What role do love and marriage play in Romeo and Juliet?

Essay by mwilsoHigh School, 10th gradeA+, October 2004

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What role do love and marriage play in Romeo and Juliet?

The play of Romeo and Juliet includes several different types of love known in the 1600s. Courtly love is the first example known in the play discovered by Romeo and his false love for Rosaline (today's equivalent could be a crush). It is very formal and elegant yet rejection can lead to depression and acceptance to joy. Parental love expressed by the Nurse to Juliet and the Friar's help for Romeo (although the 'parental' love is not between parents and child) The Nurse is Juliet's best friend, but her care is worthy of being called 'mum'. The nurse cares for Juliet unlike Lady Capulet. She knows exactly when she was born, and has fond memories of her childhood. Juliet's Nurse also acted like a neutral messenger, meeting with Romeo to discuss wedding plans. The love of friends was important for any future love to blossom.

The love between friends explains the revenge taken by Romeo on Tybalt for the death of his friend Mercutio and the friendship between Capulet and Paris is one of the reasons why the County was to marry Juliet. Love for friends was, and is, a necessity for the characters. Romeo had been in love with a girl who didn't feel love the same way that he did. Consequently, Romeo was distraught. He thought no woman could be as beautiful as Rosaline. Romeo's friend, Benvolio, thought differently. Benvolio encouraged Romeo to go to the Capulet's feast and accurately assumed that Romeo would find other girls more attractive than Rosaline. Later, when violence was brewing, Benvolio encouraged peace to his friends. He spoke against fighting when he said, "I pray thee, good Mercutio, lets retire. The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, and, if we...