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Despite the fact that the play

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Introduction

Despite the fact that the play "Romeo and Juliet" was written several hundred years ago, explain how it continues to appeal to an audience today. Referring to the play how does Shakespeare creates tension for the audience? Explain the use of language and the way the actors convey suspense and excitement. Refer specifically to Act 3 Scenes 4 and 5, to illustrate your views. The story of "Romeo and Juliet" appeals to people because it contains so many things, which they can relate to. The story contains emotions such as love (between Romeo and Juliet), hate (between the two families), Sadness (there are five deaths during the play) and humour (Mercutio (innuendos), the Nurse and Peter). Contrasts of ideas and the opposition between the characters make a play interesting. There are many such conflicts within the story of "Romeo and Juliet" The central of these conflicts been the feud between the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets. There is no apparent cause of this "ancient grudge" despite this many people die because of it. The members of each family seem to have an instinct to hate or even kill members of the other. There is also the contrast between life and death. This contrast can be connected with fate, which in Shakespeares' time was believed in a lot more than today. In the prologue we are told that Romeo and Juliet are "star-crossed lovers", "From forth the fatal lions of these two foes, A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;" you could say that this means that they are ill fated, or that fate is against them. The play is full of images of night, darkness, tombs, graves, poison and swords to remind the audience that Romeo and Juliet are doomed to die. The life-death theme of the story can also be shown as a light-dark or love-death relationship. Romeo talks about Juliet as a bright angel shining in the darkness of night, "bright angel, for thou art As glorious to ...read more.

Middle

In Act 3 Tybalt is furious with Romeo for gate crashing the Capulet ball, so comes looking for him. Romeo is now related to Tybalt through marriage, so refuses to fight him. Mercutio sees Romeos' refusal to fight as cowardice, so draws his own sword on Tybalt who returns the challenge. Romeo, who is trying to stop them steps in, but Tybalt thrusts his sword under Romeos' arm, and fatally wounds Mercutio. At first neither Benvolio nor Romeo are aware of the seriousness of the injury. Mercutio carries on joking and seems more worried that Tybalt has escaped. Mercutio turns the whole episode into a pun, " Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man." Following this Mercutio dies of his wounds. Romeo blames himself for allowing Mercutio to fight Tybalt on his behalf, and blames Juliet for softening his courage. Romeo fights and kills Tybalt in revenge and is banished from Verona. However Friar Lawrence devises a plan to enable Romeo to return to Verona. The Friar suggests that Romeo should go to Mamtua, and wait for the commotion to die down. Friar Lawrence will then announce Romeo and Juliet's marriage, and ask for the Princes forgiveness on Romeo's behalf. Romeo and Juliet spend one last night together. In the meantime, Lord Capulet promises Paris that Juliet will marry him on Thursday. He asks Lady Capulet to let Juliet know of this arrangement, she says that she will tell her in the morning. When morning comes Romeo and Juliet disagree about if it is morning or not. Romeo says that he heard a lark and can see daylight, but Juliet insists that it was a nightingale that sung and that a meteor had caused the light. Romeo then says that he will stay if Juliet wants him to do so, "I have more care to stay, than will to go. ...read more.

Conclusion

He accuses Juliet of being ungrateful. Juliet answers Lord Capulets' questions with riddles with two meaning these just confuse and anger him. He says that if Juliet does not go to church on Thursday he will drag her there. Both the Nurse and Lady Capulet try to defend Juliet, but to no avail. Lord Capulet decides that if she does not get married to County Paris he will disown her. Juliet now has only one person she can turn to, Friar Lawrence, if he cannot help she will resort to suicide. After spending a night secretly with Juliet, Romeo is more optimistic. Now he feels that he has someone to protect (Juliet), he acts more sensible which explains why he convinced Juliet that he must leave her, "I must be gone and live, or stay and die." He reassures her that he will return, and that they will be together again. This is a great contrast to his suicidal behaviour in Friar Lawrences' cell, when he first found out that he had been banished. The final Scene shows the extent of Romeos' love for Juliet. His final speech is full of love and it shows that his suicide is not a reckless act. He loves Juliet more than life itself and believes that the only way in which the can be together is in death. He does not kill him self out of spite or the feeling of despair, but out of his love for Juliet and his unwillingness to carry on living without her. In conclusion the play "Romeo and Juliet" still appeals to an audience today as it did when it was written for many reasons. These include the use of tension to keep to audience on edge and the interesting use of language such as innuendoes and puns. Also the content of emotions and contrasts. Alough I did not enjoy the play "Romeo and Juliet" as much as some of Shakespeares' other plays, I still think that the way in which Shakespeare wrote it was very effective. 01/05/07 06:15 Page 1 of 11 By Hazel Kerrison 11B ...read more.

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