The literary genius, William Shakespeare, was born in 1564 and
throughout his life wrote a collection of plays, poems and sonnets. In
the 16th century, the type of theatre was very different to that of
today. Actors were only male, so any female parts had to be played by
a boy whose voice had not broken. This also meant that intimate love
scenes were not included as they were uncomfortable for the actors and
would not be very realistic.
The theatre itself was round with a small circular stage in the
centre. Props were few and words had to make up the scenery, lighting
and atmosphere. Plays had to be performed in the afternoons when it
was most light and were usually more of a social 'get-together' than a
formal event. Middle and lower class citizens attended these shows and
were unsettled and often uncultured. This meant that the very
beginning lines of the play could not be vital, as no one would
understand the play later if they missed them. In addition, the
following few lines had to be spoken loudly to attract the audience's
attention. Romeo and Juliet begins in exactly this way, with a short
opening chorus which explains the whole story, and then a fight scene.
Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy that portrays two lovers trying
to build their relationship on a foundation of hate. Most people
believe the play to be a great love story, but it is equally one of
hatred, violence and bloodshed. The two lovers, who come from opposing
families in Verona, attempt to keep their love and marriage secret,
but this ends in dramatic suicide, which finally brings the Montagues
... middle of paper ...
...and the two families are brought together in mourning.
"O brother Montague, give me thy hand.
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand."
Shakespeare's usage of love and hate has given lead to many other
plays and films after it, such as 'West Side Story'. It gives a very
effective story line that keeps the audience captivated with every
twist and turn. The background of hate involves the audience who can
identify with one or more of the characters, and are often left
feeling extremely sorry for the families, such is the realism of the
play. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a true demonstration that love overcomes
hate, but in their case, the only way out was to be reunited in death.
"Never was there a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
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