Throughout this essay, I will be focusing on how love is presented through in Shakespeare's: Romeo and Juliet and how love is presented through a series of sonnets (18, 130 and 134). I will also comment on the historical context of the play and its relevance today. I will look at how Shakespeare has created characters and comment on the action of the play and how Shakespeare has used dramatic devices and structures.
Throughout the play there is a constant theme of love and fate. This is portrayed directly from the beginning in the prologue, which is in the form of a sonnet containing oxymoron. An example of this theme is when Romeo and Juliet are described as, 'a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life'. This line also has contemporary relevance to today as it still may occur in practice or in language. The prologue gives a brief summary of the whole play and includes an oxymoron: 'death-marked love'. This provides the reader with contrast and because they are so opposite the reader does not expect death to be associated with love; it also has relevance to the theme of the play throughout. The prologue also follows a set pattern so that words rhyme, which provides a poetic introduction for the reader. A sonnet is commonly used, especially with Shakespeare, to talk about love within the story. The first scene in the play continues the theme of love and fate as it shows both families fighting. This is used by Shakespeare obviously so that the reader is aware fully that this is one of the constant running themes during the play and it also makes the reader aware why Romeo and Juliet's love is difficult further on. .
This can be compared to Sonnet 134 by Thomas Wyatt and how he uses oxymoron to show love and its difficulties. He uses the oxymoron "I love another, and thus I hate myself;", this could represent the pain he feels when he experiences love, however, instead of it being shown as hurting other people (e.