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Courage in Black like Me and Romeo and Juliet

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Courage in Black like Me and Romeo and Juliet

Courage in Black Like Me and Romeo and Juliet

Courage, a human characteristic; is strongly influenced in both novels Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin, and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. This theme is displayed throughout the likes of characters Juliet Capulet, Romeo Montegue and John Griffin. Courage also appears throughout the setting of these stories; whether it’s John changing his life completely for this great cause of equality, or Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden love; danger lurks around every corner in these to novels. Courage makes an appearance in the conflicts of these two best selling novels, Romeo and Juliet’s never ending fight to be together and Johns on going battle against racism. Courage is the theme that has most largely influenced these two outstanding novels.

Juliet Capulet shows courage throughout the play/novel Romeo and Juliet. When she is faced with either marrying a man she did not love or being banished from her house hold, which at the time would have disgraced her family name, it seemed her fate was sealed. It was not until Friar Lawrence devised a plan; Juliet had to take a potion, which in her eyes could have lead to disaster. The Friar told her the potion would bring her life happily ever after with her husband Romeo. The timing had to be right or the consequences would be fatal. Juliet did it, not knowing the outcome; a courageous act many would not attempt. Things turned disastrous, leaving Juliet's heart crippled, but not her courage. Juliet once again showed this virtue of courage by taking the knife from her husband’s dead body and taking the hard way out because she believed in their love and marriage. She would have tried anything in order for them to be together, as would Romeo.

Romeo Montegue displays courage throughout the play/novel. He displays courage when he climbs into the Capulet garden after an evening of love and romance. He does this to locate his new found love even though he knew if he was caught he would be killed. Romeo understands that he must do this dangerous task for the one he loves, suicidal for some but not for Romeo. His courage to love somebody he was not allowed to love, Juliet, gave Romeo’s courage motive to explore how far it could go. Romeo’s courage brought him the love of his life, and back to a town which he was banished from for his love Juliet. His courage did not go unnoticed. Anyone who has read either of these books would say that neither Romeo, Juliet’s or even John Griffin’s courage was un-noticed.

John Griffin's courage was widely known. John Griffin displayed courage through out the novel; fear waited for John everywhere he went, and as anyone knows, it takes courage to face your fears like John did. John also battled the white/negro racism as a black man in America. He took the abuse that never should have been, but John the courageous character he was, took the pain and suffering while being away from his family just to take a step towards equality for all. Standing up to his bullies as a black man and a white man, John Griffin became a hero, and a role model for anyone to look up to. This was especially true in terms of his courage.

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