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Romeo and Juliet Language and Literature Assignment.

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Romeo and Juliet Language and Literature Assignment William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is set in 15th Century Italy in the city of Verona. The play is centred on the two characters of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The two are offspring of enemy families, who have been feuding for many years, "from forth the fatal loins of these two foes". Romeo and Juliet both express their love in the play through their language and behaviour. When the play opens Romeo is in love with Rosaline. This type of love is 'Courtly Love', which was a European tradition dating from the Middle Ages. It was a set of rules regarding the way lovers should behave. The rules were: - The man should fall in love with a woman of higher social class, probably married, so that she is unattainable. She must spurn his advances in order to preserve her honour and good name. Her coldness inflames his passion. ...read more.


He falls in love with Juliet the first time he sees her at the Capulet ball. He performs a soliloquy using many comparisons, "Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear, a snowy dove trooping with crows". Romeo is describing Juliet as standing out from the crowd by being so beautiful that she makes all the other women look ugly. The third type of love in the play is between Juliet and Paris. This type of love fits in with the 'Rules of Marriage'. These are: - The girl had little or no say in the choice of husband. The husband was chosen as a suitably rich and powerful ally for the family. Girls often married at the age of fourteen or fifteen. These rules apply to Juliet and Paris' relationship well. Juliet has not chosen the suitor herself, her mother and father have chosen for her. ...read more.


Romeo addresses Juliet as if she were a Goddess, "If I profane with my unworthiest hand." Romeo is saying that he is not worthy enough to even touch Juliet. The image of worship is also created, as Romeo refers to Juliet as a "shrine". Romeo initiates their first kiss by suggesting that their lips should come together like hands do in prayer, "O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do, they pray." Juliet reacts by saying to herself, "If he be marries, my grave is like to be my wedding bed." This is an ironic statement to make, because Juliet eventually dies as a result of her marriage to Romeo. It is like a premonition. This is one of the first occasions in which Dramatic Irony plays a part. The audience realises that this is an ominous comment foreboding her death, but the characters on stage are unaware of this. Page 1 of 4 Shelley Whitehead Page 1 of 4 Shelley Whitehead ...read more.

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