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Fate From the beginning, we know that the story of Romeo and Juliet will end in tragedy. We also know that their tragic ends will not result from their own personal defects but from fate, which has marked them for sorrow.
Emphasizing fate's control over their destinies, the Prologue tells us these "star-cross'd lovers'" relationship is deathmark'd.
Completely by chance, Capulet's servant meets Romeo and Benvolio, wondering if they know how to read. This accidental meeting emphasizes the importance of fate in the play. Romeo claims it is his "fortune" to read — indeed, "fortune" or chance has led Capulet's servant to him — and this scene prepares us for the tragic inevitability of the play.
The lovers will be punished not because of flaws within their personalities but because fate is against them. Ironically, the servant invites Romeo to the Capulet's house, as long as he is not a Montague, to "crush a cup of wine.
Love Love is another important thematic element in the play, which presents various types of love: How do these various types of love relate to one another? Is physical attraction a necessary component of romantic love? Because words are slippery, Juliet worries that Romeo's protestation of love are merely lies.
How can we know if love is true? Value and Doubleness Another important theme is the idea of value and doubleness.
Just as language is ambiguous, so are value judgments. Within a flower, for example lies both poison and medicine. Similarly, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet are tragic but also bring new life to Verona. The Friar's own role in the play contains this ambiguity. Although he tries to help the lovers, his actions lead to their suffering.
Shakespeare's message is that nothing is purely good or evil; everything contains elements of both. Meaning of Gender A final theme to be considered is the meaning of gender. In particular, the play offers a variety of versions of masculinity.
One example is Mercutio, the showy male bird, who enjoys quarreling, fencing and joking. Mercutio has definite ideas about what masculinity should look like.
He criticizes Tybalt for being too interested in his clothes and for speaking with a fake accent. Similarly, he suggests that Romeo's love-melancholy is effeminate, while his more sociable self is properly masculine.
Therefore, his happiest when Romeo rejoins his witty, crazy group of male friends: Romeo's masculinity is constantly questioned. Following Mercutio's death, for example, Romeo fears that his love of Juliet has effeminized him: In addition, the Friar accuses Romeo of being an "[u]nseemly woman in a seeming man" and says that his tears are "womanish" III.
What is the proper role for a man? The play seems to suggest that violence is not the way. Mediating between Mercutio's violent temper and Romeo's passivity, the Prince is possibly the best model of masculine behavior in the play:Romeo and Juliet: Morals, Ethics, Social Issues Pillar: Positive Social Environments Division: III identify and discuss how timeless themes are developed in a variety of oral, print and other media texts Review the themes of Romeo and Juliet.
Discuss how the social offenses listed above support the themes of the play. Morals & Themes in Romeo and Juliet The morals and themes in Romeo and Juliet depict a dramatic and violently beautiful story. The morals and themes go together fabulously.
They look like the outcome, weather good or bad, to a problem. Making decisions quickly, sacrificing anything for true love, and holding a grudge are morals that would go. All Rights Reserved. Have a great year!
Struggling with themes such as Morality and Ethics in Charles Dickens's Hard Times? We've got the quick and easy lowdown on it here. Romeo and Juliet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
(Click the themes infographic to download.) Romeo and Juliet might as well be a litmus test for your level of cynicism: are these crazy kids the two most romantic lovers in all of history—Bella (Click the themes infographic to download.) If you've ever had a bad breakup, you know how quickly.