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"It is primarily the love between Romeo and Juliet that makes the play so enduringly popular." To what extent do you believe with this statement?

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Introduction

"It is primarily the love between Romeo and Juliet that makes the play so enduringly popular." To what extent do you believe with this statement? I disagree with the statement "It is primarily the love between Romeo and Juliet that makes the play so enduringly popular". In my opinion the love is only one of the many potent factors that make this play a success. Other characteristics that perfect the play creating the tension and suspense include, humour, violence, tragedy and hate. In this essay I will be explaining what each of these factors contributes to the play and how Shakespeare uses them effectively. Firstly I will explain how Shakespeare displays Romeo's and Juliet's love to effect and how we can tell it is true. Many people believe that Romeo's and Juliet's love is "adolescent" love as they marry soon after they have met at the young age of 14 but I disagree. When this popular play was written by Shakespeare in the 16th century it was acceptable for adolescents to marry at this time in life, this was as health was poor and most people died young so therefore for couples to have a good life time together it was logical to marry at this age. Another reason why Romeo's and Juliet's love is true is by the expressive language Shakespeare uses and from this we can tell that Romeo's and Juliet's love is genuine. For instance in Act one scene five we can tell Romeo's love for Juliet from the moment he sets his eyes upon her. ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio exclaims "A sail, a sail" as he sees the nurse in the distance. He is indirectly using imagery to compare the size of the nurse to a large sailing ship; he believes that her clothes droop over her figure like the sails droop from the masts of a ship. Behind the Nurse's back this is rude but provides humour for the reader as it instils a comical visual picture in the audiences mind. Reasons why this is effective is because two scenes later in act two scene six, Romeo and Juliet are gathered in Friar Lawrence's cell to be wed. The humour now contrasts to the love and makes the love seem stronger and true because of the different types of lexical choices used. For example after Romeo has just kissed his bride, Juliet she pronounces "my true love has grown to such excess". This descriptive sentence summarising Juliet's love for Romeo now seems of even more meaning compared to the humour in the previous scene, the audience will feel that the love they share is not adolescent love but a true showing of the strong feelings they feel for each other. This point in the play is also known as the point of peripeteia, meaning the point where the characters fortunes have reached their highest. From here the love that our couple share is in great danger or on a downwardly slope until as described in the prologue Romeo and Juliet takes their lives. ...read more.

Conclusion

While Romeo is waiting for his fair maiden to arrive Shakespeare uses personification, Romeo pronounces "love-devouring Death do what he dare". Shakespeare turns death into a person with the use of the pronoun 'he' and uses imagery to make the reader picture death 'devouring' love. In my mind this is a rather gruesome image as it compares death eating love and it can lead to a number of images in a persons mind. This kind of sentence can make us think of the grave during times of delight and when constantly mentioned can make the audience think of both good and bad at once. In conclusion many factors contribute to the play and it is not only "the love between Romeo and Juliet that makes the play so enduringly popular". The use of all moods mentioned juxtaposing the love creates tension and anxiety which in my mind create a fully rounded and enjoyable play. In summary love is constantly compared with humour, violence and fate as it makes the reader constantly speculate the plot in advance and challenge Shakespeare's choices. The audience also has a wide range of views that they are enticed to ponder and possibly think of alternatives upon. This has provided most with an enjoyable play and it provides variety so that Romeo and Juliet can appeal to many different audiences .Variety in moods in this play also welcomes many different opportunities to use imagery and lexis which are intriguing and imaginative. So in final conclusion I feel strongly that "It is not primarily the love between Romeo and Juliet that makes the play so enduringly popular". 1 Henry Courtier 10T, (16.03.04) ...read more.

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