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Oppositions in Romeo and Juliet.

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GCSE Coursework Oppositions in Romeo and Juliet Patrick Brosnan Romeo and Juliet is a play full of oppositions. Write an essay explaining those oppositions in the play which you find interesting and discuss how you think they should be made clear to an audience watching the play in the theatre. Romeo and Juliet is a play which throughout has many opposing themes. The most evident opposition is between the two families featured in the play. This conflict is shown in the play by physical, verbal and mental means and can be revealed by a director in a number of interesting ways. The play is also filled with contrasting characters. The use of oxymorons helps the audience see more clearly the dissimilarities in play. The main rivalry in the play is obviously between the Montague and Capulet families. The two families have differences and similarities. The Montagues have a son while the Capulets have a daughter. Both families have a nephew. The families are worst enemies and despise anything or anyone to do with the each other. "Two households both alike in dignity...from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil brawls make civil hands unclean" This is the opening speech in the play; it tells the audience about the play and the rivalry of the families. ...read more.


These two characters could be played by actors with contrasting physical appearances e.g. Benvolio being of small stature and Tybalt being tall and broad. This would give the effect that Tybalt is a bully and the crowd's sympathy will be drawn towards Benvolio, "the good guy". Other examples of contrasting characters are Romeo and Juliet and the way in which their families treat them. Juliet is very protected by her parents. She has a nurse who is always around her and acts as a parent figure. "Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed." This quote shows that the nurse has always been with Juliet. The nurse acts as her mother here by telling Juliet how pretty she was as a baby. It also shows how Juliet has always been protected with someone there for her even when she was a baby. A reason for this over-protection could be that Juliet is Capulet's only daughter and he is therefore keen to protect her. Romeo on the other hand is very independent and does not rely on his parents or the people around him. In act one scene one Romeo's mother and father don't even know where Romeo is. ...read more.


This would give the effect of the younger characters being full of life and the elder characters being more sensible and not running by emotions. Both Romeo and Juliet use oxymorons to show oppositions in the play. After Romeo kills Tybalt Juliet is upset and confused "O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face" This means that she thinks Romeo's looks hide his evil inside. "Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!" This again means that Romeo has two sides, 'a wolf in sheep's clothing'. Juliet does not know which of the sides is real, her emotions are confusing her. Another time when oxymorons are used is when Romeo is talking about Rosaline. He loves Rosaline however she does not love him back. "O brawling love, o loving hate." This is an oxymoron because you cannot have a hate that is loving! This shows how confused Romeo is. He obviously loves Rosaline but also hates the fact she does not love him. A great deal of the oppositions in the play are very evident. Many of these can be traced back to the main rivalry between the Montagues and Capulets. There are also many opposites between the main characters Romeo and Juliet. Some of the dissimilarities would be very simple to show to an audience by a director but others would be a lot more difficult. ...read more.

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