Light Over Dark: The Choice Romeo and Juliet Didn’t Make
The purpose of the light/dark motif in Romeo and Juliet is to show how Romeo and Juliet are unable to tell light from dark, or good from bad. I think everyone has the potential to distinguish what choices lead to “light” and what choices keep them in the “dark”. So Romeo and Juliet had that potential but I don’t think they wanted to know about that, since nothing else mattered to them but them. In this play, Romeo and Juliet do never make a clear choice of light over dark because they almost do not want to deal that decision in the middle of their romantic journey. They could have brought their situation which was becoming more of a mess each day, into the light by talking openly about it. However that would’ve ended the feud between the families that would have to be dealt with in some way and I’m sure Romeo and Juliet would not have lost their lives doing that. By ignoring their responsibilities and ignoring the darkness that was rising on them quickly both Romeo and Juliet allow tragedy to take them both.
In the first scene, Romeo is depressed because his love for Rosaline is a one-way love. His parents are worried because Romeo spends all his time in the dark. Even when it is light, he shrouds himself in darkness to reflect his dreary mood: Away from the light steals home my heavy son / And private in his chamber pens himself / Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out / And makes himself an artificial night (I. I. 137-140). This light and dark imagery shows that Romeo is choosing to keep himself engulfed in a relationship which will always be at this unbreakable stand-still beacuse Rosaline doesn’t like Romeo in return and has vowed to chastity. This choice to remain at a stand-still keeps Romeo in the dark because he is not moving on in his life and facing the worst possible situation for a boy his age an is shutting out any chances of other romantic possibilities.
Benvolio helps bring Romeo...