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In this essay I shall be writing about why I agree that with the play, the most excellent and lamentable tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare changes expectations of the tragic genre.

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Introduction

In this essay I shall be writing about why I agree that with the play, the most excellent and lamentable tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare changes expectations of the tragic genre. In my essay I shall be giving references to language, theme, structure and context. This will all show why I agree with the essay question. Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play; with the plot concerning two feuding families and two stars crossed lovers. In this play, Shakespeare explores the pitfalls of young love and the consequences they receive from their actions. Romeo is from the Montague family where as his lover is from the Capulet family. Both of these families are each others sworn enemies. The feud between the Capulets and the Montague's had been passed down through the generations, until the youngest child had been planted with the seeds of hate. They are very bitter towards each other and Shakespeare uses different techniques to show the hatred between the two families. The plot thickens as Shakespeare kills of more characters; the play then concludes with both of the families calling a truce, however only after both of the lovers die. This is why the play is known to be a tragic play as events take place which are out of reach of the characters. It is then these events which decide the lover's fate. ...read more.

Middle

Some people may think that this ruins the play but in fact it does the opposite. Although it tells people what is going to happen, it also makes people want to watch to see how everything happens. The audience knows what will happen but are eager to know how it all happens. So by using a prologue at the beginning of his play, Shakespeare creates tension in the mind of the audiences. They know that the plot concerns two lovers who in the end both die. The audience knows this as in the prologue it says, "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life." this is a quote from the first prologue Shakespeare uses in the play. It is an example of letting the audience know what they are going to watch. Although it tells us that there are 2 lovers who die, it doesn't tell us how the two lovers die and under what circumstances. The play is both plot and character centred. The plot of love and hate runs through the play but the characters each have different views on everything which takes place. The main characters in the play would be Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt, Lord Capulet and the nurse. We know that Lord Capulet strongly dislikes the Capulet yet Shakespeare shows a side to Capulet which makes the audience think of his discipline and control. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this scene we get an insight into the characters of Benvolio and Tybalt. We learn that Benvolio is not one for fighting and is the kind of person who resolves things but once challenged will put up a fight. Benvolio enters the scene and says "Put up your swords; you know not what you do." He is telling all the servants to put away their swords as they don't know what they are doing. Shakespeare uses Iambic Pentameter for his main characters. The example would be Benvolio, if you look at what he says, you will notice that each line of his has 10 syllables and he speaks in a rhythm, (iambic pentameter). This is the same for the following characters: Lord and Lady Capulet. Lord and Lady Montague, Romeo and Mercutio. The reason Shakespeare uses Iambic pentameter with these characters is so that the audience realise the difference in Characters. He may want to show that some characters are educated and of a high status, where as others are not. Even though Benvolio is a family servant, Shakespeare used Iambic Pentameter with him because he is head servant and also very close to Romeo. At the start Mercutio and Romeo's closeness is shown through their speech. Shakespeare has them.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Shakespeare uses Stage directions within the text to help give the actors a cue. For example, in Act 1 Scene 5, Capulet says "Welcome gentlemen". This then helps give the other actors, "gentlemen", a cue when to come on to the stage. ...read more.

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