• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How effectively does Shakespeare use scene 1 to introduce the main themes in 'Romeo and Juliet'. 'A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life' this immediately tells the audience the tragic fate

Extracts from this document...


Laura Martin How effectively does Shakespeare use scene 1 to introduce the main themes in 'Romeo and Juliet'. 'A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life' this immediately tells the audience the tragic fate of the 'lovers' mentioned in the first 6lines of the prologue. Warning the audience of the sorrow and heartbreak that the play will lead to. Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is based on the hatred between two families, the Montague's and The Capulet's and how their anger and passion towards each other lead to the death of a beloved child from each family. Shakespeare uses Act 1, scene1 to introduce many of the main themes that appear throughout the play, these main themes are; Disorder, fate, light and Darkness, love and passion. Using this prologue Shakespeare is able to tell the audience the entire story line without them even watching the play. The line of the prologue beginning 'A pair of star-crossed lover....' tells the audience straight away of the fate of the two characters involved. This set the scene for an inevitable ending whilst warning the audience what to expect, this is also back up throughout the play because as soon as one good thing beings disasters follows closely behind. ...read more.


This is also observed later on in the play when Romeo and Juliet realise for the first time they are from 2 different, arguing families. This argument prepares the audience for other quarrels and brawls further on in the play. "What, drawn and talk peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montague's, and thee. Have at thee, coward" this particular dialogue spoken by Tybalt not only reflects the aggressiveness of his personality but tell the audience of the hate and bitterness between the two families. Shortly following these events Benvolio enters, " Part, fools! Put up you swords, you know not what you do" this shows the audience the peacekeeper in the play, the man that attempts to separate the two families and stop the brewing fight/argument. When this does not work Lord and Lady Capulet enter, followed by Lord and Lady Montague. Both the Capulet and Montague Lords want to join in the fight but are stopped by their wives, who tell them that they are too old. As the wives hold the pair back the Prince enters with his 'men'. The Prince is seen as the figure of authority in the play; the person who controls all problems and is seen as someone who is capable of sorting out any feuding and arguments. ...read more.


The idea of courtly love originally came from a European tradition from the middle ages but still known in Elizabethan times. This was basically a set of rules/ expectations of people who fall in love. These rules stated a number of things this included "her coldness inflames the passion. He is consumed with melancholy and makes up verses about love" this is present in Romeo and Juliet towards the end when Romeo is desperate to see Juliet and in his last hours makes up several verses to calm himself and prepare himself to meet his wife, Juliet in heaven. The idea of marriage also originated in Europe and is also present in the play, this theme is only mentioned by Capulet once, when he is talking to Paris about his arranged marriage to Juliet. Juliet was pleased and honoured to have been asked to marry Paris until she meet Romeo, this is when she began to resent the arranged marriage. Capulet tells Paris the way to win his daughters heart, the themes of love and passion, light and dark and violence are continued throughout. Shakespeare very cleverly uses Act 1 Scene 1 to introduce these theme either through the prologue, what the first characters say or the actions and imagery that are used. Shakespeare was able to take all of this into account and still produce his own version of Brooks poem "The Tragic History and Romeus and Juliet. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Shakespeare coursework- Romeo and Juliet Why is Act 1 scene 5 an effective piece ...

    3 star(s)

    When Tybalt is speaking, he is speaking in prose. The way that Tybalt is speaking is very forceful and angry where as when Romeo is speaking to Juliet he is speaking in poetry representing a very romantic approach towards the audience as he is speaking in poetry.

  2. Romeo & Juliet Act 1 Scene 1

    Lord and Lady Montague try everything to find out what is wrong with their beloved son. When asked if they have made any attempt to find out what is wrong with Romeo, Montague answers; 'Both myself and many other friends, but he, his own affections' counsellor'.

  1. Could the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet happen today? The story of the "star ...

    He says, "You shall not house with me." "And you be not hang, beg, starve, die in the streets!" Although he did not do this to be horrible, he just wanted the best for his daughter and he considered the best to be Paris; a "lovely gentleman" Juliet appears to have a formal relationship with her mother, Lady Capulet.

  2. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    He is one of the richest men in Verona. There are servants, musician, dancing, food people dress for a ball and people im mask this would look very dramatic on an Elizabethan theatre and the crowed at the bottom of the stage felt like they where in the play How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet ?

  1. "Romeo and Juliet" - the theme of fate and destiny.

    suggests he already knew there marriage was 'death marked' but persisted anyway. Friar Lawrence shouldn't have agreed to marry them with such a civil grudge for the reason that they died because of it. Friar Lawrence also thought of the plan of how Romeo and Juliet could be together, which had a lot of flaws in it.

  2. Compare and contrast Romeo's speeches in Act 1 scene 1 when he speaks of ...

    His choice of words with opposite meanings creates a strong image of what Romeo's love is. This can be shown by the various oxymorons Shakespeare uses in Romeo's speech in Act 1 scene 1: "O heavy lightness, serious vanity...feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health".

  1. Describe and explain how Shakespeare chose to craft the scenes Act 4 Scene 3 ...

    It is at this point in the play when the audience realise that Juliet is serious about taking the poison. Juxtaposition is a theatrical device used to give effective comparisons and throughout "Romeo and Juliet" Shakespeare has used it to great effect by mixing scenes of great tragedy with scenes of everyday life or even comedy.

  2. Shakespeares play Romeo and Juliet shows a clear turning point in act 3 scene1 ...

    However, the contrasting theme of love is later shown in the act when Romeo and Juliet meet each other for the first time and instantly fall in love. Romeo uses celestial imagery to describe how beautiful Juliet is by saying ?o, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!? The

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work