tell Antony that she killed herself with his name being her last word and his love for her caused his death. Since Cleopatra died I have lived in such dishonor that the gods detest my baseness” (4. 14. 66-68). Since the “death” of Cleopatra, Antony has not forgiven himself for threatening to kill her and accusing her of betrayal. Antony believes that the only way to make the gods happy and to be reunited with Cleopatra is to meet her at death’s door. After stabbing himself, he finds out that Cleopatra is alive and well, so he wishes to just be by her side when he finally dies. Cleopatra similarly kills herself with the poison of snakes in order to be with Antony.

The play Antony and Cleopatra display love as a damaging power struggle, both lovers coming from a high political background. This internal strife concludes with the end of two politically strong individuals. Furthermore, Shakespeare ties love with greed and a sense of detrimental quality in the play Macbeth. Macbeth is a play where the main character struggles through his own ambition to be king and his loyalty to the current king, as well as being compelled by his power hungry wife. “From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? ” (1. 7. 9-41).

Lady Macbeth is tormenting her husband because of his reluctance to kill King Duncan in order to gain the crown. She taunts and harasses Macbeth for his cowardice reasoning. Lady Macbeth even goes as far as to put their relationship on the line if he does not kill the king. “Where our desire is got without content” (3. 2. 5). Lady Macbeth says that even though Duncan is dead and Macbeth is king, she feels as though killing Duncan was an unneeded crime. Lady Duncan feels that due to the uncertainty of keeping the crown, they would have been better off if they did kill Duncan since they are not truly happy.

Throughout the entire play, Lady Macbeth pushes Macbeth to kill people he is very close too in order to secure the throne and Macbeth starts seeing ghosts of those he killed. “Thou marvelst at my words: but hold thee still. Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill. ” (3. 2. 56-57). Macbeth tells his wife indirectly that he plans to kill Banquo and even if he sounds absurd she doesn’t question him. Macbeth states that one bad crime will soon turn into numerous immoral crimes. Macbeth, at this state, is mentally unstable due to the constant stress caused by his wife and the paranoia of someone planning to take the throne away from him.

William Shakespeare associates love with a selfimmolation tendency. Moreover, in the play Romeo and Juliet the two star-crossed lovers show the unpredictability of young love. Romeo and Juliet both have suicidal urges that show how fragile the relationship truly is. “I’ll to my wedding bed. And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead! ” (3. 2. 138-139). Upon hearing that Romeo is banished for slaying Tybalt, Juliet quickly decides to take her life. The nurse quickly stops her and promises to bring Romeo to Juliet before he departs Verona. If the nurse had not promised that, Juliet would have taken her life for sure. Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife, No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean, but “banished” to kill me? ” (3. 3. 44-46). Romeo believes that banishment is worse than death because he will be separated from the lovely Juliet and sent to a place where she cannot him reach easily. Romeo tries to take his life with a dagger but Friar Laurence reassurances that he will see Juliet. “God joined my heart and Romeo’s, thou our hands.

And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo sealed, Shall be the label to another deed, Or my true heart with treacherous revolt Turn to another, this shall slay them both. (4. 1. 57-61). Juliet is ready to kill herself because her father tells her to marry Paris or become a bagger on the streets. Juliet goes to Friar Laurence to get advice on what to do before she actually kills herself. Juliet, in addition to not wanting to betray Romeo, doesn’t want to go to the underworld if she is married twice. Friar Laurence devises a plan in order to get Romeo and Juliet back together but evidently it didn’t work out. Both Romeo and Juliet kill themselves in order to be reunited.

In many aspects of this play, Romeo and Juliet try to take their lives because they believe that is the only way to be with each other, only to be stopped by Friar Laurence or the nurse. Shakespeare joins love to a duty that in the end leads to the demise of countless others, as shown in Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. To sum up, Shakespeare associates a selfdestructive tendency with love as shown by the suicidal impulses Romeo and Juliet exhibit, which exposes the uncertainty that symbolizes young love. William Shakespeare regularly points out the catastrophes that are included in love.