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How does this section of Romeo and Juliet reflect upon and illuminate the text?

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ENGLISH COURSEWORK ESSAY (ROMEO & JULIET) How does this section of Romeo and Juliet reflect upon and illuminate the text? Romeo and Juliet is a Shakespearean tragedy which contains some aspects of Greek tragedy. We are focusing on the last section of this play and comparing Baz Luhrman's modern interpretation of this Shakespearean tragedy. During the final acts Shakespeare makes the reader feel sympathy for Romeo and Juliet after they are dead due to the conflict and rivalry between the two families. The characters are utilised by Shakespeare to highlight a sense of loss and desperation. The dismayed Captain, who is a neutral figure, expresses a sense of remorse and sadness when he sees Romeo and Juliet's dead bodies as a "pitiful site", also illuminating a sense of universal suffering. At the tomb the disgusted Captain describes Juliet's dead body as "newly dead" which is used by Shakespeare to emphasise the agony and pain of her death so that it is felt again. Shakespeare uses the Captain of the watch to present Romeo and Juliet as one when he sympathetically describes them as "piteous woes" which portrays them as abstractions of sadness emphasising the loss of a romantic pair. ...read more.


The fact that the families are unaware of Romeo and Juliet's love adds a sense of mystery and ambiguity also showing more clearly the rushed fickle and spontaneous nature of the marriage. In the modern production this is also seen when Baz Luhrman portrays Claire Dane's and Learnado De Caprio who play Romeo and Juliet as very hubristic and love sick characters. There is a hint at bad luck when the saddened and frustrated Montague asks "What further woe conspires against mine age?", which highlights even more the loss of youth and innocence, innocence and also the dual responsibility shared by the two families. Shakespeare plays upon a maternal instinct when Juliet is described as a "daughter" for the first time, which is much less formal and emotional and also conveys a real image of suffering and grieving. When Shakespeare describes Romeo and Juliet's marriage day as "st'len" it portrays a sense of immorality and negativity but also it makes us sympathise with them. When "Juliet pined" and when Shakespeare describes her as 'doing violence to her self' it presents to us a literal reading of suicide, but also lays a wider inferred blame on Romeo and Juliet for their rushed and hasty marriage. ...read more.


Just like in Shakespeare's version Baz Luhrman's portrays Balthazar as young and innocent to represent change and new unity. In this section Shakespeare uses tragic aspects to highlight tragedy towards the end. The Friar and the Prince advised Romeo and Juliet to slow down and "bear this work of heaven with patience" and "be slave to patience" but they still remained rushed which is an ironic reminder that there fatal flaw was that they rushed in to marriage and was also Shakespeare's way of reminding us of Romeo's hubristic nature. The Friar wants his "old" life to be sacrificed emphasising even more the loss of youth, innocence and highlights the Friars responsibility and guilt even more. There is a hint that the two materialistic families have not learnt anything from this great tragedy when Montague says "I can give thee more" which shows that the two families are still competitive and are both desperate to prove themselves better. There is an implication that they are still interested in materialism when the "statue" will be raised in pure gold which is another superficial attempt to show the power and wealth of the families. When this tragedy is described as a "story" it undermines the sense of real suffering and denigrates Romeo and Juliet's love. ...read more.

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