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Theme of love in the novel Jane Eyre and the novel Romeo and Juliet
Introduction
Jane Eyre is an outstanding novel that was written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847. This
novel is an analysis of Victorian traditions about social class and gender, which became one of
the most prosperous novels of its period, both commercially and analytically. Charlotte Bronte
was one of the exceptional Victorian period novel English author (Teachman 117). Most of her
novels had main themes such as feminism, love, morality and religion, hunger, fantasy, the
meaning of money and freedom. Her literary work was fulfilled with her experiences in life such
as her relationship with teachers in the boarding school where she acquired education and the
loss of her mother at a young age (Michie 50). After the triumph of Jane Eyre, Charlotte exposed
her identity to her publisher and went on to author several other books. Later, she became a
respected member of Londons literary convention. Charlottes success as an author turned the
eyes of the world upon her. It was the desire and revolt of Jane Eyre (1847) that earned her
fame, and when visiting London she moved in the best literary circles, supported by Mrs. Gaskell
and Thackeray.
However, Romeo and Juliet is a popular play that was composed by William
Shakespeare in 1597. Romeo and Juliet was among Shakespeares most widespread plays during

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the Renaissance era and it was the most frequently performed play. Even though this play was
initially of poor quality, later editions improved it, bringing it more alike with Shakespeares
original. William Shakespeare is one of the most influential writers in English Literature (Hager
34). Shakespeares description of Romeo and Juliet is no exception since it comprises a powerful
development of the storys thematic features and the language he used is extraordinary. In
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare implicitly expressed themes such as love, individual versus
society, fate and chance, time and violence (Bloom 15). Nonetheless, in both Jane Eyre and
Romeo and Juliet, the audience are presented with an assortment of love, in a variety of literary
devices such as dramatic irony, dialogue and poems, used by Charlotte Bronte and William
Shakespeare. This particular paper is meant to discuss and compare the theme of love in both
literary works, based on how it has been depicted by both authors.
Precisely, the novel Jane Eyre is an absurd love story as Romeo and Juliet. It tells a
narrative about a mature, determined, intelligent, sovereign, sensible and self-confident woman.
She is an orphan who joins Lowood School, where she was a student and later a teacher. When
her friend leaves school, she decided to find a job somewhere else. While in her new workplace,
she falls in love with Mr. Rochester. In her depiction of the story, Charlotte Bronte refers to
Shakespeare, Greek mythology and the Bible (Teachman 119). On the other hand, William
Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet narrates a story about the illegal love between Romeo Montague
and Juliet Capulet. Since the two families are old enemies, the love between Romeo and Juliet is
forbidden, though Romeo marries Juliet secretly. When Juliet asks for advice from Friar
Laurence, she is instructed to take a poison and behave as if dead so that Romeo can marry her.
Friar promises her to notify Romeo but Unluckily, Romeo finds out the news before meeting

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Friar, thus committing suicide (Bloom 15). When Juliet wakes up, she finds the dead body of
Romeo and she had no option rather than committing suicide as well.
To introduce the novel, William Shakespeare uses poem as the introduction of Romeo
and Juliet. Throughout the introduction, the audience is made aware unclearly of the various
themes the novel will describe. The first line, Two households both similar in dignity
designates that there are two households; the word similar in dignity was used to demonstrate
that they are both of the same social development. The audience later realizes that the play
possess an element of romance and love from the word star-crossed lovers (Bowling 207).
Similarly, Charlotte Bronte introduces the novel, Jane Eyre using a complex style. She starts by
depicting the kindness that Bessie, a servant in Janes wealthy and cruel aunt, shows to Jane. This
confuses the audience to figure out which themes the novel will accommodate (Michie 49).
Charlotte later gives the audience hint when she begins to describe the love life of Jane and in
this case, the audience realizes that the novel comprise theme of love. Both literary works relate
a strong love between a man and a woman. However, based on the morals of the societies, the
couples from both pieces of literature are not supposed to marry. Their illogical love makes them
to act naively without realizing the consequences of their acts carefully. For instance, Juliet takes
a drug to go into coma and subsequently, Jane anticipated to be married by a man who had his
insane wife living in Thornfield and when she realizes that, she decides to abandon the mansion
(Hager 41). In addition, both couples are like two magnets drawn together. They are in love
regardless of the seemingly impossible difficulties. Evidently, Mr. Rochester and Jane hold
diverse positions in life that should separate them while Juliet and Romeo come from disputing
families. While Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester have long period of romantic pressure before

