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Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
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AP English Language
AP English Literature
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Romeo and Juliet Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Romeo and Juliet are two of the most famous lovers in history, but some people doubt that their historic love lives up to its reputation. Romeo starts the play infatuated with Rosaline, a gorgeous...
Love and hate are usually thought of as opposites, but in Romeo and Juliet, love and hate are two sides of the same coin, as two children from warring families (the Capulets and the Montagues) turn...
In the hormone-charged atmosphere of Romeo and Juliet, it seems that pretty much everything is about sex. A boy and girl from warring families fall in love, and their relationship is marked by both...
Art and Culture
Romeo and Juliet is chock full of poetry, especially love poetry. The first time the couple meets, their dialogue forms a perfect Shakespearean sonnet. The famous balcony scene? Well, it's full of...
"Youth in this play is a separate nation," writes literary critic Frank Kermode. In the play, Romeo and Juliet's youthful passion conflicts with the values of their feuding parents and their more m...
Romeo and Juliet's love gains its power from the play's constant reminders that life, love and beauty are ultimately fleeting. Romeo and thirteen-year-old Juliet fall in love at first sight, marry...
Freud argued that human love was propelled by two opposing drives: eros, the desire for love, and thanatos, the desire for death. But centuries before Freud, Romeo and Juliet provided a very differ...
Machismo rules the day in Verona, the city where Romeo and Juliet takes place. Male honor –and male sexual posturing – are sources of both the play's humor and its final tragedy. The ri...
Fate and Free Will
The play goes out of its way to suggest that Romeo and Juliet are destined for tragedy. After all, the Chorus tells us in the opening Prologue that the "star-cross'd lovers" will "take their life"...
Romeo and Juliet marry for love, a choice that is standard today. But in the world of the play, marriage for love, rather than money or social position, was a radical and dangerous choice. Romeo an...
The conflict between family and the individual is played out in the most extreme fashion possible in the play, as two children from warring families fall in love and have to choose between their fa...
Foolishness and Folly
"Wisely and slow – they stumble that run fast," a priest warns an impetuous young lover in Romeo and Juliet. But nobody spends much time pausing to think in Romeo and Juliet. Passionate love...
Romeo and Juliet is not necessarily a political work, and so, in the play, exile is a purely personal matter. Romeo and Juliet, the children of warring families, carry out a clandestine love affair...
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© 2013 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy.