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"How does Shakespeare represent conflict in Romeo and Juliet?"

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English coursework "How does Shakespeare represent conflict in Romeo and Juliet?" Conflict exists in many forms within Romeo and Juliet. There is an ancient feud between Capulets and Montagues, comic insults between comrades in arms and serious bitter conflict between both enemies and friends in act 3 scene 1, when we see Mercutio's condemnation of both houses, prior to his death. Not only does Shakespeare demonstrate conflict between people and households, but he also shows the conflict within people. For example Romeo and Juliet, have conflicting loyalties, to each other, and to their families. Every disagreement or quarrel in this play is used by Shakespeare to develop characters and lead in some way or other towards the final tragic end, with the lovers' deaths. This ending is, unusually predicted even before the play starts, in the prologue. In this coursework, I am going to explore Shakespeare's representation and use of conflict in this play. Even the first scene of this play (Act 1, Scene 1, lines 1-101) uses conflict. This conflict in this scene starts being that of comedy. The first two characters to appear on the scene are servants of Capulet who are discussing their role in the feud between the Capulet and Montague families. ...read more.


He cannot believe that he let the conflict end in such a way, he feels that loving Juliet has made him soft. This is shown when he says, 'O sweet Juliet! Thy beauty hath made me effeminate' This is why, when Tybalt enters after Romeo finds that Mercutio is dead, his whole attitude towards Tybalt changes. He decides not to be merciful to Tybalt any longer because of his relation, through marriage, to him, or because of the prince's law against civil brawls. Romeo's anger is now his motivation, not his morals, 'Fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now!' This anger leads Romeo to challenge Tybalt, Romeo thinks that he, or Tybalt, or both of them must die to compensate for them both causing Mercutio's death. Tybalt and Romeo then fight and Romeo kills Tybalt. When he realises what has happened he says, 'O, I am fortunes fool!' This shows that he thinks that fate (fortune) has caused him to be involved in the disaster of this scene. While all of these dramatic events are taking place the audience are likely to feel shocked at Romeo's sudden change of attitude towards Tybalt and at the crescendo of events leading to Mercutio's speech. The entrance of the citizens and prince at the end of this section of the play is important because it brings the ...read more.


I think that this film gave a good account of the conflict between the families because the modern idea of gang warfare that it used fitted the Shakespearean idea of family feud very easily. I did not think that the film portrayal of the conflict of children with parents was a good account of this type of conflict as it would be in a more conventional version of the play. This is because modern ideas of the family are very different from the Shakespearean ideas of a patriarchal society, where women accepted and did -overall- what their fathers or husbands told them. I found the conflict within the individual particularly interesting because, it allows us to see more of their personality and view where the loyalties of a character lie. Juliet is a good example of this, she has Conflicting loyalties; those to her husband and those to her parents, and these are shown in the argument with her parents. Having studied Romeo and Juliet I think I now have a greater understanding of the representation of conflict in the play. Shakespeare uses it in many forms, for many reasons, but all examples of conflict in the play have a similar effect, that is, to develop the interest of the audience in the play and its many issues and to cause the tragic spiral of events leading to the lovers' tragic deaths. Helen Crutcher ...read more.

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