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confessing their love to each other and later attempting to marry, Romeo and Juliet had an
exceptionally quick courtship and marriage.
All the same, both couples are able to overcome the challenges that put them at risk.
These challenges comprised the insane wife of Mr. Rochester, the animosity of Montague and
Capulet and the ethics of the society, which disapprove the relationship between each of the
couple. The major difference between both couples is the aftermath of their marriages. Romeo
and Juliet are able to marry secretly but their marriage is the spur for the ultimate conflicts
(Bowling 208). They cannot enjoy their happiness since the society and their hasty behavior
troubles them almost from the start. On the other hand, Mr. Rochester and Jane are disallowed to
marry each other. In this case, Jane runs away and returns to see Mr. Fairfax, only to realize that
their love can overwhelm the sins of the past, thus she goes on to happiness. In other words, the
two couples from different literary works part and return to one another, but the results of these
relationships are quite diverse.
The novel Jane Eyre is very much the narrative of a pursuit to be loved. This is because,
Jane pursuits, not just for romantic love, but also for logic of being loved. This is evidently
shown when Jane tells Helen that she can do anything or sacrifice herself in order to protect the
one she loves (Reger 213). However, over the course of the novel, Jane must learn how to
advance love without hurting and forfeiting herself in the process. Conversely, Romeo and Juliet
is a love narrative, which has been popular in English literary custom. William Shakespeare
express love as the plays main and most significant theme. Similar to Jane Eyre, Romeo and
Juliet portrays romantic love, explicitly the strong desire that springs up at first between Juliet
and Romeo (Bloom 15). Shakespeare describes love as overjoyed, adoring, overwhelming force
that take the position of all emotions, fidelities and other values. This is the same case in Jane

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Eyre, whereby Charlotte depicts love as the most influential factor to the independence of Jane.
Jane fear of losing her independence influences her refusal of Mr. Rochesters marriage
suggestion. She believes that being married to Mr. Rochester would mean interpreting herself a
mistress and forfeiting her own honesty for the sake of love (Schonberger-Schleicher 18). In both
literary works, love is driven by the challenge in their societies and families. For instance, the
love between Romeo and Juliet is greatly influenced by the dispute between their families,
though at last they got married secretly. On the other hand, Jane decides to fall in love with
Rochester because she lacks emotional sustenance from her aunt, even though she had a lot of
freedom. In fact, even after she accepts to the marriage proposal, Jane knows their marriage
would remain loveless. Only after proving her independence to herself, her marriage with
Rochester can be one between equals as she says: I am my husbands life as fully as he is mine
(Michie, 2006).
Although love is the overriding theme in Romeo and Juliet, the reader realizes that
Shakespeare is unconcerned in describing an elegant version of emotion, the style that bad poets
writes. Love in Shakespeares is influential, vicious emotion that confines persons and propels
them against their world, and, in some cases, against themselves (Hager 60). Based on both
literary works, the reader can clearly see the nature of love according to how it has been
described, or, more precisely, the manner depictions of it so constantly fail to capture it
completely. For instance, in some cases, love is depicted in terms of religion and other cases it
has been depicted as a type of magic. Throughout the novel, Jane tussles to find the right
equilibrium between love and moral duty, between responsibilities to her spirit and consideration
to her body. She powerfully objects to Rochesters dissolute sin, and she refuses to deliberate
living with him while society and church still knows that he is married to another woman. Yet,

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Jane can hardly bring herself to abandon the only love she has ever known. For Jane, religion
aids control immoderate love, and it leads one on to worldly accomplishments and exertions.
Juliet, possibly, most preferably depicts her love to Romeo by using a metaphor. She states, But
my true love is grown to such excess or I cannot sum up some of half my wealth (Bloom 3334). Shakespeare points out that if a man used a metaphor as a request, the woman could behave
as if she does not comprehend, and could retreat without losing decency. However, Juliet uses
metaphor and expands it. This is evidently shown when she finally tell Romeo that she cannot
grant him his prayer, Saints do not move, though grant for prayers sake. The religious
metaphors of saint and shrine were popular during the Renaissance period and more likely were
assumed as romantic. Juliet adds that In other words, love repels any single representation since
it is too strong to be so easily assumed or confined.
Nevertheless, the authors do not hesitate to exemplify the hatred, which goes
correspondently with love. One way to relate outlooks of hatred between Jane Eyre and
Shakespeares play of Romeo and Juliet is to look at the hatred that Mr. Rochester has for her
wife, Bertha Mason. Rochester, formerly married to Mason, locks her up in the loft of Thornfield
Manor. He is afraid of his wife insanity and this is why he decides to keep her at Thornfield so
that she can be given the necessary care. It is not until the moment he falls in love with Jane that
he starts to doubt his decision to keep both his marriage and Bertha (Michie 42). The marriage of
Rochester to Mason comes out on his wedding day to Jane and this makes Jane to leave
Thornfield. By the moment Jane returns to Thornfield, Mr. Rochester had lost his sight and she
exonerates him, thus marrying him. In the finale of the novel, the hatred of Rochester towards
Bertha can be accorded to the hatred and love between Romeo and Mercutio.

