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'Romeo and Juliet' - How does Shakespeare interest his audience in the eponymous protagonissts during the first act.

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Introduction

TIMOTHY IRIMU MURIGU ENGLISH COURSEWORK HOW DOES SHAKESPEARE INTEREST HIS AUDIENCE IN THE EPONYMOUS PROTAGONISSTS DURING THE FIRST ACT OF 'ROMEO AND JULIET' Shakespeare interests his audience through showing the universal theme of love and conflict. He uses different grammatical devices to demonstrate this. The first time the audience encounter the protagonists is in the prologue. The prologue reveals to the audience the conflict that is taking place between the Capulet's and the Montague's. The prologue also states that Romeo and Juliet are also doomed. This is shown by their relationship being termed as a 'death-mark'd love' showing that their relationship's fate has already been set out for disaster. This creates a sense of sympathy in the audience for the protagonists. It also creates some suspense because although the audience already knows that Romeo and Juliet are doomed, they want to know how they will get together in the first place if they are in enemy families. After the prologue, the play opens with a dramatic conflict. This stresses how much hatred there is between the Capulet's and the Montague's. This creates interest in the audience about how the protagonists will meet and fall in love. ...read more.

Middle

It also brings up another issue, which is that if she is not ready for Paris, she will not be ready for Romeo either. In Scene 3, Lady Capulet is discussing marriage with Juliet. Juliet replies by saying ' It is an honour I dream not of' The use of honour and dream show that although Juliet does not want to get married, she still respects it. In line 100, Juliet is talking to her mother about marriage to Paris and she says that she will accept but adds 'Than your strength gives consent to fly' This shows that Juliet is going to follow her parents' wishes, but only to the point that they agree to. This is ironic because she will end up with Romeo and in doing so, will not be respecting her parents. In scene 4, Capulet is holding a party and Romeo is being persuaded by his friends to go along with them. 'Nay gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.' This shows that Romeo has good friends who want him happy. This in turn shows that he is well liked and therefore must be a worthy person. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet asks the nurse whether Romeo is married and says 'My grave is like to be my wedding bed.' Which is a prophetic statement of what will happen to the protagonists although when she was saying this sentence, she meant it to show how much she hoped that he was not married. In line 137, Juliet realizes that Romeo is a Montague and says 'My only love sprung from my only hate!' This shows that she is as troubled as Romeo is about them coming from opposing families. This makes the audience sympathetic towards the protagonists and also anxious about what will happen next. Baz Luhrman's interpretation of 'Romeo and Juliet' has been designed for contemporary audiences. He has changed the setting to Verona Beach, he uses guns instead of swords and uses famous and attractive actors for the protagonists. This makes it easier for a modern audience to relate with the play. Shakespeare has used a wide variety of techniques to build up tension, suspense, anxiety, sympathy and most importantly, love and hatred. I found that the constant reminder of how the protagonists were ill fated, by using prophetic statements was the best technique used because it creates a sense of sympathy and also false hope in the audience that the protagonists will end up well. 1 ...read more.

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