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How does Shakespeare show development of Romeo and Juliet's characters and encouraged the audience to feel sympathy for them?

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English Coursework No. 4: How does Shakespeare show development of Romeo and Juliet's characters and encouraged the audience to feel sympathy for them? It is important for the audience to feel sympathy for the main characters of the play because it helps them interested in the play. It is also important dramatically for the characters to develop as to create tension within the play. As for Romeo's development for example at the beginning of the play, Romeo is obsessed with his love of Rosaline (Act 1, Scene 1), whom we never meet but then his love suddenly switches to Juliet when he sees her at the Masked Ball (Act 2, Scene 4). This show that Romeo is very fickle in his love and will switch from one girl for another if he thinks she is more beautiful in his opinion. In Act 1 Scene 1, Montague gives a speech about Romeo and his love sickness and mentions how he (Romeo) likes to keep himself to himself, preferring night to day. ...read more.


he speaks more seriously about it and as we see further in the play he ready to lay his life for this love. After realising that they belong to families who are deadly enemies of each other they are dismayed but this in no way can stop their love for each other. This creates sympathy in the minds of the audience as well. The illustration of the intensity of Romeo and Juliet's love is shown in Act 2 Scene 2. We find that this is different from the artificial "courtly love" played out by Romeo for Rosaline earlier in the play). This is the scene in which Juliet proposes the marriage. This was very unusual because back in Shakespeare's day it was very unusual for a woman to do the proposing. The marriages then were decided by the parents and were based on suitability rather than love. On a similar note, it is unusual today for a teenager of 13 to get married at all. This scene is generally known as the Balcony scene, however there is no actual mention of a balcony anywhere in the scene. ...read more.


The language is no longer poetic but full of fear. Juliet's fear is made apparent through the punctuation and structure of her speech. The significance of this scene is that Juliet does not know what the potion contains. She asks many questions to enquire. It is quite ironic that she imagines various outcomes but not what actually happens. This scene also shows the extent of Juliet's love for Romeo because despite her terror, she still takes the potion; She would rather be dead than live without Romeo or be forced to marry someone else. Shakespeare uses various techniques to intensify the dramatic nature of Juliet's speech, for example, when Juliet is at last alone in her chamber she says, "I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins..." The alliteration of the "f" sound here creates a shivery sensation - we can sense Juliet's horror at what she is about to do. In this way, Shakespeare using language, dramatic devices and the structure of the play to help the audience feel sympathy for Romeo and Juliet through the development of the play. Zafar Abbas Naquvi 10En1 English Coursework 1129 words ...read more.

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