Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in Romeo and Juliet and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Romeo and Juliet at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1 : The Use of Foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare uses foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet to warn the reader that danger or a perilous situation is near. As the play opens in the city of Verona, and the audience settles down to hear the tale of the star-crossed lovers, it is evident that things are not going to turn out well for the pair. The story of Romeo and Juliet progresses and the foreshadowing becomes heavier. The witty word play that Shakespeare so often employs serves as a double entendre for the impending events, such as Mercutio’s admittance that the next day will find him a “grave man". In what scenes of the play is the foreshadowing the strongest, and what is the event being foreshadowed? What does Shakespeare hope to accomplish with the foreshadowing, and what does use does foreshadowing deliver to the audience? For this essay on Romeo and Juliet, consider the overall importance and role of foreshadowing using the questions listed here as a guide.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Power of Destiny in Romeo and Juliet
The powerful concept of fate and destiny has intrigued many writers, including William Shakespeare. Although Romeo and Juliet scheme up many ways to be together, it is almost certain that they have no hand in their fate; they are merely being pushed along by fate. As Juliet prepares to leave everything she loves, Romeo is caught up in the cosmic warfare between his family and the Capulet’s, fighting for his life against her cousins and is eventually banished by the King. Using these examples, as well as Shakespeare’s own textual hints, describe how destiny controls the end result Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated union. Did they ever have a chance together? Why or why not?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3 : The Role of Religion in Romeo & Juliet
The theme of religion appears quite frequently throughout the text of Romeo and Juliet. In what ways does religion in Romeo and Juliet allude to the feelings that the lovers have for each other? Romeo compares Juliet to a saint as he kisses her hand, saying that he is unworthy to do so, and at several moments, the duo declare their love as divined by God. What is the connection between their affair and the heavens, and do they perhaps overestimate God’s favor? If God really approves of their love, why is it that the one religious figure in the play causes their deaths? Also, in what way does the language used between Romeo and Juliet add to the consecration of their relationship?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4 : The Depiction of Romantic Love in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is, at its core, a story about the undeniable power of love. Before Romeo and Juliet meet, both of them are involved with another. Romeo is infatuated with Rosaline, who does not return his feelings, and Juliet is betrothed to Paris by her father, but shows no true feelings towards him. However, once Romeo meets Juliet, their prospective romances fall apart as their feelings for one another eclipse their respective feelings towards Rosaline and Paris. In what instances is their love for one another different from their feelings towards Rosaline and Paris? How do their interactions vary, and in what ways do the people around them notice these changes?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #5 : Romeo & Juliet and the Role of the Feuding Families
The role of the family in Romeo & Juliet is perhaps the most important, as the feuding families end up being the ultimate downfall for Romeo and Juliet. Were it not for the battle between the Capulets and Montagues, the ending of Romeo and Juliet would have turned out far differently. The feuding causes Romeo’s banishment, the death of Tybalt, and the ultimate suicide of the lovers. In what ways are Romeo and Juliet driven to destruction by the wars of their families? Do the lovers underestimate the hatred between their fathers and overestimate the power of their love to overcome the family feud?
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This list of important quotations from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from Romeo and Juliet listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text they are referring to.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." (I.v.52-53)
“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief That thou her maid are far more fair than she." (II.2. 2-6)
“O, find him! Give this ring to my true knight And bid him come to take his last farewell." (III.ii.142-143)
“I dreamt my lady came and found me dead” (V.i.6).
“Then I defy you, stars!" (V.i.24)
“Oh! I am fortune’s fool" (III.i.131)
“God joined my heart and Romeo's, thou our hands" (IV.i.55)
“Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,/Which is the god of my idolatry,/ And I'll believe thee." (II.ii.113-115)
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet." (II.i.74–78)
“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, Whose misadventured piteous overthrows, Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife" (Prologue. 5-8)
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?Essay Question: How does Shakespeare effectively convey the tragedy of the relationship between Romeo & Juliet? Shakespeare successfully and effectively conveys the tragedy of the star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet through the love versus hate theme, descriptive and deep language, along with the dramatic construction of the story. The two beloved are doomed due to their family’s long history of hatred which leads to violence. The theme of love and hate is shown clearly with the newlywed Romeo and Juliet, contrasting greatly to their two respective houses of Montague and Capulet.
Hate is clearly shown between the two houses when Tybalt immediately wishes to start a fight with Romeo when he is seen in disguise at a Capulet party by saying “What, dares the slave, come hither covered in an antic face, To fleer and scorn at our solemnity? ” He clearly believes that to even attend an opposite house is an extremely rude insult, and thus proving the great amount of hatred between the families. The love theme is shown deeply between Romeo and even his enemies when he says “But love thee better than thou canst devise” to Tybalt.
He lowers his pride when he ‘loves’ his enemy which means that he would happily bow down. The everlasting love between Romeo and Juliet as they Juliet says “My love as deep; the more I give to thee the more I have, for both are infinite” meaning that her love for Romeo knew no bounds, and that as she loved Romeo more, he loved her back more. The love between two enemy houses shows the tragedy clearly by making their situation unable to be resolved due to their heritage from opposing families.
The deep and descriptive language is used to its full effect by Shakespeare is displayed through the use of soliloquies, light and dark imagery. These techniques help to convey the tragedy clearly and make the audience understand the atmosphere surrounding the scenes. This is shown clearly in Act 3 Scene 2 where Juliet expresses her sexual desires and dreams about Romeo, but also shows that she was desperate since she could not do it in the day due to her and Romeo’s relationship being forbidden by their families.
The imagery helps to give the audience an either positive or negative mood which creates tension about what would happen next in the tragedy. This is shown when Juliet says at the end of Act 3 Scene 5 where she claims that “if all else fails, myself have power to die” which leaves the audience wondering about what it could mean and lead to. This rich and powerful use of the English language helps to support the tragedy through changing the mood of the audience. The dramatic structure of the play helped to convey the tragedy through its layout of a complication.
The play starts out exciting with the main feud being introduced at the beginning. To not break the pace, the main complication is shown very early on, in just Act 2 where Romeo confesses his love for Juliet, then realising that they belonged to the two enemy houses. Extra rising action adds to the build up of the tragedy so when it reaches the crisis point, the tragedy is much more interesting, such as the ‘balcony scene’ where Romeo and Juliet commit themselves to each other and agree to get married.
The crisis point is where the death of Mercutio and Tybalt lead to Romeo being banished prevents Romeo and Juliet from meeting which is the tragedy. They are forced to go to extreme methods as a resolution to be together which shows how far the tragedy goes. This dramatic structure including the complication, rising and falling action with a crisis point and resolution convey the tragedy effectively.
The use of these techniques helps the audience to understand the feelings of the characters inside this play and feel their tension, stress and desperation. This makes the addressees feel sorry for the families of Romeo and Juliet but also realise that it is their fault, being sworn enemies and restricting their lives. It shows in reality that other people’s feuds can cause innocent people such as Romeo and Juliet to get hurt.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Romeo and Juliet love and hate
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