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and historical references will go over most of the audiences head.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