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An audience would be unsympathetic towards Romeo. Discuss.

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An audience would be unsympathetic towards Romeo. Discuss. In this essay I'm going to discuss whether an audience would be sympathetic towards Romeo in the seven extracts. I'm also going to look at the differences between an Elizabethan audience's reactions to a Modern audience's. Things have changed much during the past four hundred years since Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, therefore I cannot draw a conclusion based on just looking at one era. In Act One, Scene One, an Elizabethan audience would be a little sympathetic towards Romeo because they would see this young boy with conflicting feelings of the pain and the pleasure of being in love. This is shown by Romeo's use of oxymorons: "Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!" However Romeo's attempt to use Petrachan Conceit is simplistic and clumsy. Perhaps Shakespeare was trying to show that Romeo is young and foolish, and therefore should not be taken seriously. In the Elizabethan time, oxymorons were often used to describe contrasting feelings, and this makes it easier for the Elizabethan audience to understand what Romeo is feeling. From a modern audience, however, Romeo in this extract would be seen as a self-absorbed and lust-driven boy. ...read more.


In Act Two, Scene Three, Friar Lawrence raises the question whether true love at first sight exists or not. Friar Lawrence thinks that "Young men's love lies not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes". We could even say that Shakespeare is questioning the validity of young love, not just Romeo's. This would automatically raise the audience's doubts of Romeo and because the Friar is a religious figure who gives out advice, the audience would take the Friar more seriously than Romeo. However young people from a modern audience may think that it's unfair of the Friar to question young love, and the "young men" would apply to young people in general, not just men. Honour played an important part back in Elizabethan times - it was more valuable to people than life itself. To decline a duel back then was considered to be dishonourable. A man would fight to death if that's what it takes not to disgrace his family name. This is why an Elizabethan audience would be very unsympathetic towards Romeo in Act Three, Scene One. Tybalt could not have made his challenge clearer: "Turn and draw". ...read more.


An Elizabethan audience would also be unsympathetic for the idea of suicide. Most of the audience would come from a Catholic Society, and it was considered a mortal sin if you commit suicide. However the play would be watched soon after 'The Reformation', when having broken away from the Pope's control. The society became less oppressed, but some would still be uncertain. On the other hand, a modern audience would think that Romeo's last words "thus with a kiss I die" accompanied by a last kiss to Juliet is very romantic, and Romeo deserves some sympathy, no matter how irrational he had been. In conclusion, I think different audiences from different eras or societies have different opinions on things that Romeo have said or did, not to mention the individuals in those different audiences. If the scale of sympathy of the play is plotted on a graph, it would end up looking like a wave; some things deserve sympathy, some don't. I think no one can do or say something without getting a mixture of opinions, and that doesn't exclude Romeo. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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