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"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare

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Heaton Manor Name Date 39245 Deyar Yasin 22/02/02 English/English Literature Coursework Assignment "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare The theatre in Shakespeare's day was very different from the theatre today, in terms of conditions. The Globe Theatre was the playhouse most associated with Shakespeare's plays. It was built in 1599, and was the most beautiful theatre up to its time. It was very large, octagonal, and was open to the sky. The lower-class audience would pay less to get in, and they would stand on the ground around the stage. Whereas the higher-class audience, sat in seats above the ground, against the walls of the theatre. Most theatres were round, and had no roof in the center, and as they used natural sunlight to perform all plays, actors had to perform all the plays in the afternoon, including "Romeo and Juliet". And if it rained, the higher-class audience were protected by and overhang, whereas the lower-class audience, who were called the Groundlings, weren't. They had to watch the play, while standing in mud. Because the stage didn't have any curtains, all plays, had to be written so that all actors could exit at the end of a scene or act. ...read more.


The brawl starts, when Sampson (a Montague), bites his thumb at Abram (a Capulet). In Elizabethan times, biting your thumb at someone was considered very rude and offensive. ABRAM: "Do you bite your thumb at us, sir? SAMPSON: "I do bite my thumb, sir?" When that is said, between the servants, Benvolio, tries to make peace by saying to Tybalt, who was known as the 'Prince of Cats', as he always was looking for a fight, and because people said he had nine lives, just like a cat. BENVOLIO: "I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword, Or manage it to part these men with me. Tybalt then replies: - TYBALT: " What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montague's, and thee. Have at thee, coward." After that, they all start to fight, and everyone else joins in, including civilians. This causes an image of chaos on stage, which worked well with the audience, as it would grab their attention. The Prince, which is a symbol of authority and law, then enters the stage, and stops the brawl. He tells both Lord Montague and Capulet, that it has gone to far, and that if they "disturb our streets again, Your lives should pay the forfeit of the peace." ...read more.


So all characters in the families, have a sign on their clothes, number plates, buildings and everything else they own. One of the Montague servants even has a tattoo on the back of his head, of the Montague symbol. Music is also used a lot, when the first brawl occurs, western/hip hop music is used, and the fight is situated in a petrol station, where civilians are present. Again, so it wouldn't be so different from the brawl in Shakespeare's version, where civilians are involved in it. The scenes and pace, changes according to the music. Both versions are the same in terms of language, and script. The characters in both of the versions have the same qualities, and characteristics. But the environment, and society which they live in, are different. Also music is a very important element used in both of the versions, to create tension. Music keeps the audience attention on the stage/scene, and it also causes dramatic impacts. The brawl, which is included in both versions, also causes the opening scene, to be dramatic. As there are a lot things said, and a lot of movement. The effectiveness of these elements, are very good. Especially to the Shakespearian audience, as it was harder to get their attention, than a modern audience. I think the opening scene, is very successfully made, as it fulfils its goal, to get the audiences attention, from the very start. ...read more.

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