This essay will discuss how Shakespeare and Front portray love through intelligent language and owe the setting can deeply influence our perception of the characters. The Oxford English Dictionary defines love as a warm affection or fondness. It can be shown in many different ways from many different perspectives, but never has it been so intensely portrayed as in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Withering Heights”. In many ways, the storyline are remarkably similar, but at the same time complete contrasts to each other, much like the characters.
In “Withering Heights” the plot is very complex, with twists and turns at each chapter, and is spread out over the course of forty six years. It is told in a very fresh and unusual way, being from the perspective of different characters at different parts of the novel, though mainly told by Newly the maid servant. “Romeo and Juliet” however is surprisingly simple, being told in both third person and soliloquy, but still by the same primary characters throughout the play.
The entire storyline, though spoke of as being a long lasting feud between the Montague and the Capsules, is in fact stretched out over a very short time period of a mere week. Both novels, particularly “h,Buttering Heights”, show the semantic field of Gothic. As an audience, our first impression of Withering Heights comes from the briefly appearing Mr. Lockwood, who describes the terrain surrounding the house as “… The north wind, blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few, stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun”.
The thorns stretching away from the house and towards the light, almost as if they’re trying to escape, suggests to us that no good will come of this building, and that a lot of tragedy is about to take place there. The fact that everything is on the brink of death warns us that it is a very dark, gloomy lay out, and gives the subtlest of hints that a supernatural element is present. The trees which by Withering Heights are “few’ and “stunted” are by great contrast to those surrounding Treacherous Grange, which are large and flourishing, almost engulfing the house in a bright and colorful haze.
It is this welcoming facade that infects Cathy later in the book, forcing her to bury her inner desires, making Treacherous Grange an influential setting and ultimately the turning point in the novel. It has both a well-lit exterior and interior, but hides a suffocating social standard that pressures all characters inside into hiding parts of themselves. This writing technique shows off Frontg’s ability to use light and dark to give the buildings a personality of their own, and she has very cleverly used pathetic fallacy here to set the mood of her novel early on.
Possibly in the only similarity between Treacherous Grange and Withering Heights, in both houses there is little change in its interior and exterior. Although it has lost the “stormy weather” it remains dark and forbidding, the floor was of smooth, white stones; the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures, painted green: one or two heavy black ones lurking in the shade”. As Mr. Lockwood proceeds through the house he observes “… Dogs haunted other recesses” and at a later point in the chapter, after being attacked by the dogs, exclaims, “The herd of possessed swine could have had no worse spirits in them than those animals of yours, sir.
You might as well leave a Stranger with a brood of tigers! ” This emphasizes the supernatural aura surrounding Heathenish and the moors where the novel is set, making it feel like a baron Eastland with lingering evil that foreshadows a dark story. The gothic feel is less obvious in “Romeo and Julie?’, but it can still be detected at times. Particularly when Juliet is given the sleeping draft or “potion” to induce a death-like state. Similar to “Withering Heights”, there is a suggestion of the afterlife, as when Romeo and Juliet die, their love remains strong, which is the same for Cathy and Heathenish who are said to haunt the moors.
In both stories the main characters meet a grim end, and many of the secondary characters suffer the same fate as a consequence. The dark events of both ales are relatively alike; each containing complicated family trees that live in a constant rivalry, backstabbing (quite literally in “Romeo and Juliet”) and a tragic romance. These themes may have been induced by the times in which the stories were written. Both when William Shakespeare and Emily Bronze were living in England there was a queen on the throne, which brought about much opposition and assassination attempts were not uncommon.
These uncertain times certainly influenced their writing, and Bronze especially had reason to weave depressing matters into her novel. It becomes quickly apparent to the deader of “Withering Heights” that very few mother figures appear in the plotting; this is probably because Email’s mother died of cancer when she was just a young girl, and so she was raised by her father and Older sisters. Her brother became a drunk and may have been the inspiration for Handled, and as for the style of her writing, that was most likely due to her fathers unique way of up-bringing.
They lived in a very different and equal environment, reading great literature including the works of Lord Byron. These were a collection of poems describing dangerous but passionate men, who more often than not loved destructively. These poems were definitely the basis of Heathenishly character, and possibly even the harshness of Scathe’s wild side. The fact that Front originally published “Withering Heights” under the pseudonym Ellis Bell tells us that she was afraid to use her real name because of the publics opinion, believing that her novel may be shocking and unaccepted in society.
