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GCSE Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

H/wk "Death-marked Love": Through Consideration of Dramatic Technique, Characterisation and Language, Explore How Shakespeare Links Love and Tragedy in 'Romeo and Juliet.' Select Specific Scenes For Close Analysis. Throughout 'Romeo and Juliet,' the concept of their love being 'death-marked' is key to understanding the sickening sense of inevitability that tragedy brings. Shakespeare wants this play to be different from any other tragedy; he wants to involve love, which usually is the subject of most comedies. By linking love and death, he creates an overwhelming sense of slipping from a positive to a negative atmosphere. In other words; an even more devastating storyline. In this essay, I aim to explore the different techniques Shakespeare uses to convey this image. We can begin at the start of the play, where Shakespeare immediately tells us the climax and ending. We now know that both Romeo and Juliet will die and the tale to be told is not a particularly pleasant one. The prologue, which gives us this information, is not just there to set the scene. As we know that love is going to end in death, we know that all the plot twists are irrelevant. This dramatic irony stresses the fact that all the proceedings will lead to sadness and the audience are left with a feeling of inevitability of the misery that will be felt at the end of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo orders his lips to seal the everlasting contract with Death: 'Seal with a righteous kiss...' The long wait for Romeo's own death is clearly over, as shown by his final line in the play: 'Thus with a kiss I die;' even then a link between love and death (although you could argue he is simply repeating his earlier comments.) By constantly making connections between these two opposites so key to the plot, Shakespeare can extend the dramatic irony already begun in the prologue into the plot itself. It is a constant reminder of the ending of the play that allows the audience to keep perspective of the storyline. It is not only the language used in 'Romeo and Juliet' to link marriage to violence etc. it is also the way the drama is structured and the dramatic techniques used. The prologue is a clear example of how Shakespeare uses this to great effect. By stating the ending at the beginning, it creates the sense of irony throughout. There are many other examples, however, where the writer decides he will structure his scenes in a specific way to link love and death together: In Act 2 Scene 5, Juliet is waiting for news from the Nurse. She is hoping that Friar Lawrence will agree to her and Romeo's marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

The characters are Romeo and Juliet's only hope when trying to turn their fate around. They delay the inevitable and desperately try to keep proceedings moving. When the Nurse and Friar Lawrence are unable to help (when Romeo is in Mantua) this is when everything goes so horribly wrong. The characters delay the final finale, but when their presence is not at hand this brings about it. Shakespeare needs the characters to be the difference between success and failure. He can then create a convincing ending, and bring about what we all knew was going to happen, by taking them away. In conclusion, Shakespeare links love and death in 'Romeo and Juliet' to give the impression that death was always inevitable. The main focus of any tragedy is to show that the main characters' fate is unavoidable and is always going to occur. By involving love as an extra in this tragedy, the audience experience a slow movement from immense happiness to misery. The contrast emphasises the terribly unlucky circumstances in the plot. Shakespeare uses a range of different techniques to link love and death such as dramatic technique (scene structure), language, character and situation. By using all these different methods, the audience gain a clear and full understanding of the inevitability of proceedings. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tale of a couples' search for happiness, but as with any tragedy; it always goes wrong. Christopher Evans 10D2 ...read more.

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