Romeo’s Romantic and Spiritual love for Juliet Essay
Romeo’s Romantic and Spiritual love for Juliet
In Romeo and Juliet we can see that Romeo has fallen into love with Juliet. This love is not the fashionable love that we saw with Rosaline, but true love. We know that this love for Juliet is also deeply spiritual because of the heavy emphasis on the fact that they were fated to be together.
At the very first time of meeting, it is evident that the love Romeo has for Juliet is true love, not superficial like the love he had for Rosaline. It is clear that Romeo believes that he can distinguish between the fashionable love for Rosaline, and the true love he has for Juliet; “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight/ For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” Romeo is questioning himself because he cannot believe that he was in love with Rosaline. Also, this signifies romantic love because he is saying that Juliet is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. We can see that when Romeo and Juliet first speak, they speak in sonnets full of religious imagery, “profane, “holy shrine”, pilgrims”, which shows the sincerity and purity of Romeo and Juliet’s love.
Furthermore, we can see that Juliet stops Romeo from swearing his love by the moon; “O swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon”. Juliet does this because she knows that the moon is not there forever, it goes away in the day and comes at night. Therefore, Juliet does not want Romeo’s love to be half-hearted. However, soon after we see that when Romeo tries to swear by something else, Juliet interrupts him, “Well, do not swear”. This shows that Juliet stops Romeo from using elaborate language when talking to her and expressing his emotions. Juliet wants Romeo to be genuine, and to invest himself in a more spiritual concept of love.
Romeo uses celestial and heavenly imagery when he is talking to Juliet; “O speak again bright angel”. Romeo refers to Juliet as being an angel, which shows that he is relating her to the heavens. Furthermore, Romeo’s use of religious imagery shows us that he is considering love in a more spiritual way, and moving away from the overdramatic descriptions of his love for Rosaline. Moreover, we can see another use of celestial imagery form the prologue; “A pair of star-crossed lovers”. This emphasises the fact that the two are fated to be together. This statement also gives the impression that the two were brought together by God. In Shakespeare’s time, everyone would have believed in astrology, and in the signs of the zodiac, which meant that the use of celestial and heavenly imagery would have been of great significance to the audience.
We learn that whenever there is a mention of body parts, it is always related to god; “My lips, two blushing pilgrims”. This further emphasises the fact that Romeo uses heavenly imagery when talking to Juliet. Also, the very fact that Romeo describes his lips as, “pilgrims”, show that he has been on a long journey, and has finally found what he has been looking for, in the shape of his true and spiritual love that he has for Juliet.
In act 2, scene 2, we learn that Juliet introduces the idea of marriage to Romeo:
If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage
From this we learn that the two have fallen in love instantaneously and irretrievably. We can also see that Juliet has made practical arrangements for sending a messenger to Romeo the next day; “send me word tomorrow/ By one that I’ll procure to thee”. Both of them realise that their families have a major grudge, but they know that they cannot do anything about it as they have fallen in love spiritually and they are helpless to change their feelings.