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How does Shakespeare convey the theme of love and conflict in the Prologue, Act 1 Scene 5, Act 3 Scene 2 and Act 3 Scene 5 of 'Romeo and Juliet'?

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Introduction

HOW DOES SHAKESPEARE CONVEY THE THEME OF LOVE AND CONFLICT IN THE PROLOGUE, ACT 1 SCENE 5, ACT 3 SCENE 2 AND ACT 3 SCENE 5 OF 'ROMEO AND JULIET'? When writing about love and conflict in the play, I will focus on four parts of it; the Prologue, Act 1 Scene 5, Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 5. In each of them, I will look for love and conflict, and how is it related to many other things in the play, such us the development of characters or Shakespeare's dramatic style. The essay should help those who will read it understand what is hidden, or seems to be hidden, beyond Shakespeare's use of language, form and other things. All of my points are based on the different bits of the play and how I myself interpret them in relation to the theme. The whole play is introduced by the Prologue. In the 20th century film I saw with my class, the Prologue was given in the form of TV news, where a woman was introducing the story, as they usually do in the news, saying things like ''Three Italian soldiers died in Iraq in an explosion yesterday. Protests against the war rise.'' or ''Famous footballer X stopped playing football. Millions of fans wail.'', and then showing and speaking about the whole story. This quite well explains how the Prologue works. It tells us the destination of the story (''In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.''), explains who the story is about (''Two households, both alike in dignity...a pair of star-cross'd lovers...their parents...''), what are the basic events (''...From ancient grudge break to new mutiny... fatal loins of these two foes... take their live...'') and what are the outcomes (''...the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove''). Prologue is a sonnet, which always has 10 syllables in a row and is traditionally understood as a love poem; however, in our prologue, the theme ...read more.

Middle

or (Juliet) ''Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm in holy palmers' kiss.'', and lots more. This also has to do with the historical context of religion. Other context to be found in the scene may be the problem of marrying someone you aren't supposed to marry; Juliet and Romeo want to marry each other, but they will have a big problem with it, as we can predict, understanding that if their parents knew about it, they would never let them do it, and in the time of Shakespeare it was unthinkable to get married to someone as far as your parents didn't agree. Act 3 Scene 1 can be, although only roughly, described us a fighting scene, because a big fight is to be seen here. However, there is a lot more in it. It is also important to know that it is a turning point in the play; the first death takes place here and the more tragic part of the story begins. There are four main characters in the scene: Tybalt, the angry one who wants to injure others and feels really mad; Benvolio, who is the one trying to keep the situation calm, is afraid of a fight and doesn't want it; Mercutio, who is the one trying to make fun and doesn't understand or care about the danger; and Romeo; who doesn't want a fight but isn't very helpful when trying to prevent it. The whole scene develops in the spirit of rising tension. Shakespeare creates this mood by how all of the characters are behaving: Benvolio uses metaphors to suggest that he is afraid of fighting, and audience may think that if he says this it will probably take place; Romeo's way of acting seems effeminate to the other characters and makes them angry; Tybalt is quite mad and the way he acts suggests that he will ...read more.

Conclusion

However, her father, lord Capulet, appears and drastically shows that there can be no discussion about whether Juliet will marry Paris or not. He shous at her, using similes (also interesting language aspects) to show he is angry ''My fingers itch.'' (so he is so angry he would hit her) and to intimidate her ''Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither,'' ''But, as you will not wed, I'll pardon you: Graze where you will you shall not house with me...''. He is showing her absolutely no mercy, understanding her as an object (''An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend.''). This has a strong connection with another historical context - patriarchy. He hasn't got such an amount of power over her life just because he is a parent and she is his offspring, but also because he is a man and she is a woman. In this time, all rights that a woman had were given to her by a man who controlled her at a time; her father, carer or husband. Patriarchy also stands in the core of all problems with marriages in this time; most marriages were arranged by the parents or the man who wanted to get married, and a woman couldn't just married whoever she loved. This scene is also full of dramatic irony; Juliet's mother hates and wants to kill Romeo, and both of her parents want her to marry Paris, but they don't know she is already married to Romeo. I think this scene is sad; I felt with Juliet, mostly because both her mother (Juliet: ''O sweet my mother, cast me not away.'' - Lady Capulet: ''Talk not to me... for I have done with thee.'') and, in a way, the nurse whom she trusts (Juliet: ''O God! O Nurse, how shall this be prevented? ... What say'st thou? Has thou not a word for joy? Some comfort, Nurse.'' - Nurse: ''...I think it best you married with the county. <Describes how good he is.>''). And after that, the story gets even worse; until it ends in tragedy. ~~ Albert Ferkl 10BG ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

There is almost too much information being covered in this essay and although there is a good understanding of the text, this doesn't always come out in the writing because so many points are being made all at the same time. Perhaps in this case, just looking at conflict in Romeo and Juliet may have been a sufficient focus.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 06/06/2013

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