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Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Critical Essay Question: Explain the importance of the minor characters in the play. Analyse how they help the development of the plot, themes and development of the other characters. In "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare the minor characters such as Mercutio, Montague and the nurse play a vital role. Shakespeare uses characterisation, key incidents, themes and other literary techniques to allow me to understand the main characters and improve my knowledge of the themes of death, love and fate as well as to develop the plot further. Mercutio is one of Romeo's closest friends and one of the characters that makes the change in Romeo after meeting Juliet clearer. When Romeo is in love with Rosaline at the start of the play, he and Mercutio joked about sex and love a lot of the time and seem to have a fun time together. ...read more.


However, when Juliet is grieving over Tybalt, he completly forgets about her feelings and forces her to marry. When she refuses to marry Paris, he becomes angry, threatening to turn her out on the street and to disinherit her. Capulet's behaviour allows me to further understand to theme of intergenerational conflict and of the character of Juliet, showing her confident, stronger side that dares to stand up to her controlling father. The nurse in "Romeo and Juliet" is in many ways a substitute mother to Juliet, as she cares deeply for her and even encouraged Romeo and Juliet's relationship in the hope that it will make Juliet happy. After Tybalt's death, however, the nurse becomes less sympathetic and encourages Juliet to consider marrying Paris, "O, he's a lovely gentleman! Romeo's a dishclout to him, an eagle madam!" ...read more.


This allows me to understand why the two young lovers do not tell their parents, instead marry in secret and tell who they can trust. The character that comes across to me as being the one that Romeo can trust and talk to most is Friar Lawrence. He acts as an advisor to Romeo and really helps the plot develop. The tragedy is completed when he leaves the tomb and Juliet commits suicide. He marries Romeo and Juliet in the hope that it would end the feud between the two families, shocked that Romeo has forgotten about Rosaline so quickly. In conclusion, through the use of minor characters such as Montague, Tybalt and Mercutio, Shakespeare has developed the plot, themes of love, death, fate and intergenerational conflict and the characters in "Romeo and Juliet". I think that Shakespeare had done this successfully, developing each character to increase my understanding of different aspects of the play. ...read more.

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