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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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