• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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)

    The Capulet's point of view is that Juliet will get married to a very rich and powerful man thus bringing the family more power due to this arranged marriage. However, this is not what Juliet wants.

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

    He gave Juliet the 'distilling liquor', which may perhaps be a poison and kill her unintentionally. Friar Lawrence should of informed Romeo before the plan was carried out so he would of known it was fitted in the plan. If Romeo were informed about the plan, they both would have lived.

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

    (act 1 scene 5)This was used lot in Shakespeare plays. What also added to the tension is that the ball has been set up for the announcement of pairs proposing to Juliet "LADY CAPULET: marry, that 'marry' is the very theme I came to talk of.

  2. Romeo & Juliet Act 1 Scene 1

    He as a citizen of Verona has been exposed to the conflict of the two households from the moment he entered the city and like so many of the other people of Verona he is fed up; he tries to put an end to the violence by ruling that 'If

  1. Compare how Shakespeare and Luhramann engage the audience and set up the play's theme ...

    The prologue seems to unfold the entire story by referring to the "lovers" and they "doth with their death ", this makes audience absorb the situation and also creates suspense among the audience In Act 1 scene 1 the story is opens in the streets of Verona.

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

    "She is the hopeful lady of my earth." He wants things to go right for his much loved daughter. The death of Tybalt causes Capulet to realise life is short and that Juliet should marry Paris to make her secure in life. Juliet refuses Paris as a husband so Capulet threatens to throw Juliet out because she is disgracing Capulet.

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

    When Romeo first saw Juliet, he instantly fell in love with her, despite saying that he was deeply in love with Rosaline. Romeo's love for Rosaline appeared entirely imaginary and unrealistic. Romeo's attitude to love in Act 1 scene 1 is rather childish as he was not in love, but he was in love with an idealistic fantasy.

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

    alliteration of the ?t? and ?b? helps express Romeos feelings as it helps give the words a soft and meaningful sound. The quote shows that Romeo feels that Juliet is the most beautiful woman there and that she adds light to his dull and dark day.

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