In the play Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare utilizes opposites in both the thoughts and actions of the characters in Romeo and Juliet. Outlined are contrasts of crime and violence versus peace and law, love versus hate, and young versus old. The uses of crime & violence versus peace and law are demonstrated in Act 3, Scene 1. Tybalt and Mercutio exchange remarks back and forth, when Benvolio steps in and encourages them to stop. Mercutio: Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels? And thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords.
Heres my fiddlestick, heres that shall make you dance. Zounds, consort! Benvolio: We talk here in the public haunt of men. Either withdraw unto some private place, Or reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us. Mercutio: Mens eyes were made to look, and let them gaze. I will not budge for no mans pleasure, I. This is just a small sampling of crime and violence versus peace and law. Later in this scene, Mercutio challenges Tybalt in a duel, then when Mercutio is slain, Romeo goes on to challenge Tybalt, killing him.
If Mercutio, Tybalt and Romeo would have listened to Benvolio, the fights would have not occurred, and the outcome of the play would be changed. An example of love versus hate occurs through the relationship Romeo and Juliet and the hate between their families. The love that Romeo and Juliet share completely opposes the deep roots of anger and hate between their parents. The quote from the Chorus best states this. Chorus: Two houses, both alike in dignity From ancient grudge break to new mutiny A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life: Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, Doth with their death bury their parents strife.
The sincere and strong love of Romeo and Juliet contrasts with the extreme, petty grudges held by their parents. The love between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capuletand their love through their deathsbrought was meant to bring their two families together in the end. An example of young versus old can be seen with the passion of youth through Romeo & Juliets relationship and through the bitterness and beliefs of old age. An example of this can be found in Act 3, Scene 5 when Lady Capulet tells Juliet of her marriage to Paris, arranged by her Father. Lady Capulet: Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn
The gallant, young, and noble gentleman, The County Paris, at Saint Peters Church, Shall happily make thee a joyful bride. Juliet: Now by Saint Peters Church, and Peter too, He shall not make me there a joyful bride. I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet. And when I do, I swear It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, Rather than Paris. These are news indeed. (later in the scene) Capulet: How, how, how, how? Chopped Logic? What is this? Proud and I thank you and I thank you not And yet not proud? Out, you green-sickness carrion!
Out, you baggage! You tallow-face! This shows how Juliet has passion and faith in her relationship with Romeo, while her parents are old-fashioned; her father arranges a marriage for her, and her mother takes the side of her husband, rather than that of her daughter. This scene also shows how Juliet has changed and has gained the courage to speak against authority. From these examples, a small portion of the many modes of contrast is found in Romeo and Juliet. The use of crime and violence versus peace and law is exhibited between Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo and Benvolio.
Benvolio tries to bring the two sides to peace, but is unsuccessful at his attempts. Love versus hate occurs between Romeo and Juliet towards their families. Their love overshadows their parents hate, but in the end results in both of their deaths. Young versus old is shown through the passion between Romeo and Juliet, and the old-fashioned behavior of their families. William Shakespeare is a brilliant writerwhose details are missed upon a first-time reading. His work requires in-depth inspection and research to fully grasp all of the fine storylines and events.