• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the impact that inspector Goole had on the Birling household in

    4 star(s)

    girl, which a normal inspector would gloss over, he 'shakes up' the family at once leaving them open to his questioning. The way in which the Birling family are unsettled by the inspectors questioning by them spilling there story's and actions to him, especially the younger generation, are fruits of certain skills in the inspectors manner, timing and vocabulary.

  2. Is lady macbeth the 4th witch?

    This is also very shocking and surprising for a woman to be so decisive as women were believed not to be so forthcoming. On line forty, scene five act one, she screams, "unsex me here" Lady Macbeth is asking for the ability to behave like a strong man by removing her feminine qualities and conscience.

  1. In what ways does the relationship between Eddie and Beatrice change during the play?

    Normally, Beatrice would have shown hostility towards Eddie but she knows that things will settle down if Catherine and Rodolpho gets married; Eddie will learn to get over Catherine. Throughout the play, Beatrice continually tries to make Eddie break away from Catherine.

  2. Romeo and Juliet Theme Paper

    They share a true and unconditional love. Romeo and Juliet's love also is similar to Romeo's love for Mercutio in many ways. Romeo shares a strong connection with both Juliet and Mercutio. But a different type of connection. They are friends who always support each other and would do anything for the other.

  1. How does Shakespeare prepare the audience for the ending of Romeo and Juliet

    He thinks something life-changing might occur, and that everything that is about to happen is in his destiny. Romeo also says that this might lead to death, which increases the tension as death has already been mentioned a few times.

  2. How does Arthur Miller create tension in act 3 of The Crucible?

    For example, when Proctor says that he surely is a Christian, Parris straight away remarks, "Such a Christian that will not come to Church but once in a month!" This instantly puts Proctor in a difficult situation and his tension would surely be felt amongst the audience.

  1. Whose life is it Anyway Extra Scene

    "Whose life is it anyway?" was first played at the Mermaid Theatre with Tom Conti as Ken Harrison in 1978.There is a huge difference between the audience of 1978 to the audience of 2008. They treated figures of authority with great respect and they took their decision as the final decision.

  2. The Long and the Short and the Tall - Examine the Characters of ...

    It also becomes apparent in the first few pages of the play that Bamforth is quite big-headed, and that he brags, on this occasion about how good the 'London boys' are at fighting; 'What do you know about scrapping?' This again reveals the streak of violence in him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work