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
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
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
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
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
2.4.2 Meaning: to shake off the burden
imposed by fate
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.