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How does Shakespeare shape our response to The lovers first meeting in Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare shape our response to The lovers first meeting Shakespeare shapes our response in a variety of ways using a number of techniques. To give you an answer to this question, I will comment on a number of key areas ; character, language, themes, the plays structure and dramatic devices. Shakespeare did not create this story it was adapted from a well-known love story. Shakespeare first produced the play in 1596. At the start of Romeo and Juliet we meet the Chorus who is not a character in the play but a dramatic device. The Chorus comes on stage before the play starts, his job was firstly to quieten down the rowdy Elizabethan audience. Plays were really the only form of entertainment back then, so Elizabethan audiences often got involved in what was happening and often reacted badly to evil characters. The other role of the Chorus was to inform the audience of what the play was about; this was said in the form of a sonnet. A sonnet was a fourteen-line long traditional love poem, Shakespeare was famous for his many sonnets. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet, in this scene is revealed to be a naive and innocent girl. This shapes our response to the lovers first meeting because at this stage Romeo has the same immaturity as Juliet. Juliet is very obedient to Lady Capulet, when Lady Capulet requests her presence she says to her mother, "Madam I am here. What is your will?". But this also shows the difference between the relationship with Juliet and her mother compared to Juliet and the Nurse. In Elizabethan times as soon as a child in a rich family was born, a nurse, like a modern day nanny but more involved in a child's life, would bring the child up and take on all motherly duties including breast feeding. This scene also shows the differences in our society compared to Elizabethan Society because these days mothers look after their babies and take on all motherly duties; a Modern day audience would be surprised at this where as a Elizabethan audience wouldn't. Another key factor of the play is when Lady Capulet talks to Juliet about marriage to a young man called Paris. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Romeo and Juliet are approaching each other they say a sonnet together, this demonstrates the seriousness of their meeting. The language the couple use also illustrates changes in their character, they use religious imagery, "holy", "prayer", "pilgrims" and "sin". This is an indication of their genuine, serious and deep love they have for each other. After these expressions of love for each other a kiss was shared between the two. Overall the main factors that have shaped are response for the lovers first meeting is about both lover's character before they met and status. Romeo was a confused boy that he believed a woman that he hadn't even spoke to before was the love of his life (Rosiline). When the lovers first meet we can see he has matured and grown up because has actually found and approached the true love of his life. Also firstly Juliet's character is immature and naive young woman but as the play progresses she become a more independent and a more mature woman. Another response to their first meeting is also shaped through the way Shakespeare showed the aggressive and intense rivalry the Capulets and Montagues had. When Juliet and Romeo realised that they were meant for each other this made us think, Will they be able to marry because of the families rivalry? ...read more.

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