• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"By the end of Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet, the audience is both pleased and troubled in equal measure for the two young lovers." Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"By the end of Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet, the audience is both pleased and troubled in equal measure for the two young lovers." Discuss. Romeo and Juliet do not, it is fair to say, have the most happy of relationships, to put it mildly. As we are told at the start of the play, they "take their life": the audience is immediately left in no doubt as to what the outcome shall be, and there is little wondering as to why they die; an "ancient grudge" would, we are to presume, prevent them from ever being together. However, we are not given the full details as to the ending, and thus there is still an element of intrigue to the play, despite Chorus's apparent complete overview of the play. Indeed, Chorus tells us himself that not all has been revealed; "What here shall miss" is almost certainly intended to tell the audience that they still need to pay attention, since events are yet to fully unfold. And as well as not quite ruining the entire plotline of the play, Chorus also comes back at the end of Act 1 to deliver another sonnet, and it is one of hope tempered with caution. ...read more.

Middle

This is not only going against her father's wishes, but positively following Romeo's lead, which, as we see from his changing love interests, can be a trifle uncertain at the best of times. Naturally, we feel concerned due to this, but there are other reasons for us to worry. Primary to the play, of course, is that Romeo is a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. This in itself would give us sufficient ground to be less than optimistic about the prospect of a successful relationship between the two of them. The "ancient grudge" that Chorus speaks of, which is about to rear its ugly head again ("break to new mutiny"), is a decisive factor in determining what happens to the two young lovers. As Juliet herself famously says in Act II.2, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean "where are you, Romeo?", but rather "why must you be Romeo?", the sentiments being that if Romeo were anyone but a Montague, the two could live together happily ever after and all would be well with the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Unless it was, well, I shan't go into that). However, despite this duty to the dying, so to speak, it is still quite hard to see Romeo and Juliet's relationship in a positive way: we know that they are going to die, and that there is nothing that can be done about it. Indeed even Romeo realises this, talking of "He that hath the steerage of my course"; he can't change his destiny, however much he might want to. Whilst we might be encouraged to be happy that they are together, it seems much more apt for the audience to have a sense of pity, due to our knowledge that things will not end up happily ever after. And the sense of excitement that is kindled by their shared sonnet at the Capulets' party is tempered by the more sobering sonnets delivered both at the start of the act and the end by Chorus. All in all, Act I does not lead the audience into the rest of the play with a sense of well-being or excitement: instead, we are fearful and troubled, knowing that before too long everything will go terribly, terribly wrong, and that before too long, we shall be seeing a tale of such woe. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Romeo and Juliet VERY FULL OVERVIEW

    because they are separated but that they find a way to bypass this. Scene 1: On the way home from Capulet's feast, Romeo turns back and jumps over the wall into Capulet's garden. Benvolio and Mercutio both call for Romeo to come back but as he doesn't appear they depart.

  2. HOW DOES SHAKESPEARE ADD INTEREST AND EXCITEMENT FOR THE AUDIENCE IN ACT 3 SCENE ...

    The nurse in a sense, had been like the mother which Juliet has never had and Juliet preserved all trust and faith in her. Even in Juliet's most troublesome times, the nurse supports her and prevents her from getting into any trouble or danger.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work