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How Does Shakespeare Use The Idea Of Opposition As A Dramatic Device In 'Romeo and Juliet'? What Are The Effects Of These Techniques?

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How Does Shakespeare Use The Idea Of Opposition As A Dramatic Device In 'Romeo and Juliet'? What Are The Effects Of These Techniques? Shakespeare uses an immense amount of opposition in the play, 'Romeo and Juliet'; this creates dramatic impact. The oppositions have a major effect on the play and cause some of the turning points in the plot, such as the fight scene where Tybalt and Mercutio are killed. There is also a clash of oppositions such as when Romeo tries to make peace with Tybalt in the fight scene in Act Three, Scene One. This shows the oppositions of love and hate. Even during the prologue, many oxymorons are used. The prologue is meant to give the audience an idea of what the play is going to be about, " From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life." This sums up what the entire play is about. Although the audience know what is going to happen their still intrigued to watch it as the Prologue is very dramatic. "Fatal loins" means deadly birth, this relates directly to Romeo and Juliet because the birth of their love is basically the death of it because of the hatred between their families. The meaning of the Prologue directly opposes the style in which its written. It is written in the form of a sonnet, a popular form of sixteenth-century love poem that often explored themes such as love in conflict. ...read more.


As soon as Juliet realises that Romeo is a Montague she knows their relationship is ruined. Juliet concisely expresses the connection between love and hate and marriage and death: "My only love sprung from my only hate." She also declares immediately that if she cannot marry Romeo, she would rather die: "If he be married. / My grave is like to be my wedding bed." It refers to the love and hate opposition, this is dramatic because the audience know something that the actors don't- that Juliet's grave will be her wedding bed- this makes them feel anger towards their families because they know the children's fate. There is also the young and old theme as lord Capulet has ordered young Tybalt to leave Romeo alone and not to cause a fight. This contrasts with his usual character, as he normally hates the Montague's and often fights with them himself. When Romeo first falls in love with Juliet he initially describes her as a source of light, like a star, against the darkness: "she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night." As the play continues the theme of light and dark is associated with the lovers. The dark relates to the secrecy of their relationship and how after Romeo is banished they can only meet up at night under the cover of darkness. ...read more.


This is dramatic because the audience know Juliet s already married where as her mother doesn't. There is also dramatic tension because they know that Juliet's parents will probably find out about her being married to the enemy Rome. Her father also continues to act coldly like his wife and goes on to call her a "baggage" and "carrion" because she refuses to marry Paris. Marriage is meant to be a time of joy but for Juliet it is a time of sadness and hatred because she is being made to leave behind her true love Romeo and forced to marry someone that her parents want her to. Juliet's nurse is more like a mother figure to her and when she tells her to forget about the "dishclout" Romeo, she betrays Juliet's trust. This shows that even the very people she thinks are on her side and are supposed to love her are willing to hate her because she loves their enemy. It is at this point that she realises that every member of her family has abandoned her and goes to friar Lawrence to get advice. She decides that she would prefer to die than marry Paris- "If all else fail, myself have power to die." The final scene of the play (Act five, Scene three) brings the reunion of Romeo and Juliet and the triumph of love over hate. The tomb becomes a symbol of birth and death, as Juliet's should come out alive as if she has been reborn whereas instead she along with Romeo and Paris are found dead. ...read more.

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4 star(s)

There is some good analysis in this essay; however at times the ideas could be more effectively communicated. Instead of working chronologically through the play, a more skillful strategy would have been to link parts of the play through the idea of conflict as this would show a better understanding of how Shakespeare created certain effects.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 22/08/2013

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