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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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