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How does Shakespeare convey and develop the theme of Conflict in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays for one main reason; it keeps the audience gripped and in suspense throughout the play. However this is not achieved through clever writing and screen play alone, this suspense is maintained by Shakespeare using a timeless method of getting someone's attention; by showing the audience conflict. This magnificent play is all constructed around this simple 8 lettered world conflict, some form of confrontation and in Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare shows three types of conflict Verbal, physical and emotional. As Humans it is in our nature to try to avoid conflict however often it is unavoidable and is even necessary in the pursuit of happiness. This is what Shakespeare is trying to show in his plays, the bitter reality of life which may sound depressing now however showing this struggle for happiness is the best way for Shakespeare to enthuse and entertain his audience. Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example of one of his plays. This play is about Romeo and Juliet "a pair of star crossed lovers" that "take their life", this one line summarises the whole play, two lovers that reach an "untimely death" in a desperate attempt to be together and this struggle occupies the "two hours traffic" of the stage. In this essay I will explore how Shakespeare conveys this conflict so well without even the use of special effects, lighting or fancy props. Even before the play has begun Shakespeare sets the scene with an explosive prologue in the form of a sonnet which outlines the plot and more importantly the conflict. ...read more.

Middle

However this play isn't about violence, death, physical or even verbal conflict. It is a love story and true to this theme when we first meet Romeo at the end of Act one Scene one he is in love but not with Juliet, but is mourning that is love is "unrequited" with a fair young lady that goes by the name of Rosaline. In this scene Benvolio is trying to comfort young Romeo who is out of Rosaline's "Favour". Romeo pours his heart out to Benvolio, he talks of how his "hours seem long", Benvolio however as no time for his naive cousins ramblings and suggests that he "examines other beauties" consequently Romeo reluctantly agrees. This conversation between Romeo and Benvolio shows the emotional conflict within Romeo's heart, this over the top reaction of Romeo gives us an insight into the character of Romeo; we can see that he is a lover rather than fighter which later on in the play builds tension as he is forced out of his shell to ironically fight for his love which will have devastating results. After this talk the Montagues then illegally attend the Capulet's party and this is where Romeo and Juliet first meet and where yet more emotional conflict occurs within Romeo and now Juliet's heart when they discover the true identity of each other. However before this occurs the presence of the Montagues is noted by fiery Tybalt who consequently asks for his "rapier" to kill the "villain Romeo" however before Tybalt can "stir one foot to seek" his "foe" Lord Capulet rebukes him and explains how "Verona brags of him to ...read more.

Conclusion

Desperate times call for desperate measures so Juliet calls upon close Friend of Romeo Friar Lawrence for help, and he gives her a potion so she will appear dead and go to the tomb where Romeo would go and rescue her so they could escape together, however Romeo did not get this message and went to the tomb finding her dead and kills himself. She then wakes up to find him dead so she then kills herself. This one last twist shows how the conflict between the families has led them to do desperate things in order to be together, they felt they had no choice and true to the prologue their love was "death marked" and true to the theme of the play it was a tragic ending however we didn't want to see this, we chose to ignore this because it is in our nature to want a happy ending but this play shows how sometimes it just isn't possible. Romeo and Juliet is a timeless classic that features the timeless theme of conflict and although it was written over 400 years ago still has relevance today, teenagers today still face protective parents, families at war and even forbidden love. Everyone can relate to Romeo and Juliet one way or another and that is what makes it such a great play that is relevant to all generations. ?? ?? ?? ?? How Does Shakespeare Develop And Convey The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet? Tom Gavin 10E English coursework 13/08/2010 ...read more.

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