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Discus the significance of the balcony scene Act 2, Scene 2 in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Introduction

Discus the significance of the balcony scene Act 2, Scene 2 in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' The star crossed lovers, trying to fight fate ended up falling helplessly in love, eventually ending with the death of both of them. The significance of the balcony scene Act 2, scene 2 in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is of great importance. In the time of Shakespeare, society was very different; marriage didn't occur for love, it happened because your parents chose a suitable life partner for you. More often that not, class married class and money married money, in order to keep the high standards of living in the family. Children from the young ages of 13 and 14 were able to be promised to other families for marriage and often were married at that young age. It was also almost impossible to marry anyone without parent's consent and therefore Romeo and Juliet's marriage was not only forbidden it was against every rule ever made in society. Act 2, scene 2 is the most famous and romantic scene in the whole of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the way Shakespeare has portrayed their love in such a unique and diverse way has created a new way of showing a forbidden love. The audience can really sense a change in the way the lovers feel about each other. For example at the beginning of the play the writing is in iambic pentameter creating a romantic atmosphere to carry on right throughout the scene. From the beginning of the scene we can see Romeo's feelings for Juliet are immensely strong, Shakespeare has used the imagery of light and dark to portray the love between Romeo and Juliet, he has created the darkness to hide the forbidden lovers and light will reveal the lovers to society and bring them back to reality. "It is the east and Juliet is the sun." ...read more.

Middle

In complete contrast Romeo is in love with somebody else when he meets Juliet at the masquerade ball. He is in love with a girl named Rosaline and before he meets Juliet he claims to his friend Benvolio that he will he will never love someone else. When Benvolio tells Romeo to "forget to think of her", he says "teach me how I should forget to think". Romeo is a typical passionate lover: he is melodramatic and seems to revel in Rosaline's rejection. He uses an oxymoron to show that he is confused about his feeling: "O loving hate". Ironically when Romeo sees Juliet he says: "did my heart love till now?" This shows the audience that he is questioning his love for Rosaline and when he saw Juliet he felt that he really loved her and therefore his love for Rosaline must not have been pure love. Due to Romeo and Juliet's different love experiences during the beginning of the balcony scene Romeo is more confident with his feeling whereas Juliet is more shy and withdrawn. Romeo is very forward and confident with himself and declares his love for Juliet almost immediately after there first meeting during the balcony scene, "O speak again bright angel" Romeo sees Juliet as an angel, far more important than any mere mortal on earth. He has become confident with his feelings and isn't afraid to put them across to Juliet. Juliet on the other hand is more shy and withdrawn to the beginning of the scene. "That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." Juliet uses the image of a beautiful flower to talk bout Romeo, she realises the only thing keeping them apart is the name. If Romeo is likened to a flower then the love they share is beautiful and pure. However, during the balcony scene they are both confident and honest with each other, both declaring there feelings for each other without any shame or embarrassment. ...read more.

Conclusion

The scene can be preformed in a number of different ways on stage depending on the facilities available. The positions of Romeo and Juliet are particularly crucial: Juliet dosn't have to be above Romeo in the play by why is it that all directors make sure that she is? Or as they get closer why does Romeo have to climb up to Juliet to portray their love as equal? Well, the dramatic effect of this motion is of great importance as at the beginning of the scene Romeo is wooing Juliet and then as her love deepens from him they reach equality, so whether or not a baloney is used the director must make sure that the audience can clearly define the actions between one sided love and the final equality. Also with many different ways or portraying it on the stage it means that the audience's imaginations are used more to set the scene. Without this scene the play would be missing the key ingredient to the finally working out the love Romeo and Juliet share for each other. This scene makes sure that the audience can believe their love to make the rest of that play work. Also the balcony scene is where Romeo and Juliet's love fore each other is initially established and without it the play would be just like any other love story. Shakespeare has used this unusual scenario and made it into the most famous love story ever, it also help us to understand the goings on of love and marriage during Romeo and Juliet's time. Ultimately the star crossed lovers would have never have met each other again and therefore the love hat hit both of them at the Capulet ball would have never been established and explored further. Their love relationship certainly would not have progressed from a kiss to marriage. Their love would not have even developed enough to the extent that they could not live without each other. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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