William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Many people all over the world have heard the expression from William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. The tragedy is about two star crossed lovers who are born into two different families, Juliet’s family, the Capulets and Romeo’s family, the Montague’s. The families have an ancient grudge. Due to this family feud, many drastic events take place involving deceit, sorrow, sacrifice and pain, resulting in the death of both Romeo and Juliet, along with their love. Romeo and Juliet is full of situations and themes to which students are able to relate: friendship, betrayal, feuds, conflict with parents, young love, religion, adolescent hormones, a lack of perspective, desperation, and conflicting loyalties. In this essay, several themes will be connected to Romeo and Juliet using music and cinema, as well as to my life and situations that occur in life or the world. One of the reoccurring themes in Romeo and Juliet is love.
The concept of love is portrayed in various parts of the play. The play actually focuses on love and emphasizes how two, innocent lovers endure the pain they go through, what they have to sacrifice and what they do just to keep themselves together. Many references to Romeo and Juliet appear in movies, pop songs, and art frequently. Taylor Swift refers to the play in her hit song, “Love Story.” Love Story is a song based upon love, and, reflects a story about how two people meet and fall deeply in love which also connects to the theme of family feuding. However, the girl’s father does not approve of the boy and warns the two to keep a steady distance from each other. In Swifts, Love Story”, line (8) says: Little did I know that you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles and my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”.
Based on this piece of the song, it can be related to Juliet’s father warning Romeo to stay away from his daughter and that he would never allow her to be with him. Another example is in lyrics, 17-20 which say: “So I sneak out to the garden to see you, we keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew, so close your eyes, escape this town for a little while.” This line of the song can be strongly connected with the family feud between the Capulets and Montagues. Romeo and Juliet loved each other dearly; however, their families had powerful hate for one another. Therefore, in order for the two lovers to keep contact with each other, they had to sneak out and meet in various places due to their undeniable love, such as the balcony, Friar Lawrence’s cell, etc. However, the ending of the song is different with the ending of the play. The ending of the song is one that is full of happiness as opposed to the ending of the play which has a melancholy ending.
James Cameron’s hit movie, Titanic, also depicts the love two people have for each other and what they endure through it. Titanic is a 1997 American, epic, romantic, disastrous film between a man and woman of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. Even though, Titanic is an example of melodrama and Romeo and Juliet is an example of dramatic literature, they both connect with one another according to the theme of love, separation, and family feuds. In Titanic, Rose and Jack withstand forbidden/ socially unacceptable love. Rose Bukater is a wealthy woman and comes from a family with upper class. On the other hand, Jack Dawson is a poor man, who does not have much to offer to Rose.
Therefore, Rose’s mother forbids her to stop meeting Jack since they will never be of the same kind. This can be connected to the family feud of Romeo and Juliet, between the Montagues and Capulets as they also forbid their son and daughter from seeing each other. Another example of how Titanic ties in with the theme of parting in Romeo and Juliet is when both couples (Rose and Jack and Romeo and Juliet) are separated from one another for a short period of time by fate or circumstances beyond their control. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is banished from Verona for killing Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin. On the other hand, in Titanic, Jack is framed as a thief for “stealing” a diamond necklace that belonged to Rose. Due to this, Jack was forbidden to meet with Rose again, who were separated for some time.
Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet, relates to the youth of today or situations that occur presently, in various ways. People fall in love every day; there are still families who dislike and argue over each other. Many people are forbidden from seeing someone that is close to them but they still meet secretly, just like Romeo and Juliet. Students whose families are not feuding with another can relate to having a conflict of interests with their parents. For example, my best friend’s aunt, Tami, fell deeply in love with a man her father strongly disapproved of. Therefore, she secretly meets him without anyone knowing.
In conclusion, the play, Romeo and Juliet demonstrates many themes that are portrayed throughout different parts of the play. Connections with different pieces of work that deal with music and films can be made clearly. Love Story, by Taylor Swift and James Cameron’s, Titanic, beautifully describes examples about the storyline of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet can be correlated with situations in life today, that teach us about love and mistakes some people make.
Subject: Romeo and Juliet,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 25 October 2016
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