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How does Shakespeare present the first meeting between Romeo and Juliet?

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How does Shakespeare present the first meeting between Romeo and Juliet? When Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet times were very different. Religion was viewed with a lot more importance than it is today. At the time England was a Christian country. Attending the divine service was compulsory and absences could be punished by fines. Religion was taught better than ever before due to The Book of Common Prayer now being used in every church and English translations of the Bible being read in public. This means that no one alive around the time of Shakespeare would be able to escape religion. Therefore Shakespeare used religious language and in particular when Romeo and Juliet meet there is much reference to it. This is because that is what the people of the time would have understood. At the time education was no where near as good as it is today so Shakespeare would have had to write his plays using concepts and language that all people of the time were able to understand. School education reinforced the church's teachings. The social context to the play is very different to today. When Shakespeare wrote the play marriage occurred at an age a lot younger than it does today. ...read more.


He said that Romeo came 'To scorn at our solemnity this night' (1,5,63). We can then see that he wishes revenge once Lord Capulet has told him to leave Romeo alone, 'I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall' (1,5,90-91). Nurse's character is developed as a character who is very devoted to the family that she serves. This is shown when Romeo asks Nurse who Juliet's mother is. She replies, 'Her mother is the lady of the house, And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous' (1,5,112-113). We also learn that Nurse and Juliet have a close relationship as Nurse said to Romeo, 'I nurs'd her daughter' (1,5,114). By nursing Juliet she meant that she breast fed her. This means that Nurse has been with Juliet since the child was born and that she brought her up. Juliet's character is developed as one who knows what is wrong and what is right. Her character is also shown as being clever at portraying her emotions, 'Come hither, Nurse. What is yond gentleman?' (1,5,127). This shows that Juliet is hiding her interest in Romeo by questioning Nurse about other men at the party so as to find out more about Romeo without revealing that she is in love with him. ...read more.


In my opinion this story still has relevance as it has the basic idea of love that cannot be. There are still people today that are prevented from having relationships due to religion, race, culture and factors such as that. The story can relate to situations that people find themselves in today. There are many people who are stopped from marrying the person that they love due to the views of family. This teaches us that although some relationships are considered as wrong, if you love someone there is nothing that can be done to prevent the love and that there is nothing wrong with being with them. It can also teach us that if we try to intervene in other peoples love we are not helping, only causing deep problems. I feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet as they are in love but their love is not allowed. I feel sorry for them because their relationship is very difficult. I think that Shakespeare aimed to make the audience feel sympathetic towards Romeo and Juliet in their first meeting. He was successful with this portrayal. Shakespeare managed to show that Romeo and Juliet fell in love at first sight. This gives the audience even more incentive to feel sorry for the star crossed lovers. Sian Anderson 10HO ...read more.

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