Essay PreviewMore ↓
Many people consider a tragedy to be a play or story, which includes
an element of death and disaster, the play Romeo and Juliet fits into
this category. With their fate already mapped out, Shakespeare ends
the secret love affair of Romeo and Juliet with their deaths. The
tragedy has a didactic purpose; Shakespeare wants the audience to
learn how to avoid making the same mistakes as the characters.
Shakespeare cleverly begins the play with a prologue, which sets the
scene for the rest of the play. The prologue tells us about an
“ancient grudge” between two families and how only the deaths of
“star-crossed lovers”, one from each enemy, could end the feud. This
brief revelation of the plot of the play allows the audience to
concentrate on how and what led to the two lovers deaths instead of a
surprise ending with death. The fact that the prologue is written as a
sonnet emphasises the theme of love. A sonnet typically uses very
elaborate and poetic language and this can be seen in the prologue,
such as “their death-marked love”. However this also creates a theme
of violence and death, which carries on throughout the rest of the
play by mentioning “civil blood makes civil hands unclean” and “their
parents rage”, it sets the scene for the rest of the play.
The opening scene of the play is in complete contrast to the prologue.
We go from a sonnet describing love in very elaborate and poetic
language to the coarse and sexual language of two servants. This
extreme contrast grabs the attention and interest of the audience
straight away. The scene begins with two servants of the Capulet’s
basically “egging each other on” to fight the enemy. Sampson, the
seemingly more hot headed of the two, brags about being “in choler”
and that he will “draw” his sword in order to defend the Capulet’s.
Gregory, on the other hand, is much more sensible and in response to
Sampson’s claimed bravery states that “to move is to stir, and to be
How to Cite this Page
"Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In Romeo and Juliet, love is depicted in several ways. Both Luhrman and Shakespeare represent love in different ways in different contexts to both the Elizabethan era and the contemporary audience. Both the original and later manifestations of the text are valued because they both communicate to the audience on the values of love and society by employing a variety of devices. The central subject dealt within Romeo and Juliet is the subject of love. William Shakespeare and Baz Luhrman thus represent love to their audience beyond the distinct ideas of love as simple sentiments.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo Juliet Essays]
1853 words (5.3 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Although the story of Romeo and Juliet is over 500 years old, it is as relevant and appealing today as it was when first performed. Although dated, the story of Romeo and Juliet still holds great appeal and relevance to today’s society, despite the differences in morals and values between William Shakespeare’s audience 500 years ago, and Baz Luhrmann’s audience today. The arising issues of order and authority, fate and love entertain/ed and appeals/ed to both viewers in different ways.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo Juliet Essays]
1685 words (4.8 pages)
- Fate, for better or worse, interrupts everyone’s daily life, whether he/she chooses to acknowledge it or not. Thinking about fate conjures up different feelings for different people; some people believe strongly in it, some people think of fate as ridiculous, and some do not care one way or the other. However, in many instances, such as in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, far too many coincidences occur to be strictly coincidental. Fate creates a powerful effect throughout the entire play, starting in the prologue, continuing as Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love, and tragically ending in the lovers’ deaths.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
1108 words (3.2 pages)
- In Act One of William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, we meet Romeo, Mercutio, and Tybalt. Right away, we get an idea of who these characters are and what kind of role they will play throughout the story. Romeo, Mercutio, and Tybalt share many distinctive characteristics and personalities in the story. We learn that Romeo is the romantic and handsome son of the Montagues. In the beginning of the story, he was depressed, but his mood quickly changed as the story went on. We also learn that Mercutio is Romeo’s closest and good friend who tries to make Romeo forget about his first love, Rosaline.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
1182 words (3.4 pages)
- Romeo and Juliet, one of the most famous and acclaimed plays of William Shakespeare, recounts the romance of a couple whose lives destiny would at the end head towards tragedy. This play takes place in Verona in the late 1500’s. The play deals mostly with the fact that Romeo couldn’t be with Juliet since their families were such big rivals. However, though all of their family hated each other so much, Romeo and Juliet had never met before. It happened that in every certain time of the year the Capulets (Juliet’s family) made this great feast in which they invited all the townsfolk for except the Montagues, so as usual they sent their servants to invite the town’s people.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
956 words (2.7 pages)
- Conflict in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play about the love relationship between the young Romeo and Juliet, who belong to 2 ancient family names that hold a grudge against each other, the Montagues and the Capulets. There are also many other conflicts which ultimately stop Romeo and Juliet form being together. The story was written by the famous play writer, William Shakespeare, and originated the poem, 'the Tragicalle Historye' of Romeo and Juliet written in 1452.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo Juliet Essays]
1670 words (4.8 pages)
- Fate plays a chief role in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet belong to feuding families. The family feud causes them to keep their love and marriage a secret, therefore only Romeo, Juliet, Benvolio, Friar Lawrence and the Nurse know of their love. Misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and wrong impressions lead to the death of two young adults and the mourning of two families. Romeo is a handsome young gentleman from the Montague family. He can sweep any girl off her feet with his charm and good looks.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
752 words (2.1 pages)
- In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the nurse and Friar Laurence play an enormous role. Not only does their advice aid Romeo and Juliet but their actions and the decisions they make throughout the whole play affects the whole outcome of numerous situations. Had the nurse and the friar not made the decisions they did, the tale of Romeo and Juliet might have not ended in tragedy. Friar Laurence is a Franciscan friar who aids both Romeo and Juliet throughout the whole play. Choices he made determined the outcome of the play and had he made different choices, the play may not have ended the way it did.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
889 words (2.5 pages)
- Directing Romeo and Juliet Being a director in a production such as Romeo and Juliet is no easy task, and I enter into this paper with that in mind. My goals are to be creative, and do things differently from the many versions of the play we have viewed in class. Each of those directors took the original text, written by William Shakespeare, and turned it into a unique version of their own; unique in the sense that they changed the tragedy by taking out lines, conversation or even entire scenes to better suit that particular director’s needs.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
1458 words (4.2 pages)
- Imagine you are going to direct this scene for a class performance. Explain how you want the parts of Juliet and Lady Capulet or Lord Capulet to bring out the tension of the scene, including comments to show how you want the audience to respond to the argument. This play Romeo and Juliet is set in the Elizabethan times, when Shakespeare was writing and producing plays. This particular play, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, is set in Verona, Italy. It is here; we meet the wealthy families of Capulet and Montague families.... [tags: William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet]
2434 words (7 pages)
There is also a lot of sexual language used, particularly by Sampson,
he declares hat he “will be civil with the maids: I will cut off their
heads”. At the time the play was written, an Elizabethan audience
would have found this coarse, sexual language and the puns hilarious.
