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Discuss how an audience will react to Shakespeare's presentation of Romeo throughout the course of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Focus clearly on the dramatic techniques and languages used in the play.

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Introduction

Matthew Foley Discuss how an audience will react to Shakespeare's presentation of Romeo throughout the course of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Focus clearly on the dramatic techniques and languages used in the play Throughout the course of this play, I have noticed major changes in Shakespeare's portrayal of the character of Romeo, mainly in his emotions. At the start of the play, Romeo is depressed, unsociable and alone. After this he then meets Juliet and falls in love, meaning he is happy and infatuated with Juliet before killing Tybalt, and is guilty and regretful. He is then happy again, and then reforms back to regretful and guilty. The main scenes where these are noticeable are I, i, where he is depressed, I, v, where he is happy, III, I, where he is regretful, III, v, where he is happy, and V, iii, where he is regretful again. In Act I Scene i, Romeo is portrayed as 'popular, lively and sociable'. This is prior to his infatuation with Rosaline, and this infatuation is an example of both Petrarchan and courtly love. Due to this obsession with Rosaline, he becomes depressed, unsociable and full of self-pity. He is not his general self. This love feel I, that feel no love in this (I,i, l91) He feels that he loves her but his love is not returned, as she does not love him back. This is why he is so miserable at this point. ...read more.

Middle

This religious reference is a recurring theme throughout the play. The audience reacts to Romeo trespassing in the Capulet orchard with shock at the audacity of his actions, with some admiration for what he is doing, but mostly with compassion at the fact that he would attempt such a brave act just to declare his love for Juliet. Romeo's character at the end of II,ii is one of illustrious, fickle admiration for Juliet while he seems to have forgotten about Rosaline completely. He has progressed from an unsociable loner to an outgoing, illustrious individual. Whilst in Friar Lawrence's cell, Romeo is given a description of the two forms of love experienced by him, given by the Friar. The Friar describes how Romeo's love for Rosaline was 'shallow' as he has forgotten her so easily. Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken? (II,iii, ll 66-67) He says this as he believes that Romeo was not actually in love with Rosaline. I would agree with this statement as it could not be love if he gave it up that easily, it can be described as lust, not love. During II, iv, we see Romeo's 'new' personality that has changed so drastically due to Juliet, and how he is now reverted to his old, sociable self. We see him joking about and playing with his friends. Why then is my pump well flowered? ...read more.

Conclusion

The initial source of conflict in this play is resolved, even though these characters died for this. Romeo describes the tomb using metaphors of mouth and stomach, along with morbid words associated with death. This is seen as evil and consuming. He will not be stopped in his course; he is stubborn and determined to kill himself. "And do not interrupt me in my course" He feels guilty and regretful just before death, and he asks Tybalt's forgiveness. At the climax of the play, we have a tragic ending. We see the death of the two main characters, as predicted in the prologue. This would have been highly irregular at the time, as Elizabethan society was one where religion would have been at the forefront of society, and the tragic ending would not have coincided with the religious perspective. The play was written during the Renaissance era, where science was appearing as an explanation, but religion was also extremely important. There are also a number of key scenes in the play that helped Shakespeare to portray Romeo's character. One of the most influential scenes was the marriage scene, Act II, Scene iii, as it is one of the only scenes where we see the two main characters happy. The whole play has a Patriarchal theme to it, where Juliet has no free will, saying she will "deny her name". In my opinion, Romeo is a tragic hero as he has one fatal flaw that ultimately brings about his downfall-his infatuation with Juliet. This is his fatal flaw and this is the cause of his death. ...read more.

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