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In addition, death and violence is strongly linked to passion, whether that passion is hate
or love. The link between death, hate and violence appears to be obvious in both literary works,
even though the link between violence and love is briefly portrayed. In Romeo and Juliet, love is
a powerful spirit that can overcome anything as hatred can. The adoring love between Juliet and
Romeo is connected from the time of its beginning until their death. Once Romeo falls in love
with Juliet, Tybalt is determined to kill him (Houliston 1136). From that instance, love seems to
attract the lovers more rapidly to violence and love. Furthermore, Juliet and Romeo are
overwhelmed with spirits of suicide, and an enthusiasm to experience it. This spirit continues up
to the unavoidable conclusion, whereby both Romeo and Juliet commits suicide. This is
demonstrated after Capulet resolves that Juliet will marry Paris, and this makes Juliet to say, If
all else fail, myself have power to die (Bloom 15). It is only through this, that the love between
Juliet and Romeo can be expressed and preserved, and their affection is so deep that they are
willing to terminate their lives in its protection. In this play, Shakespeare present love as an
immoral thing, resulting to as much happiness as destruction. All the same, the extreme love that
Juliet and Romeo experience also seems so divinely stunning that few would need, or be capable,
to repel its control.
On the other hand, the author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, depicts the link between
death, hate and violence and this leads the reader on an interesting expedition throughout the
novel. Bronte uses violence throughout the novel to keep the reader fascinated and at the same
moment generating a spur for love and hatred scenes. The first example happens when Jane is
very young and she argues orally and physically with her cousin John. Johns violent power
towards Jane is definitely a way to make the novel interesting (Schonberger-Schleicher 7). While
at Lowood, Jane wins the love of everyone there, but her life is hard since state of affairs are

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pitiable at the school. Conquered by Mr. Brocklehurst, Jane feels overwhelmed and her love
reduces the nature of violent. Jane starts to make associates and from this view, the reader
believes that there is no occurrence of violence throughout the book. When Janes best friend
dies during a violence, Charlotte applies this scene to make Jane emotionally stronger, which is
suitable to the reader (Reger 214). In other words, this scene outline Jane byline of violence and
death. Knowingly, the novel Jane Eyre is centered specifically on the descriptions of violence,
hate, death and love as to attract the readers concentration. In fact, the views of Charlotte Bronte
on the Victorian woman are not indeed of what they were meant for. This is because, the author
wrote this narrative to show how women are affected by the feeling of love and they can do
anything to protect what they love. Thus, she used violence and love in most scenes, characters
and settings of the book to make Jane Eyre a narrative of women dramatic journey through life
describing love and violence (Teachman 122).
The major differences in both literary works is expressed in the conclusion. In
Shakespeares play, Romeo toxins himself and Juliet shoots herself, while in the case of Jane
Eyre, Mr. Rochester and Jane end up marrying and creating a family. In addition, the marriage of
Juliet and Romeo is triggered by the disputes between the families (Hager 46). On the other
hand, the marriage of Mr. Rochester and Jane happens after many years since they met and ends
up with happiness. William Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte do not make a precise moral
statement about the links between love and family, society and religion. Instead, they portrays
the passion and chaos of being in love, merging metaphors of violence, religion, death and love
in an implicit way to the conclusion of both literary works.
Conclusion

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Jane Eyre is an outstanding novel that was written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847. This
novel is a critique of Victorian assumptions about social class and gender, which became one of
the most prosperous novels of its period, both commercially and critically. However, Romeo and
Juliet is a popular novel that was authored by William Shakespeare in 1597. Romeo and Juliet
was among Shakespeares most widespread plays during the Renaissance era and it was the most
frequently performed play. Both literary works has described the theme of love in different ways
but with almost the same meaning since they relate a strong love between a man and a woman.
The novel Jane Eyre is very much the narrative of a pursuit to be loved because Jane pursuits,
not just for romantic love, but also for logic of being loved. On the other hand, William
Shakespeare express love as the plays main and most significant theme. Similar to Jane Eyre,
Romeo and Juliet portrays romantic love, explicitly the strong desire that springs up at first
between Juliet and Romeo. In general, William Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte do not make a
precise moral statement about the links between love and family, society and religion. Instead,
they portrays the passion and chaos of being in love, merging metaphors of violence, religion,
death and love in an implicit way to the conclusion of both literary works.

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Work cited
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Bowling, Lawrence Edward. 'The Thematic Framework of Romeo and Juliet'. PMLA 64.1
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Hager, Alan. Understanding Romeo and Juliet: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and
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Houliston, Victor, and C. Blakemore Evans. 'Romeo and Juliet'. The Sixteenth Century Journal
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Jane Eyre. Ignatius Pr, 2015. Print.
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2006. Print.
Reger, Mark. 'Bront's Jane Eyre'. The Explicator 50.4 (1992): 213-215. Web.
Schonberger-Schleicher, Esther. Charlotte and Emily Bronte: A Narrative Analysis of Jane Eyre
and Wuthering Heights. Paris: P. Lang, 1999. Print.
Teachman, Debra. Understanding Jane Eyre: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and
Historical Documents. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2001. Print.