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Discuss the various perceptions of love in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Then choose two contrasting examples and explain how you would stage them to show these contrasts.

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Discuss the various perceptions of love in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Then choose two contrasting examples and explain how you would stage them to show these contrasts. Romeo and Juliet is about two lovers who get caught up in a feud between their separate families, the Montagues and the Capulets, and their fight to let love conquer all. The play was written by one of the best English writers, William Shakespeare in about 1595. During the Elizabethan period, women were seen as objects which could be passed from father to respectable suitors for marriage. This aspect of life is a major part to the play. Although the play is known for its love story, it is as much about love as it is about hate between the two rival families. Therefore there are many contrasts within the play, for instance Romeo uses oxymorons which Juliet echoes later, ' Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.' Act 1 scene 1. Within the play there are many different characters who have different perceptions of love, which is what I will be analysing in this essay. The first reference to love in the play occurs in the first scene when the audience meet Sampson and Gregory who perceive woman in a crude, vulgar and misogynistic way. ...read more.


They feel that it is their responsibility to marry her off to a respectable man and feel bewildered when she throws this back in their faces. Capulet reacts very badly to the news and gets angry with Juliet because it was unheard of for an Elizabethan girl to disagree with her parents, therefore the audience would have been very shocked. He then treats Juliet like an animal saying that if she does not marry Paris he will not provide a home or food for her. I feel that the love Lady Capulet shows for her daughter to be very superficial, 'Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.' Lady Capulet, Act 3 scene 5. The nurse acts as a surrogate parent for Juliet by comforting her and sharing her happiness. However the nurse fails Juliet towards the end of the play by telling her to forget Romeo and to try to love Paris. 'I think you are happy in this second match,' Nurse, Act 3 scene 5. This upsets Juliet because she felt the only person who understood the love that Romeo and she were feeling was the nurse and now that Juliet had learned otherwise she must have felt desperately alone and unloved by those around her. ...read more.


Juliet and her mother have a very strange relationship. Act3 scene 5 shows her mother to be cruel and uncaring towards her only daughter. She enters the scene in a loving way but when Juliet gives an unlikely response to the wedding proposal, she becomes spiteful. I would contrast this scene from the other by making the lighting dull. I would have a pretty actress to play Lady Capulet and dress her in fine clothes and drenched in diamonds to show how fake she is. When she says, 'Ay sir, but she will none, she gives you thanks. I would the fool were married to her grave.' I would make the actress look upon Juliet with disgust and would have her standing while Juliet sits, so that the hierarchy is known. Throughout the scene, I would direct both actresses not to touch each other or show any other emotional contact. When Lady Capulet talks of how distressed Juliet and herself are about Tybalts death I would place Juliet in her bed with her mother sitting, looking uncomfortable on the end of the bed. As you can see, Shakespeare brought many different contrasts of love into the play and it would be very important for the audience to see these distinctions. In the above I have explained how I would stage two contrasting scenes in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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