Romeo and Juliet: Compare Romeo and Juliet’s different attitudes towards love in the play — a pupils essay with teacher comments

9 June 2009


Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet’s attitude towards love changes dramatically. Both of the characters at the end of the play are willing to die for each other in the name of love.

At the beginning of the play we are introduced to Romeo and we are shown that he was infatuated with a girl called Rosaline. He believed that he was in love with her but was confused at why she “won’t ope her lap for saint seducing gold”. But as readers we can see that this isn’t love but lust. He was willing to pay her money to have sex with him. This isn’t love as in modern day this would be seen as prostitution. Shakespeare introduces us to Romeo in this way to show his immaturity and youthfulness of him.

In the middle of the play Romeo sees Juliet for the first time and as soon as he lays eyes on her he says that he hasn’t seen “true beauty til this night”. We can see from what he says that he can see Juliet’s inner beauty and is in love with her as a person and not just for love. Although in modern day we would think this is very fast to fall in love with someone and would still question whether or not it was still lust. THE IMAGERY IS ALL TO DO WITH ‘LIGHT’ SUGGESTING THAT JULIET ILLUMINATES HIS SOUL But Shakespeare is trying to show us the difference between his lust for Rosaline and love for Juliet.

At the end of the play when Romeo believes that Juliet is dead our questions about whether his is fully in love are answered as he says “Sweet Juliet I drink to thee”. He drinks a fatal poison which in turn kills him instantly and he dies for his love for Juliet as he can not go on without her with him. Shakespeare does this as it brings the play to a climax on stage and brings together the dramatic irony everyone watching has been waiting for.

Whereas Juliet at the beginning of the play doesn’t even have any interest towards men. When asked if she has thought about marriage her response is ” it is an honour I dream not of”. Shakespeare shows us here that Juliet is young and isn’t bothered about marriage or men at all she is fully content. This also gives the people watching the play a shock because when she meets Romeo she is very interested in him and totally contradicts what she says in the previous scene.

In the middle of the play after Juliet has married Romeo we see how forward she is and that she craves sex with Romeo. She feels that although she is married she is “not yet enjoyed”. This shows us that she trusts Romeo and is in love with him as she is so willing to have sex with him. She has gone from having no interest in men to being married and waiting to have sex. But this also leaves the people watching the play wondering if she is really in love with Romeo or if its just lust as she is wanting to have sex with him. YOU DISCUSS THE GALLOP APACE IN GREATER DETAIL. IT IS FULL OF LONGING AND SENSUALITY, SUGGESTING A GREATER MATURITY ON JULIET’S PART, AN AWAKENING!

At the end of the play Juliet is also willing to die for love when she discovers Romeo is dead and finds the “happy dagger” we are shown that she is happy to die. This is because she is so in love with Romeo that she also doesn’t want to be alive without him. It is not until now that we really see how much they were in love with each other because up until now a lot of the situations were questionable as to whether they were love or lust. But the final scene shows us that at the end they were both every much in love with each other because killing yourself is a decision that is not taken lightly by an individual and requires strong emotion towards someone to have the courage to do it.

Throughout the play we see Romeo and Juliet grow as characters and also in their attitudes towards love. Their ideas about love grow from lust as their ideas about the opposite sex mature.

This is a thoughtful essay which clearly shows you have a grasp of the language and themes of the play. To bolster your mark you need to discuss Shakespeare’s purposes in presenting these characters like this at greater length and also explore the imagery in greater depth.


  1. Brilliant! – very helpful and thought out, although you may wish to check some of your quotes!! x x

    from Elizabeth
  2. quotes aren’t correct

    from Molly
  3. nice, helpful but you should check your quotes!!!

    from ria
  4. cool!!!
    really very helpful…thanks dude…

    from alan
  5. Gave me a lot of help for my essay. Thanx a lot!!!

    from Lavann
  6. Ever seen the movie “Avengers”?
    U kinda look like Hawkeye

  7. thank you! this has helped me in my essay!

    from Anna
  8. Thanks you so much my teacher is very aggresive when it comes to details and your essay really helped me alot!

    from Mairaj
  9. perfect!!! really helped and made easier to understand the two atitudes towards love 🙂 Thanks again!

    from directioner

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