Religious Language and Ideas in Romeo and Juliet The epistle of Saint John unequivocally states, “Love originates from God” (1 John 4:7). This statement not only discusses the source of love however it likewise offers a method to understand both love and God. If love is from God, then an understanding of love can be derived from understanding God.
Hence, the reverse, knowing love provides a level of understanding worrying God, is true. Due to this conclusion, it just appears natural that the two should intersect when attempting to explain one another.
William Shakespeare uses Christian language and ideas in the play Romeo and Juliet to not only efficiently conveys the gravity of love but also to provide metaphorical undertones to the play’s conclusion. It appears that Shakespeare purposefully used religious language and principles in order to elicit the ramifications that are attached with the words. By glossing over these words as two-dimensional adjectives much of Shakespeare’s beauty and genius is lost and the intrinsic harmony connecting love and God is unknown to the reader.
The play Romeo and Juliet is soaked in religious language and buildings. The possible examples are numerous and large range, however some are utilized to communicate love while others are used to drive the thematic plot. For organizational functions, the uses of spiritual language that help convey the meaning of love will be resolved initially followed by an explication of the thematic uses or religious language. An excellent example of how Shakespeare executes religious language and principles in order to explain the transcendent emotion of Love is in Romeo and Juliet’s very first conference.
While courting Juliet, Romeo states, “My lips, two blushing pilgrims, prepared stand, To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (1:5:97 -98) Prior to this statement Romeo had actually related Juliet with a holy shrine and he then employs the spiritual idea of pilgrimage in the following lines. On a very surface level, this makes good sense considering that a holy shrine is an end goal and pilgrims, like lips moving in for a kiss, travel to the end goal. Nevertheless, it seems rather evident that Shakespeare implied a lot more than merely making a comparison for movement in this declaration.
The term pilgrim calls to mind the departure from a recognized location into an unidentified, holy land for the sake of obtaining salvation. By utilizing ‘pilgrim’ to describe the kiss shared between the two fans suggests that Romeo and Juliet are going to depart from their current love-starved world and move into a holy world of love. Another example of where Shakespeare executes spiritual language is when Romeo says, “I take thee at thy word: Call me but love, and I’ll be brand-new baptized; henceforth I never ever will be Romeo. (2:2:49 -51) Again, as in the previous statement, Shakespeare implemented spiritual language in order to describe how love is a transcendent and unearthly entity. In the world of Christianity, Baptism is the sacramental shedding of earthly flaws and wedding of the soul to Paradise’s rule. Romeo’s statement uses the word and concept of baptism to express that by being called Juliet’s enthusiast, Romeo would shed his earthly self and get in the world of love where his name would no longer matter.
Both of these declarations enable Shakespeare to explain the transcendence of love, and logically the only way to explain the transcendence of love is by carrying out spiritual words and concepts that are themselves transcendent. It is rather apparent why Shakespeare employed religious language rather of using secular or earthly language and ideas. As stated previously, both love and God are entities that find their origin beyond earthly confines. The truth that both love and God manifest themselves on earth creates a dilemma when one attempts to explain their essence.
Trying to explain God or love with words that are restricted to earth’s confines is similar to the proverbial square peg in a round hole. This is why it would not contribute for Shakespeare to explain love with nonreligious or earthly words. The insufficient nonreligious language would lose much of love’s weight and Shakespeare’s genius would be repressed. Shakespeare’s usage of religious language not just enables better description of love itself however Shakespeare likewise uses it as a lorry for metaphor.
The central message of Christianity is the redemptive sacrifice of the ‘unblemished lamb’, Jesus Christ, known as the Gospel. When Romeo kisses Juliet and states, “Therefore from my lips, by yours, my sins are purged.” (1:5:109) The purging of sins undoubtedly draws up thoughts about the Gospel within the reader’s mind and although the metaphor is not brought to denouement within simply this one line, the foundation is set out. Later on in the play, Juliet states in concerns to performing her mock-death, “Things that, to hear them told, have made me shiver;
And I will do it with out worry or doubt, To live an unstained better half to my sweet love.” (4:1:86 -88) This line once again is drenched in Gospel metaphor. The word ‘unstained’ is a queue for the reader that this line is not merely a nonreligious, two-dimensional declaration and with this in mind, Juliet appears to share much of Jesus Christ’s emotions in the biblical account of Him hoping in the Garden of Gethsemane. Both Jesus and Juliet are worried of their looming deaths, both confess that they are afraid, and both select to face their fears with confidence.
With both this line and the previously stated line it is relatively clear that Shakespeare developed particular parallels in between Juliet and Jesus Christ. These parallels concern a supreme conclusion at the play’s conclusion. At the end of scene five, when both Romeo and Juliet are dead, it becomes evident that Shakespeare’s metaphor of Christ has come to conclusion. After both of the households realize that their respective kids are dead they quit their long held animosity towards each other.
This reconciliation seems to echo the reconciliation discovered after Jesus Christ’s death. Certainly, in no chance is Juliet an airtight allegory for the Gospel. However, these statements and building and constructions are indisputable in their deliberate similarity to Christ and the Gospel story. Shakespeare controling his plot to facilitate the Gospel metaphor suggests that he felt highly about the need to use God to explain love. Jesus Christ came from paradise and through His death brought redemption for the sinful world.
Juliet embodied love and through her death brought reconciliation to the town of Verona. Shakespeare, through his metaphors, is attempting to convey a very weighty evaluation on love. The metaphor communicates that love is not of this world however rather from God and therefore to know either God or love is to know something of both. It likewise recommends that love has a really genuine salvation within it, the capability to fix up relationships and go beyond earthly pettiness. It seems paradoxical that despite the reality that God developed the world, worldly terms disappoint describing His essence.
Likewise, it is equally ironic that love, an entity that apparently manages the large bulk of all human interactions in one method or another, is not readily explained by commonplace terms. Juxtaposing these two paradoxes makes it obvious as to why William Shakespeare carried out spiritual terminology and metaphors in order to totally communicate the essence of love. Romeo and Juliet were undoubtedly in love with each other and it is fitting that their holy love might not be constrained by either the unholy boundaries of Verona or of secular diction.