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Romeo and Juliet : Types of Love

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Love is defined as to have regard with affection or good will. Throughout Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, there is a complex exploration of "love". The main types of love seen in the play are love being a burden, love at first sight, and superficial love. Though all these types of love are significant, the most dominant love in the play is "true love".

A few characters in Romeo and Juliet do not see love as the positive thing it may be. Instead they feel love is a burden or a pain. For example, Mercutio sees love as a useless feeling claiming "If love be rough with you, be rough with love: / Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down" (1.4.27-28). Romeo indeed does head these words, but forgetting Rosaline leads him to meet Juliet at the Capulet's party. But, since he did not love Rosaline with all his heart he falls in love with Juliet and can't forget about her. This shows that true love is stronger. Also, Romeo's woes over Rosaline lead Benvolio to give some advice about love being a burden saying "Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her" (1.1.219). Benvolio believes when a man leaves a woman he should carry no burden or grief. Romeo carries the grief of not being able to be with Rosaline until he meets Juliet were all his sadness disappears, which shows true love can heal a wounded heart. True love can also lead to pain because Romeo and Juliet both suffer many tragedies, ending in their lives. Some of Romeo's loyal friends and servants try to convince him he has no use for love, but in the end he falls in love with Juliet, whom he marries and end ups dying for, because of "true love". But, Romeo and Juliet's "true love" has also been mistaken for love at first sight by a couple of characters.

Along with love being a burden or a pain, some characters that play an important role have views about love at first sight and its dangers. When the party was over and Romeo went to meet Juliet, she asks him to swear by true love but is uncertain if Romeo truly loves her stating:

Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,

I have no joy of this contract tonight,

It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden, (2.2.116-118)

Juliet clearly states that this is too sudden and does not want to be fooled by love at first sight, but when Romeo agrees to marry her, she realizes he is very serious about her and fully commits herself proving that true love is dominant in the play. After Romeo promises to marry Juliet he takes a visit to Friar Lawrence's cell where he asks him to wed himself and Juliet. The Friar surprised that Romeo has forgotten his dear love so quickly exclaims "Is Rosaline, that didst love so dear, / So soon forsaken?" (2.3.66-67). Friar believes it is love at first sight and that Romeo's love lies in his eyes not his heart, but if this was truly what had happened Romeo would not have persisted to be wed, and had ultimately gotten married to Juliet if he were not serious making her his tru love which is the dominant in Romeo and Juliet. Another example is when Romeo pays another visit to Friar Lawrence when the wedding is



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