Since Front grew up in Worth, which is situated on the Yorkshire moors, the character Cathy may have been a reflection of her inner self, making the novel in some ways semi-autobiographical. The eminence that Cathy has over the men in her life must have been very challenging to the structure of society in Frontg’s time, and almost certainly would have had an impact on women’s status up until that point. The female characters in the novel are often described as being possessions; this is shown through her belief that Edgar is more suited to her worth and therefore the more practical choice of husband.
Heathenish very much represents everything dark and dangerous about love, the way it can turn into an obsession and consume you entirely, and in my opinion he is the ultimate victim of the story. This is in complete contrast to Edgar who is a very kind and gentle figure, almost weak at times despite his higher social rank. Everything about his appearance symbolisms perfectly the delicacy of love, his “light hair and fair skin” creating a child-like image in the reader’s mind. He “seldom mustered courage to visit Withering Heights” which shows that he fears the rough and jagged exterior of both the house and Heathenish.
The way Cathy describes her love for him as being “like the foliage in the woods: time will change it’ shows that she is quite a shallow character, professing to love Edgar for his looks and nurturing personality lone, whilst still remaining in the certain belief that she will not feel that way forever. Whereas her love for Heathenish is bordering fixation as she says it “resembles the eternal rocks beneath” and later goes on to claim that if all things ended and he remained she would continue to be, but if he died and all else remained she would cease all existence.
This is such an intense portrayal of love and the use of language here, although metaphorical, is incredibly powerful. Referring to nature in both examples, though very different forms of nature; Edgar as the weak foliage and Heathenish as the cough rocks. Younger Catherine however seems to incorporate both her mothers wild streak and her father’s kindness, in a much more balanced and healthy combination. She shows this in her first marriage to Linton, caring for him on his deathbed when Heathenish refuses to.
He doesn’t see Linton as his true son, since he came from Heathenish s marriage to Isabella which he arranged out of pure jealousy and revenge. It is in this way that we get to see just how much love has changed Heathenish, turning him into a very bitter and cold hearted person. Upon Catchy death he hopes that she may never find rest whilst he still lives, which despite being a selfish thing to say, it can in some ways be justified after all the pain Cathy has put him through.
Throughout his entire life, Heathenish was on the receiving end of both verbal and physical abuse, most of which coming from Handled who hated him for being Mr. Awareness favorite son. This again changes Heathenish from an adventurous man to a lonely recluse, taking to wandering the moors towards the end of the novel and eventually dying from nothing more than a broken heart. Unlike many of the other characters, who throughout the course of the evolve die of illness at young age. This may also reflect the times in which it was written, when life expectancy was far lower than it is today.
Newly however is an exception to this phenomenon, as she is the only character who lives to See the unfolding of the entire tale, acting as a mother figure to many different people including Heathenish. In this way, Newly is very similar to the nurse in “Romeo and Juliet” who in some ways is more like Gullet’s mother than Lady Caplet. Since in those days it was improper for a woman of such high stature to breast feed, it is implied hat the Nurse did this instead, as well as looking out for Gullet’s interests more.
Her father arranges a marriage for her, and when she refuses he threatens to disown her from then on. This reflects the times in which the play was set and written, because women had very little say in their own lives. The setting of Verona very much reflects the mood of its inhabitants; it is an incredibly hot place, as are the hot headed characters. Violence is just as much a part of “Romeo and Julies’ as love. Perhaps the most blatant proof of this is in the quote “These violent delights have violent ends, and in their rump die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume”.
Unlike in “Withering Heights”, there is infant little contrast between the two opposing families. Members of both the Capsules and the Montague think alike, some seeking peace whilst others wishing only to fight. It is a unique story, one of the most unusual features being the introduction, where Shakespeare makes the ending blatantly clear to the audience. Despite this being an automatic give away, it has become one of the basic templates for any romance, and traces of the original plot can be found in almost every love story since its telling.
Religious symbol is a common occurrence in the play, the most obvious example of this being upon Romeo and Gullet’s first meeting, where Romeo refers to Juliet as a Saint, and one that he, a simple pilgrim, would kiss if only he wasn’t afraid to dirty her purity. This style of language resurfaces at several key points in the story, as does the theme of light and darkness in one of the most iconic lines of the story “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun”. By describing Juliet as the sun he suggests that she brings all light into his life, and is the centre of his world.
Shakespeare uses a lot of these metaphors and so paints his idea of love as something pure that should be cherished, but also easy to slip into obsession. In “Romeo and Juliet” the portrayal of love is far less unrequited but just as destructive. Almost all the main characters die, much like in “Withering Heights”, and both stories reach a relatively similar outcome: returning to peace once the lovers are dead. They have quite grim lessons, the turning point in each being down to miscommunication and possibly fate, since in each Story the “star-crossed lovers” are far too different to ever be accepted n society as a couple.