One of the main themes in Romeo and Juliet is irony; more specifically, the irony of love. It is ironic that Romeo and Juliet fall in love upon their first meeting, that their families are feuding but don’t quite know why, and that their plan to go on together forever results in both of their demise. It is ironic that R and J are supposed to have this beautiful union of love, yet it has resulted in nothing but violence, death, and further conflict. The conflicts in the play (families feuding, R and J not being able to be together, deaths) contribute heavily to the underlying theme of irony.
A theme is something that is a life lesson or an overall message that the author is trying to impart in a story. A strong theme of Romeo + Juliet is that hasty love can be marked by trouble. There are many conflicts that support this theme, such as:
1. Juliet experiences internal conflict when she decides to marry Romeo and go against her family’s wishes. In Act III, Scene V of the play, Juliet is faced with the impossible choice of breaking her brand new wedding vows or being put out on the streets to starve, disowned by her family and unable to be with Romeo.
2. Romeo also sees conflict in the play that helps develop the theme. In Act III, Scene I, Romeo attempts to extend a hand of friendship to his new cousin (by marriage), Tybalt. However, Tybalt is not accepting of this offer and a brawl ensues, ending with the deaths of Tybalt and Romeo’s best friend, Mercutio. Romeo has to endure the pain that his decision to marry Juliet has brought him.
Hope that helps!