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

How do the Prologue and Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet prepare the audience for the rest of the play??

Extracts from this document...


How do the Prologue and Act 1, Scene 1 of "Romeo and Juliet" prepare the audience for the rest of the play? One of Shakespeare's classic plays is "Romeo and Juliet". He is said to have written the play around 1595 in the Elizabethan Era. Shakespeare tells the tale of two star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, whose short romance is plagued with tragedy. The play focus's on the popular themes such as romance, tragedy, death and violence. Shakespeare was inspired by a poem by Authur Brook called, "The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet". The poem never got much acknowledgement or recognition but Shakespeare used it as the basis for writing a play about, who are now, the world's most famous lovers. The prologue is written in the form of a sonnet and provides a clear, concise summary of the play. The prologue is in a fourteen-line sonnet with an A,B,A,B rhythm scheme and ends in a rhyming couplet. The Chorus starts by describing where it is set, "In fair Verona, where we lay our scene". This shows us where the location of the play will be; Verona. It the describes two noble households in the city of Verona. ...read more.


According to his definition, love is painful "Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs." This explains that he feels there is no point living if he can't have Rosaline and locks himself in a darkened room. Finally there is romantic love. Despite Romeo's great declarations of love for Rosaline, his feelings are actually fleeting, as shown by his behaviour when he spies young Juliet. He is smitten at first sight, describing her as "Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!". This language is in direct contrast to how he speaks of Rosaline. Rather than objectifying Juliet as he does with Rosaline, he holds Juliet in reverent awe, "Did my heart love till now? For swear it, sight!/ For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. With this, Rosaline is forgotten and Juliet becomes Romeo's focal point. In the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet many types of love are shown and Shakespeare uses them all effectively. In the Elizabethan era, fate plays was an important role in people's lives. In Romeo and Juliet, fate is one of the themes. Many people believed fate was written in stone and unchangeable. ...read more.


A similar blurring of night and day occurs in the early morning hours after the lovers' only night together. Romeo, forced to leave for exile in the morning, and Juliet, not wanting him to leave her room, both try to pretend that it is still night, and that the light is actually darkness: "More light and light, more dark and dark our woes". The fact remains that none of these deadly circumstances would have occurred had it not been for the senseless feud; nor would a case of bad luck result in death had there been no feud. People do not usually die from having complicated plans go wrong. All probably would have worked out in the end, in a sort of comedy of errors, had it not been for the feud. So the feud is the real antagonist. Everyone else was its victim. As the Prince says at the end, "all are punished." All of the themes, the major theme of love, the minor theme of conflict, and the subordinate themes of fate and speed, all revolve around the central tragedy of the senseless family feud. The complexity of the play can be observed by analyzing these themes and how they relate to one another. ...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 the prologue and act one interest the audience and prepare Romeo and ...

    with the Montague family, the conversation that they have is full of crude and sexual references. Almost immediately, the scene breaks out into a fight between the Montague and the Capulet families. Shakespeare has done this so as to provoke a reaction of interest from the audience.

  2. Romeo + Juliet - The Opening - Act 1 Scene 1.

    the joker that he is, is just pretending and faking his wound to try and teach the two families a lesson and we see that Mercutio may be playing when he tells us that his wound is nothing but a scratch.

  1. In the prologue, Romeo and Juliet are described as a pair of "star cross'd ...

    In Act 1 Scene 3, the Nurse cannot hold herself and continues to ramble on about her love for Juliet. This speech is full of apparent imagery and it reinforces the Nurse's affection towards Juliet.

  2. Romeo & Juliet - An exploration of the ways Shakespeare sustains our interest in ...

    Contrary to the themes introduced in the prologue, Shakespeare opens the acting side of the play with two servants from the Capulet family. Their conversation is bawdy and rude, and full of sexual connotations which are purposeful as a sharp contrast to the true love which is to follow.

  1. Romeo and Juliet - How does Act 1, Scene 1 lay the foundations for ...

    By this he meant their maidenheads, which in those times meant virginity. A fight begins when Benvolio and Tybalt enter and it develops into a furious riot. Even Capulet and Montague join in; this shows us that violence is the dominant theme.

  2. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare How does the Prologue and Act 1 Scene ...

    It also reveals that both families have the same nobility and wealth. The mentioning of "star-cross'd lovers" prepares the audience for tragedy and untimely death and love which are some of the main themes of the play. Also star cross'd lovers plays on the idea of fate which is heavily

  1. Examine how Shakespeare uses language in the Prologue, Act One Scene One and Act ...

    This is evident in the quotation: "The fearful passage of their death mark'd love". This makes the audience feel very curious about their journey and how it will end in death. The curiosity of the audience engages them into the play and the audience are fully aware of the events

  2. In what ways does the opening of the play prepare the audience for the ...

    snowy dove trooping with crows," this is meant to represent the two families and the purity of Juliet as a dove, the purity is made to seem more important through the comparison with crows; black birds, often associated with wickedness and cruelness.

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