Main Themes in Romeo and Juliet

Carlowl
Mind Map by , created over 4 years ago

This is a mind map which contains notes, quotes and talks about the main themes from a students point of view.

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Carlowl
Created by Carlowl over 4 years ago
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Main Themes in Romeo and Juliet
1 Love
1.1 The play's main theme is most definitely: Love.
1.2 Romeo initially portrays courtly love for Rosaline in Act 1 Scene 1, however this quickly changes when he meets Juliet
1.3 'Deny thy father and refuse thy name' (Act 2 Scene 2)
1.3.1 Juliet says this because she knows that the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets will only worsen if she tries marry Romeo after asking her parents.
1.4 'My only love sprung from my only hate!' (Act 1 Scene 5)
1.4.1 This is Juliet describing how she feels after the Nurse tells her that Romeo is a Montague.
1.4.2 'My only love...' i.e. Romeo.
1.4.3 'Sprung from my only hate!' i.e. the Montague family and the long running feud that no-one seems to know anything about.
1.5 Love causes irrational acts throughout the play.
1.5.1 Romeo abandons Mercutio and Benvolio after the Capulet party to go to Juliet's Garden.
1.5.2 Romeo returns to Verona during his banishment order to be with Juliet.
1.6 Romantic imagery portrayed by the love between Romeo and Juliet is very spiritual and religious.
1.6.1 And is also described as a type of magic: 'Alike bewitched by the charm of looks' - Prologue from Act 2 Scene 1.
1.7 The relationship and romanticism between Romeo and Juliet is linked throughout the play with the inevitability of death as the outcome.
1.7.1 For example, Tybalt is ready to kill Romeo at the Capulet feast at the same time Romeo and Juliet fall in love.
2 Fate
2.1 'A pair of star cross'd lovers'
2.1.1 From the beginning of the play, the pair are destined to die.
2.1.2 Spoken by the chorus in the prologue
2.1.3 'Star Cross'd' usually means the stars of fate were crossed for example when Romeo and Juliet met at the Capulet's Feast
2.2 'Is it even so? Then I defy you, stars'
2.2.1 Romeo is adamant that he will not give in to the power of the stars, and let them take Juliet from his life.
2.2.2 This quote comes from Act 5 Scene 1, where Balthazar arrives from Verona in Mantua to tell Romeo of Juliet's 'passing'.
2.3 'One writ with me in sour misfortune's book'
2.3.1 The line comes from Act 5 scene 3, where Romeo and Paris are fighting and after Paris dies, Romeo makes yet another speech before drinking the poison.
2.3.2 Romeo sees Paris as someone like himself, destined to be unfortunate.
2.4 'And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars'
2.4.1 This is continued in the speech that Romeo says before committing suicide.
2.4.2 Meaning: to shake off the burden imposed by fate
3 Hate/Conflict/Death
3.1 The two families are constantly feuding yet we don't find out why. Are they right to continue the feud throughout generations even if they don't know the reason why?
3.2 Two households, both alike in dignity/ In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,/ From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,/ Where civil blood makes civil hands look unclean.
3.3 Death plays a big part in Romeo and Juliet not just because it is a tragedy which we know right from the beginning how it is going to end but also death reflects the end of a long lasting feud between the 2 families and how something as tragic as the children's deaths is what it takes to make the two families realise that it needs to stop.
3.4 Death is also represented in love where one cannot live without the others presence in their lives even just in memory.

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