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In Romeo and Juliet the beauty and ardour of young love is seen by Shakespeare as the irradiating glory of sunlight and starlight in a dark work - Discuss the techniques that Shakespeare would have used to capture this dominating image of light.

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Introduction

Romeo And Juliet Essay James Murray 5G In Romeo and Juliet the beauty and ardour of young love is seen by Shakespeare as the irradiating glory of sunlight and starlight in a dark work. Discuss the techniques that Shakespeare would have used to capture this dominating image of light. In the time of Shakespeare, his plays would have been performed during the day, using natural light from the open centre of the theatre. Since there could be no dramatic lighting and there was very little scenery or props, Shakespeare used actors' lines and stage directions to supply the time of day and year, the weather, location and mood of the scenes. Props would also be used for this purpose. For example, if a scene was set during the night, there might be a number of torches on stage to depict darkness. The actors would carry swords ready for fight scenes and the actors playing servants would be seen carrying pots or items of clothing to convey their station. Shakespeare uses costume to tell the audience information. The higher class people would wear expensive formal clothes and the servants would wear much simpler clothes so the audience could distinguish between them. ...read more.

Middle

The sonnet is also used by Romeo and Juliet in their first love scene, this time spoken by both characters, Romeo says "If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss".(Act 1, scene 5) Romeo earlier compares Juliet to "a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear". This is another comparison between light and dark because Romeo is saying that Juliet is something beautiful amidst something horrible and chaotic. The play as a whole is a comparison between light and dark with the young lovers being the source of light amidst the darkness of the ongoing feud between the two families. Throughout the play, there are many references to life and death, another comparison of light and dark. Nearly all the elements of the play; conflict, death, poison are dark, while the love between Romeo and Juliet is the only element which could be described as light in the play. Romeo speaks of Juliet as a "bright angle shining in the night", again the vision that the love is the only light in the play and is surrounded by darkness. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the balcony scene, it is cleverly stage crafted because Romeo is standing in the dark looking up at Juliet symbolising that Romeo sees Juliet as "a bright angel shining in the night". Shakespeare stages nearly all of the love scenes in the play at the night, and all of the fight scenes during the day when people supposedly feel secure. This creates tension and unease and is another contrast between light and dark. The love scenes are staged in the dark away from all the unsettling events of the day. It could be seen that the love between Romeo and Juliet can only exist away from the unsettling events of the daytime so it flourishes during the night. The violence and disorder of the two families takes place during the daytime while the love takes place at night. Tragically, it is the love between Romeo and Juliet that causes their deaths. The 'light' of their love is snuffed out in its infancy by all the darkness happening around it. The young lovers' deaths are the price that is paid for peace between the two families. To conclude Shakespeare uses the language, stage direction, costume, props and themes of the play (conflict and love, ie darkness and sunlight) to capture the dominating image of light that is the young love between Romeo and Juliet. 4 ...read more.

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