• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Romeo and Juliet

Extracts from this document...


"Romeo and Juliet"; How are violence and conflict central to the play? "Romeo and Juliet" is a tragic play, which is set in the city of Verona and it's about two lovers who can't be together because their families are enemies. The play is mainly about love; however there are many scenes in which violence is represented. The play starts with a fight between members of the two families, and ends up with the death of a member of the Montague family, finally both families are punished by the ruler of Verona, the Prince. The violence in the play occurs because of an ancient grudge between two families, which leads to the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare ingeniously created this play for Elizabeth the 1st, Queen of England, because she adored the theatre. The Citizens of England in the 16th century would jump at the thought of entertainment, whether this be cockerel fighting to a good old' romantic play. Although pleasing them was a different matter. This meant that Shakespeare had to be on top form when writing all of his plays. Therefore, a 16th century audience would love one of Shakespeare's plays because they include all the things for the recipe of perfection. If they wanted love, drama, passion and action, they certainly got it with Shakespeare. One of the reasons we know that violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet is because at the beginning of the play in act 1, scene 1 the atmosphere is full of aggressiveness, it all begins in a public market in Verona. The servants of the Capulet and Montague households' started picking on each other and start a quarrel; one of them said: "I will bite my thumb at them which is a disgrace to them if they bear it". This shows that even the lowest cast of the families is acclimatised to violence; it also expresses how Sampson wants to provoke the Montagues The servants use bawdy language "Draw thy ...read more.


This is the starting point to the action of the scene which makes the audience not need to focus on the language. To stop the battle, Romeo steps between them and Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo's arm. Now Mercutio is down and everyone asks if he is okay and his reply was, "'tis not so deep as a well nor so wide as a church door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man." By him saying this he changes the tone from tragedy to humour and then to pathos, it is a very emotionally complex extract of the play because Romeo or Tybalt were the ones who were supposed to fight, this creates an ambience in which pathos predominates. Mercutio picks a fight with the best swordsmen in Verona, and talks himself up, but yet he gets beaten, this shows his arrogance. His wound is fatal and he dies crying "A plague o' both your houses!" what he says in his deathbed is a premonition insinuating that the conflict between the families is going to increase, this also implies the lover's death is nearby. Mercutio's death changes Romeo's condition, because even all the love in which he was surrounded in the previous scene can't avoid his fate of having a tragic ending, "These days black fate" this displays how Romeo feels that his destiny is to die at the hands of his family's enemy and helps the audience to realise that death can be the couple's only fate. Blinded by rage over Mercutio's death, Romeo attacks Tybalt and says "Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him" here Romeo warns Tybalt about the need of one of them to die. The rivalry ends up with Tybalt's death, which manifests how once again the aggressiveness has overcome affection. Tybalt's death brings Romeo a moment of clarity as he realizes that he is the helpless victim of fate: "O, I am fortune's fool!" ...read more.


Beg! Starve! Die in the streets! / For by my soul I'll ne'er acknowledge thee." While Juliet's parents react with extreme bitterness, Juliet handles herself with striking maturity. No longer the dutiful teenage daughter of the Capulets, she is a young woman, a bride, a wife. Her answers are skilfully truthful yet pragmatically deceptive. In response to her mother's desire to have Romeo killed, Juliet remarks that she "never shall be satisfied / With Romeo, till I behold him - dead." Juliet's mother interprets this as anger over Romeo killing Tybalt. However, a man's death also means his sexual climax. Since Juliet has just ventured into her first physical love, she desires it again, both as a desire for pleasure as well as a mature relation with Romeo. Once again violence is centred to this part of the scene because Juliet turns to the use of brutal images to calm down her parents; she talks about the enemy's death, which is the only thing that tames them. After this bitter argument, Juliet demands the nurse for advice on how she should proceed. The nurse gives Juliet an unpleasant recommendation which shows she fails Juliet at this critical moment "I think you are happy in this second match, for it excels your fist one" because she sees Juliet's marriage to Paris in entirely practical and economic terms. It's obvious Juliet doesn't appreciate the nurse's advice; however it makes Juliet ponder on her following steps. She turns to the Friar as a source of aid and counsel. Juliet's agony is so outrageous that it makes her determine to die rather than enter into a marriage with Paris, and ends up the scene by saying: "If all else fail, myself have power to die." The play ends up with an inevitable death of the two lovers forced to occur because of all the hatred and violence in which they have been brought up, this manifests how violence is central to the play, however Shakespeare does this intentionally, because it was what the audience demanded at that time. Alejandra Osset. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays


    The first fight shows the extent of the feud and the expectation of more violence. The initial incident that set the story moving happened at the party. Romeo meets Juliet and falls in love with her at first sight. The rising action starts to rise greatly at the balcony scene where each professes their love for each other.

  2. Jonathan Tindall10x1 Final Draft

    For Shakespearean and modern day Tybalt the colour's I would use would be red and black. This would depict his swift temper and his ruffian attitude to the family feud. Him being also of a noble descent I would make sure his shirts looked expensive but not as expensive looking as Romeo's (Tybalt only being the nephew of Lord Capulet).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work