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Introductio of Romeo and Juliet

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With Close Reference to Act 1 and 2 show how Shakespeare introduces the characters of Romeo and Juliet. Explain how Shakespeare guides our response. - Hannah Fewings Shakespeare introduces and shapes our perception of Romeo and Juliet in a number of different ways. These include the opening chorus, the reoccurring sense of fate, the contrast between their love and the family feud, how other characters speak of them before we meet them and the behaviour and language of Romeo and Juliet themselves. The sonnet prologue at the beginning of "Romeo & Juliet" introduces the sense of fate that is echoed throughout the play. The audience is told before the play that events will end in tragedy. We are told that Romeo and Juliet's love is 'death-marked' and that they are 'star-crossed' or ill fated. This makes watching the play as it unfolds even more tragic because while the audience shares in the characters joy they know that death and tragedy are inevitable, unlike the characters. ...read more.


There must have been quite a few people if officers with 'clubs, bills and partisans' couldn't stop the fight. Another factor that makes their love so contrasting to the feud is that Juliet is very much aware that Romeo is '[her] only love sprung from [her] only hate'. All of this makes their love more poignant and vulnerable. Other characters talk about Romeo before he enters meaning that we already have an idea about what he is like before we meet him. Lady Montague was first to mention Romeo when she asked 'where is Romeo'. She was 'right glad' that he 'was not at this fray [the first public brawl]'. Romeo is obviously loved by his parents and they are quite concerned for him. Next Benvolio talks about the last time he saw Romeo. When Benvolio walked 'towards him... he was ware' of him and hid in 'the wood'. ...read more.


He seems to genuinely love or at least is willing to love Juliet. Juliet's language also changes slightly after she meets Romeo. Before they meet, Juliet's language is quite formal and she only speaks a few lines in her first scene. When asked of marriage she replies 'it is an honour I dream not of'. She is very courteous and is aware of the patriarchal society she lives in. After she meets Romeo and has her own soliloquy, her language is still simple and spontaneous but with more emotion and feeling. 'O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or if thy wilt not, be sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet.' Perhaps this change in language is because she does genuinely love Romeo. We can see from these many methods of introducing a character, including the chorus, the sense of fate, the contrasting feud, how other characters speak of them and the characters themselves, that Shakespeare was in control of our opinion and perception of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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