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How is Death And Violence Portrayed In Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare?

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Introduction

How is Death And Violence Portrayed In Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare? Romeo And Juliet is quite possibly the most famous love story of all time. It has many concurrent themes running throughout the course of the entire story and one that is very prevalent is that of death and violence, the violence being both verbal and physical. Shakespeare merged the themes of death and violence with those of passion, love, and affection, which contrast beautifully with the more macabre themes to create a distinctive mood and atmosphere. In this essay I will be showing exactly how Shakespeare portrayed the said issues of death and violence in Romeo And Juliet. Violence often plays a part in media, being shown more and more on film and television. Nowadays we have trailers or commercials to tell the prospective viewer of the details of what will happen in what they are watching. In Shakespeare's time they had prologues at the beginning of the plays. Prologues were an outline of the story of the play and the prologue of Romeo and Juliet was no different. It instantly shows how death and violence was going to be a major aspect of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Scene five once again shatters the tension made with people dancing and singing and generally enjoying the party. This fun is however short lived as Tybalt overhears Romeo and lowers the tone by ordering for his sword ("Fetch me my rapier, boy"). This shows the tension between families, as Tybalt is willing to ruin his uncle's party just to fight one Montague. An odd thing happens next as Lord Capulet tells Tybalt to calm down and let him enjoy the party. He even pays Romeo a compliment saying he is a "portly gentleman". This portrays Tybalt's actions as childish and rash and lures the audience into a sense of false impression by making them think there is not as much bad blood as was initially thought although this could not be further from the truth. More dramatic irony is shown after Romeo and Juliet first meet in Juliet's over the top albeit chillingly accurate comment of "my grave is to be my wedding bed". Act two, Scene two is where we next get a sense of violence and foreboding when Romeo states that his "life were better ended by their hate/Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love". ...read more.

Conclusion

Scene 4 shows Lord Capulets callousness during this time of mourning as he changes his initial thoughts and arranges a marriage for Juliet. The irony of this being, that at that moment both Juliet and Romeo were together consummating their illicit marriage after they eloped. When news of the arrangement is broken to Juliet and she is naturally opposed, Capulet believes this as a personal insult to him and he gives her an ultimatum: marry Paris, or leave. The way he delivers this is particularly aggressive, with him personally insulting his only child "you tallow face! /Hang thee baggage! /Disobedient wretch!". As the nurse tries to console the distraught Juliet she is quite frank about what she says. "for it excels your first; or if did not/Your first is dead-or 'twere as good as he were/And leaving here and you no use of him". Juliet finds this horrifying that her closest friend is insinuating that she leave Romeo, her true love, as he is never coming back to Verona. Distressed, she leaves to see Friar Laurence where a plan is hatched. In act 4, Romeo is in Mantua awaiting news from the Friar whilst Juliet is with Laurence discussing the marriage conundrum. He says she can take a potion that will give her the symptoms for death for "two and forty hours". ...read more.

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