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How does Shakespeare use conflict in Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 1?

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´╗┐How does Shakespeare use conflict in Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 1? In this essay I will address how conflict is successfully used in Act 1 Scene 1 to prepare the audience for the rest of the play. It will firstly show how Shakespeare uses physical conflict between the two feuding families. Secondly I will demonstrate the idea that Shakespeare introduces emotional conflict through the character of Romeo, and his outpourings of love for Rosaline. Finally I will show that the character of Romeo demonstrates both physical or external conflict and emotional or internal conflict. The purpose of the prologue is to clearly outline the plot of the whole play in fourteen lines and it also allows the audience to be settled before the actual play properly starts. The audience gets a glimpse of the rest of the play, it is introducing the idea that there is conflict; for instance ?death-marked love? gives the idea of love not being positive, but is hinting that love is in fact negative as it relates to death. The prologue is a fourteen-line sonnet; it rhymes alternately till the last two lines where the sentences end in rhyming couplets indicating to the audience that the first act is beginning. ...read more.


He also threatens them with torture to control the citizens so he has to address them with ferocity. This is something that the audience would relate to because peace existed at his time during Elizabeth?s rule. However to remain in power Tudor kings and Queens would use torture and execution to control any ?Rebellious subjects?. Torture in the 16th century usually ended in death. With the loss of fingers and then larger limbs, death would usually follow. The rack was also being a predominant means of torture. Shakespeare uses metaphors to add dramatic effect, ?purple fountains issuing from your veins? refers to spilled blood due to the civil brawl; this emphasises that he will not tolerate the feud. Personification is also used when the Prince tells the citizens to ?throw your mistemper?d weapons to the ground? he is talking about the weapons having human traits when they are being used for the wrong reasons. Once again he is emphasising how he feels that fighting is not the answer. Lady Montague?s dialogue shows she is worried about Romeo being involved in the fighting, because she cares about his well being, she asks Benvolio ?Romeo? ...read more.


However it is a feud ?bred of an airy word? demonstrating that it is so longstanding that nobody really knows how it started. Romeo who is a member of the Montague family is key to the idea of conflict and brings together both physical and emotional conflicts. He is himself suffering inner emotional conflict because of his love for a woman who ?hath forsworn to love? and so cannot return his love. Romeos father likens him to a flower that has not ?spread his sweet leaves? this points to the idea that he is not a strong and forceful male. But instead the ideal person to become embroiled in the love affair indicated in the prologue. The emotional conflict that he feels is linked to the physical conflict that is happening around him, by his choice of words when he likens his love to a battle by his use of the word ?siege?. This linking is further reinforced when Romeo likens the idea of emotional conflict to the physical conflict of losing his sight. It is my belief that Shakespeare uses conflict in Act 1 Scene 1 to prepare the audience for the conflicts that exist between the two families and to introduce them to the character of Romeos and how his emotional instability will affect the rest of the play. ...read more.

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