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How is conflict potrayed in 'Romeo and Juliet'?

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Introduction

How is conflict portrayed in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'? Shakespeare's portrayal of conflict is evident in a variety of ways. The audience's perception of the emotional and physical conflict relies on the language of the characters, character actions and the contrasting scenes reflecting the contrasting conflicts. Moral, emotional, religious, social and private force conflict are all expressed and explored through the play. How successful has Shakespeare been in investigation these forms of conflict for effect on the audience? Romeo and Juliet is a tragic drama that consists of several elements of comedy, romance and tragedy. The play was written by William Shakespeare allegedly between the years 1591 and 1596 and was first printed in 1597. The story was already well established in the Elizabethan era and was introduced to the English audience by the poet Arthur Brooks from his adaptation of 'Pyramus and Thisbe'. Several details and aspects of Shakespeare's play have been directly incorporated from Brook's poem and such appropriation of other stories and use of existing material is characteristic of Shakespeare. The characterization and the constant use of contrasting images of disarray, love, admiration and connections with society, religion and family would appeal to the audience through its use of tragic downfall, human destruction and relation of mankind to tragic action. ...read more.

Middle

These contradictory words emphasise the love versus hate theme and supports the concept that love is a cause of violence. Personification is a figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form. Shakespeare uses several examples of personification when portraying the image of Death as Juliet's husband: 'And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead'. This exaggerates and relates to the underlying theme of conflict and bereavement within the play. Juliet is one of the principle personages in the play and her progression of her maturity and individuality is a key aspect of the appeal of her character. At the beginning of the play she is expectant of her fourteenth birthday and is portrayed as being innocent, sheltered and na�ve. She is reluctant to take part in adult conversation and appear to respect her mother's authority. She shows discomfort discussing the subject of sex and commands the Nurse to cease her recital of a sexual joke at Juliet's expense. When Lady Capulet mentions Paris' interest in marrying Juliet, Juliet replies: 'I'll look to like, if looking liking move: But no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly'. ...read more.

Conclusion

In act 3 scene 5, the theme of language versus reality occurs again as Juliet claims that the lark is truly the nightingale and that the day has not yet befallen. In the confrontation with her parents after Romeo's departure, Juliet overthrows the patriarchal power structure inherent in Renaissance families. The conflict against the familial power of the father is one of the underlying contests for Juliet. The defiance of her father expresses her maturity gained through her relationship and sexual experience with Rome. Her refusal to marry Paris provides insight on her limited powers and becomes a primary reason of the consequent tragedy. In the final act, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet occur in a sequence of compounding stages. Throughout the play, Shakespeare has held up the possibility of suicide as an inherent aspect of intense and dramatic love and considers this suicidal impulse as an element as much part of it as the romantic euphoria. The double suicide in the play represents the fulfilment of love and the self-destructive impulse that has surged and flexed beneath their love. Juliet tries to kill herself with a kiss: an act of love intended as violence. When this fails, she stabs herself with a 'happy dagger', 'happy' because it reunites her with her love. This results in violence being the final deed of profound love. 1 ...read more.

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