Romeo and Juliet Themes
There is an ominous mood in this play that gives the impression that the characters
Hi, I'm Becky Beth Benedict and I'm here for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about themes in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet tells the story of two lovers and their warring families. There are many rich themes in this play, some of the major ones explored are love and hate, fate, and day and night.The families of Romeo and Juliet, the Capulets and the Montagues, have a vicious and often violent rivalry of hate that has been disrupting the piece of Verona for quite a while. The children of these enemy families, Romeo and Juliet, fall quickly and deeply in love and can think of little else than their forbidden love. Romeo is the central male character who symbolizes love and professes love. In the beginning of the play he is mourning his scorned love for Rosaline, and then of course he latches onto his reciprocated love for Juliet which he proclaims with all his heart. On the flip side, Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, is the central male character who embodies hate -- he is aggressive, imposing, and argumentative. Tybalt is a leader in the war between the families and holds on tightly to that hatred.There is an ominous mood in this play that gives the impression that the characters are playing out the steps of fate and have no hope of escaping their destiny. The prologue of Romeo and Juliet refers to the young duo as "star-crossed lovers," telling of their fate of being thwarted by adverse stats. The prologue also clearly lays out the coming death of the lovers, which will be the only way to ease the conflicts between their families. By giving the audience this information in the beginning and then having those exact events play out, Shakespeare creates the presence of fate.References to day and night or moon and sun occur many times throughout this text. Famously Romeo exclaims "What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the Sun! Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon." Here Romeo is declaring that Juliet's beauty is so powerful that is can be compared to the sun. As Juliet is awaiting Romeo's arrival to her bedroom for their first night together as husband and wife, she is very anxious and wishes time would hurry so it would be nighttime. She says "Come night, come Romeo; come, thou day in night," meaning when it's night she will finally get to be with her husband, who is a bright spot in the dark.Thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.