Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

907 Words4 Pages
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's skill as a seasoned playwright are put to the test

throughout the play, as he tries to maintain interest to various

levels of audience even after they are told the play's ending in the

opening prologue. The focus of the play is not what is going to

happen, but how. The audience already know the plot so they are free

to enjoy it all happen; the interest arises from the fast moving

events and sub plots, and the quick fire interaction of the witty,

vivid characters. Also the plot can move on at a more rapid pace.

Also another theme throughout the play is the puerile but undying

hopeless hope; even though they know they are doomed the audience

still have hope, as their desire for a happy ending is not quenched

even when pitched against the prologue.

Shakespeare gives us immediate expectation by choosing Verona as the

play's setting. Shakespeare knew his audience well and knew that much

like today the Italians had a reputation for flowing emotions, both

passion and anger, giving the audience expectations of both love and

bloodshed. He continues to build up our expectations throughout Acts

One and Two, and then perhaps the most obvious, Mercutio's dying curse

on both of their houses.

Don Berry/Page 1

Act One sees two people from feuding families (who we are told are

'star crossed') meet and fall in love. Sexual punning set the scene at

the start of the play, soon followed by machismo violence. A brawl

ensues, and is dispersed with a threat from the Prince. Meanwhile

Romeo is melancholy due to his unrequited love for Rosaline, and is

taken to the party where he falls in lo...

... middle of paper ... of Merctuio and Benvolio are reflected in their names;

Benvolio, peacekeeper, Mercutio; Messenger of the Gods, Mercury,

reactive, he is like a catalyst used by Shakespeare to speed up the

action and prevent boredom.

Don Berry/Page 4

The play poses some problems to a modern director whose skills in

adaptation to suit audience will invariably never compare to

Shakespeare's, the main reason is that although the actors may have

the skill to convey the plot and mood to the vast majority of the

audience many of the play's elements including the subtle language

changes, the quick-fire punning and the numerous mythical, biblical

and historical references will go over most of the audiences head.

However this will not spoil the play for the audience, it can still be

enjoyed because of the fast moving plot and romance.
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