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

Explore Shakespeare's use of language to emphasize the concept of oppositions in the play 'Romeo and Juliet'

Extracts from this document...


Megan Davies Explore Shakespeare's use of language to emphasize the concept of oppositions in the play 'Romeo and Juliet' 'Romeo and Juliet' is the first of Shakespeare's tragedies. It is radiant with the light of morning and oppressive with the death of all things bright. It centers on the story of two lovers Romeo and Juliet bound together by fate but thrown apart by cruel violence and hatred. Doomed from the start, their secret love is contrasted with the conflict of their two opposing families. Throughout the play Shakespeare's language uses many oxymorons. Oppositions such as love and hate are continually contrasted against each other, so that they are firmly established in the roots of the play. The prologue begins the play, its purpose being to introduce the story to the audience. It contains a vague outline of the play. Within the prologue there is a definite focus upon conflict, which prepares the audience for the rest of the play. 'Ancient grudge, break to new mutiny'. This language suggests that there is an old disagreement and fighting within the play. ' Civil blood' insinuates that blood is involved in the play, moreover the loss of it. ...read more.


One is more widely found and that is romantic love, the other is sexual love, which is evident in the crude sexual innuendo of Mercutio. An example of these innuendoes can be found in Act 2,scene 1. Mercutio makes reference to 'Venus' who is the goddess of love. He jests at Romeo in good nature, whilst Romeo is not with him. Mercutio calls him a 'homours, madman, passion, lover'. He talks of Rosaline, of whom he supposes Romeo to love, in a sexual manner, describing her body parts. 'Scarlet lip...fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh'. Mercutio refers to Rosaline as Romeo's 'Mistress' which insinuates she is Romeo's kept women. Mercutio makes many sexual insinuations in Act 2, scene 4, in which he mocks Juliet's nurse. He is not respectful to her in the slightest. Mercutio first jokes than she needs a fan to hide her face. 'Her fan's the fairer face'. Mercutio also claims that the nurse wants her wicked way with Romeo, that she is a prostitute. He calls her an 'old hare hoar', which is a very derogatory term to use for a lady. Juliet's monologue in Act 3,scene 2 also includes many sexual innuendoes. ...read more.


The idea of Death being Juliet's bridegroom is strongly lead throughout the play. Juliet first mentions this just after she has met Romeo. 'My grave is like to be my wedding bed'. The contrasting ideas of a grave, which symbolizes the end of life, and a wedding, which is the beginning of a new life, are brought heavily into Act 4,scene 5. In this scene Juliet is found dead on her wedding day. There is much talk of her death, but also of the marriage that she was to have had. Capulet declares ' Death is my heir'. He means that death will inherit. 'My daughter he hath wedded. I will die'. The language in this scene is very dramatic. Many strong adjectives expressing the tragic situation.' Unhappy, wretched, hateful day', 'O woeful, woeful day'. The effect of this is to emphasize the distress Juliet's family is feeling it creates a strong opposite to the joy of the wedding. Funeral arrangements were changed into from the previous wedding festivities. ' Turn from their office to black funeral'. Romeo and Juliet are objects of fates cruel consequence. There is an apprehension of misfortune, a feeling of dread that hangs heavily over the play from the beginning. The prologue describes Romeo and Juliet as 'star crossed lovers'. ...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. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of Love in his play Romeo and Juliet?

    She matures in a way. Instead of siding with her parents this time, she sides with Romeo, who is her new husband. This is surprising as even after Tybalt's death her mind does not change; although she does say that he was "the best friend I ever had".

  2. Romeo and Juliet - What different types of love are represented in the play, ...

    He says, "At this same ancient feast of Capulet's / Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so lovest, / With all the admired beauties of Verona: / Go thither; and, with unattainted eye, / Compare her face with some that I shall show, / And I will make thee think thy swan a crow."

  1. The concept of fate - Romeo and Juliet

    Indeed, Romeo is fortune's fool, for if he had controlled his fiery temper and acted reasonably, he would not have jeopardized his chance for happiness with Juliet. The death of Tybalt at Romeo's hand further complicates the situation between the two lovers.

  2. How does Shakespeare explore conflicts and oppositions in Romeo and Juliet?

    In the prologue, the Chorus opens the play with a mention of Fate, instantly sparking a conflict between Fate and Freewill. In its first address to the audience, the Chorus states that Romeo and Juliet are "star-crossed"- saying that fate controls them and their destiny.


    The action begins to fall after Juliet commits suicide after finding Romeo dead. It continues as both families find their children dead. The conclusion is when the Prince tells everyone that the deaths are the result of their feuds and everyone feels guilty.

  2. Juliet is surrounded by caring adults who are concerned for her.' Explore this view ...

    Her maternal instinct toward Juliet sustains her to aid Juliet in marrying Romeo; however, when Capulet becomes infuriated and enraged; the Nurse retreats quickly into submission and urges Juliet to forget Romeo. The nurse's reaction toward Juliet's death is genuine and natural.

  1. Explore the ways in which Romeo and Mercutio are presented in Act 2 ...

    After Mercutio leaves, Romeo replaces the use of prose with blank verse, saying to the nurse: ?Nurse, commend me to thy lady and mistress. I protest unto thee-?Unlike what he says to Mercutio before, for example ?a sail, sail? which rudely insults the nurse, he speaks more politely and uses

  2. Romeo and Juliet is a play which Shakespeare explores many oppositions and contrasts. Discuss.

    hate, pace vs. violence, order vs. disorder and life vs. death. The overall effect of these opposing themes creates a sense of rivalry and violence which spreads throughout the play. This assignment will focus mainly on the idea of order and disorder in "Romeo and Juliet" and therefore I will

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