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

How does the prologue and act one interest the audience and prepare Romeo and Juliet for the events of the play?

Extracts from this document...


how does the prologue and act one interest the audience and prepare Romeo and Juliet for the events of the play? The play, 'Romeo and Juliet' was written in the year of 1593. The play includes a number of universal themes such as love, hate, death and loyalty so as to capture the imagination of a range of audiences. Shakespeare includes a prologue for 'Romeo and Juliet'. A prologue is a kind of blurb that can give you a vague idea on what the play is about and what is about to happen. It would decide if the play was to be a success or a failure. A sonnet was the form in which Shakespeare wrote his prologue, a short, fourteen-line poem that was made up of quatrains. The prologue of 'Romeo and Juliet' gives us an idea on what the story is about. We are given nearly all of the key points about the play. We know, from what is said in the prologue, even before the play begins that the two lovers, 'Romeo and Juliet' will die. 'Romeo and Juliet' are immediately set across to the audience as star-crossed lovers. This seems to suggest that the lovers will be ill fated. In the prologue there is the quotation of 'death marked love'. This adds to the speculation that the lovers are doomed to die whatever happens. The thought of love and death put together would really get the audiences excited meaning they will be more interested and would like to know what really happens. Also an Elizabethan would have been very interested in astrology and that fate was laid down by the stars, so the language used seems to represent what the people o the time believed. In the prologue Shakespeare also includes a number of other themes, two of which are hate and war. The audience in Shakespeare's time seemed to react very well to the thought that they may see a fight along with a death. ...read more.


The nature of the nurse and also of her attitude towards sex seems to annoy Lady Capulet but is received and tolerated as though it is what the nurse's character is about. Shakespeare has written his play to show all the different levels of love including that of spiritual as well as physical. The nurse's open manner to the way she speaks of sex come to life immediately the audience set their eyes on her. From the way she speaks of her past you would often think of it being all about the subject of sex from the word go. She loves it when she talks about sex, especially about what her late husband had said to Juliet when she fell on her face. He had laughed and said that one day she was sure to fall on her back - meaning in the act of sexual intercourse. All the sexual comments in the play would have certainly gained the interest of even the most privileged audience. A menacing tone is hit when the nurse remembers her own child, called Susan. She too, was at the same stage as Juliet but died. The nurse makes plenty of comments about Juliet being too good for her and as it turns out Juliet is also to be too good for her and is fated to die young. From watching the play we can obviously tell that Lady Capulet is a lot younger then Lord Capulet even if she was not telling the truth about her age. She says that she was the same age as Juliet when she gave birth to her. This would make Lady Capulet around the age of thirty. You can certainly tell from the way she talks and the long speech about Paris that she highly respects him and regards him as an ideal match for Juliet. When Lady Capulet points out to Juliet that if she were to marry Paris it will raise her social standing the nurse can not resist but the temptation of a bawdy comment. ...read more.


This was a very popular form of poem for expressing love in one way or another. Shakespeare at the time was writing one hundred and fifty four sonnets. The conversation that is going on is full of religious images that seem to point out that their love just isn't scraping the surface but going deeper. This will be a love that that will last forever. The audience already knows that this is true. Juliet responds to Romeos sonnet by beginning one of her own but it is interrupted by the nurse and cannot be finished. If we look back on this scene we can see that it is full of contrasts such as the music and happiness of the dancing party goers, the love between Romeo and Juliet, and of coarse the anger between Capulet and Tybalt. All this action in one scene can be very exciting. As this scene comes to an end the audience will know that death awaits the two lovers. The audience will remember the threat made by Tybalt to Romeo at the party and although he seems to be acting nice, he will soon see to it that revenge is carried out. The audience may of felt like shouting out up to the stage to try and warn Romeo of the dangers. Juliet sets a predictive and unsettling sentence when she says, "my grave is like to be my deathbed". The audience by now will know most of what is to happen in the play but are trying to find out all the little gaps so they would be looking forward to the next act. In 'Romeo and Juliet' we see many ways in which Shakespeare has used his talent to produce one of a great set of plays. They all manage to get the audience interested and but also displaying a great storyline. One of the main features of 'Romeo and Juliet' that keeps the audience interested is the theme of love. With a play full of very bawdy comments how could you not display a slight interest? ...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 Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Even though the outcome of the play is made evident in the Prologue why ...

    This is quite ironic when you consider how they do die. They think the other is dead so kill themselves which is just a deception of their bodies as they are not, so after all they were safe except from themselves.

  2. Romeo and Juliet - The Prologue

    Not able to believe that the one who caught her eye is a member of the enemy family, Juliet goes out onto her balcony to tell the stars about her strong but forbidden love. At the same time, Romeo is lurking in the bushes below.

  1. Explore the ways in which act 3 scene 4 prepare the audience for the ...

    especially while Capulet is speaking. This puts across the thought that Capulet is rushing through his words whilst thinking on the spot. This would explain his confusion on what day it where at the time. There are also several short sentences in this scene, which again put across the idea of panic and rushed decisions.

  2. Examine how Shakespeare uses language in the Prologue, Act One Scene One and Act ...

    Shakespeare makes the audience feels sympathy and pity for the two lovers, even before the play has started. From the beginning of the play, we as an audience feel that Romeo and Juliet are right in what they are doing and we start to envy the two families because of the hatred they cause between each other.

  1. 'To what extent does act one of 'Romeo and Juliet' influence the events in ...

    star crossed lovers The Prince's speech is written in blank verse (much like the rest of the play), because it consists of unrhymed lines, but it has iambic pentameter: "Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel- Will they not hear?-What ho!

  2. didn't think I would ever fall in love, come to think of it I ...

    "I hope so because I am not walking on road with some tramp" he said laughing "Oh you got jokes" I said smiling We walked out of the school to unlock our electric scooters; mine was blue and Romeo's one was red.

  1. How does Shakespeare prepare the audience for the final scene of the play?

    is shown by the line- "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;" The words "Star cross'd" show us that it is fate and destiny for the couple to die. "Doth with their death bury their parents' strife." - This line shows us that with the couples death, the ancient grudge between the families, is forgotten.

  2. How does the prologue to Shakespeares 'Romeo and Juliet' prepare the audience for the ...

    'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes' this line is saying that the two household enemies have produced a pair of lovers, this is mainly emphasised in the phrase ' fatal loins' this implies that these being in love is deadly and they are also involved with the feud of their parents.

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