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How is the theme of violence explored in Romeo and Juliet? Discuss with reference to three scenes.

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Introduction

Kirsty Ponting. 30th May 2004. Romeo And Juliet Coursework. How is the theme of violence explored in Romeo and Juliet? Discuss with reference to three scenes. 'Romeo and Juliet' is based on the story of two lovers who secretly married and suddenly separated. It is an old story, much older than Shakespeare's play. The plot dates back as far as the third century. The story then was a familiar one by the time Shakespeare came to write it as a play. Elizabethan audiences of Shakespeare's time had different expectations to us. When we go to the cinema or theatre, we expect an element of novelty or invention in what we see. We don't want it to be too predictable. We criticise films for copying or ripping off others if we feel they lack originality. Every single play written by Shakespeare has sources in literature that date from earlier times. Romeo and Juliet is based on a poem published in 1562 by Arthur Brooke called 'The Tragicall History of Romeo and Juliet'. The characters of Mercutio and Tybalt are barely developed in Brooke's version, but Shakespeare makes them much more important figures. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet made him a woman. 'Thy beauty hath made me effeminate'. He can't be strong for himself now, he lacks in his own self-esteem to stick up for himself. Romeo's rhyming couplet promises more violence between lines 110 and 112. 'This day's black fate on moe days Doth depend, this but begins woe others must end'. This is where the action really begins. Romeo's actions are unfortunate, and Tybalt gets killed. Juliet's mother calls Romeo a villain. She thinks Juliet is weeping over Tybalt. She speaks of how she'd like to punish Romeo. Lady Capulet calls Romeo this because Juliet appears to agree. Lady Capulet plans to get revenge on Tybalt by slaughtering him. 'Well girl, thou weep'st not so much for his death. As that the villain lives which slaughtered him'. Lady Capulet explains to her daughter off her dislikes of Tybalt and that she would like to see Juliet marry Romeo. Juliet plays along with her mothers plans by what she is saying has a double meaning. 'To wreak the love I bore my cousin. Upon his body that hath slaughtered him!' ...read more.

Conclusion

He may also point his finger when expressing a point. The use of commas and semi-colons help draw everything he says either into further detail or straight onto the next point. 'To answer 'I'll not wed, I cannot love; I am too young'. Here the semi-colon is used to explain why he wouldn't wed or love, because he is to young. At the end of this play, the two lovers take their lives. Romeo, believing Juliet is dead, kills himself to join her in death. Juliet, finding Romeo dead, also kills herself, not wishing to live without him. Their deaths end the quarrels of the Montague and Capulet's. This shows that meeting in death could have been the only worthwhile ending. The arguments boiled down to the relationships between Romeo and Juliet, but they couldn't be together. Overall, I think this play is more violent than it should be. It starts of as a love relationship and ends with violence and tragedy with a double-teen suicide. I think from this play, the hatred sticks in my mind the most because that's what most of it was about. We didn't really see much of a love relationship throughout because it all was arguments over Juliet marrying. She knew whom she would have been happy with but no others were going to accept it. ...read more.

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