The arrival of two of the Montague’s servants puts Sampson and
Gregory’s boasting of their superiority to the test. Once again,
Shakespeare injects humour into the scene by the servants biting their
thumbs to one another and sarcastically repeating “Sir”. The heated
argument soon turns into a fight and brings about a lot of action onto
the stage. In comparison to the prologue, the stage would now be
filled with commotion; Shakespeare purposely uses this busy visual
effect to increase the interest of the audience.
The entrance of Benvolio into the play is very different to that of
Tybalt. The audience immediately sees the peace-making ways of
Benvolio by trying to calm the servants down by saying, “put up your
swords, you know not what you do”. Whereas the arrival of Tybalt is
very dramatic showing his aggressive and violent behaviour towards the
feud. Tybalt relates the word “peace” to his hatred of “hell” and
calls Benvolio a “coward” for asking him to “put up thy sword, or
manage it to part these men”. This reckless behaviour inevitably leads
to them fighting and causes a riot in the street including civilians.
The involving of the civilians refers back to the prologue “where
civil hands makes civil hands unclean”. Shakespeare gives the audience
a taste of what is going to happen in the rest of the play by
including the fight so early on. This emphasise to the audience the
importance of the feud and how it affects the innocent civilians of
Shakespeare uses the arrival of Capulet, Lady Capulet, Montague and
Lady Montague to once again humour the audience. Both Capulet and
Montague see the fight and request for their swords to join in. Both
wives hold back their husbands saying that they are too old to fight
and “a crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword”. However, the
eagerness of the husbands to join the riot once again shows the
audience the extent of this “ancient grudge”.
The arrival of the Prince Escales also shows the effect of the
“ancient grudge”. At first the Prince is unable to even stop them
fighting and resorts to calling the men “beasts” giving us an idea of
how out of control the fight is. The Prince gives the culprits a
warning by saying “if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives
shall pay the forfeit of peace”. This warning sets up the whole
tragedy by clarifying what the audience has already been told, it is
inevitable that there will be at least one death in the play. To
emphasise this point even more to the audience, Shakespeare has
written the Prince’s speech in iambic pentameter.
After the brawl is over, Montague, Lady Montague and Benvolio talk
about Romeo. Shakespeare cleverly uses this conversation to increase
the anticipation of the audience, as they have not even seen Romeo at
any point so far. They talk of Romeo’s depressive state of mind with
his parents obviously being worried about him. Montague says that
Romeo “makes himself an artificial night: black and portentous must
this humour prove”, this suggests that something bad is going to
happen. Benvolio agrees to find out what is wrong with Romeo and the
audience finally meets Romeo.
Benvolio discovers a love sick Romeo who seems to be avoiding any
human contact. Romeo talks of an unrequited love where Rosalind
refuses to love him back; he even says that “she hath Dian’s wit”
meaning that Cupid’s arrows are missing her. To emphasise how confused
and sad Romeo is, Shakespeare uses oxymorons, “O brawling love, O
loving hate”, “feather of lead” etc, everything is not what it seems
to Romeo. Elizabethan’s would have considered Romeo’s behaviour to be
perfectly normal and acceptable, but today, it could be thought to be
immature and self-centred. Benvolio tries to convince Romeo o “examine
other beauties” but he claims, “Thou canst not teach me to forget”.
However, the audience know that it is not Rosalind that Romeo ends up
with which could be an argument about whether Romeo’s elaborate way of
speaking about his emotions in this Act 1 are artificial.
All of the themes of love, hate, conflict and fate in the play are
actually introduced in Act 1 Scene 1. Shakespeare does this to make
sure that the audience are able to grasp the actual point of the play.
What the play is about is told immediately, when Romeo is talking of
his love for Rosalind, he actually sums up what the play is about in
just one line, “Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love”.
In conclusion, the events and themes, which are shown in Act 1 Scene
1, predict the future tragedy. The combination of love and hate is
bound to end with death. The audience hasn’t even seen or heard of
Juliet yet which emphasises Shakespeare’s point of the whole play.
Shakespeare wants the audience to concentrate on how the characters
come to their tragic end so they can learn from its didactic purpose.