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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Coursework -Felicity Weston Throughout the course of the play the character of Juliet changes dramatically. Juliet evolves from a quiet girl who knows little of the world or her place in it, into a strong-willed, defiant woman willing to risk her life for the man she loves. Juliet quickly develops into a woman who lets her heart lead her head and is persistent in getting to where she wants to be. She goes through many changes during a fascinatingly short period of time, where her moods, thoughts and feelings all alter. The language used in "Romeo and Juliet" is extremely effective to the audience or readers of the play. Shakespeare uses carefully chosen words, rhythms and styles, to create the atmosphere he wants. He does this in a style which means they can be interpreted in many different ways. The play is based upon two characters, the love they have for each other, the problems they go through and how they mature and develop. Before Juliet meets Romeo her attitude towards love and marriage is completely different to her feelings after she has met him. When we are first introduced to Juliet in Act 1 Scene 3 she says very little and appears insular and distant. Her responses are short and to the point with no evidence of flowery language, particularly when the subject of marriage is brought up. She sees marriage as, "...an honour that I dream not of." We learn that Juliet is an airy character, who is unsure of what she wants in life. She feels she is far too young to marry, which are the feelings of her father exactly. ...read more.

Middle

to her nurse we see her in an erratic state of mind and is very spiteful, cruel and selfish towards her nurse. The very aspect of this makes me think what love is turning her into. Juliet's language throughout this scene changes from her deep soliloquy to monosyllabic and simple words when her nurse comes home, her language returns to how it was at the beginning of the play, direct and blunt. Juliet's desperation is shown by her expression and the varying types of words she uses; she uses commands, talking 'at' the nurse rather than 'to' her. She also uses interrogatives when the nurse frustrates her by her constant mocking. This scene shows a lot about the relationship Juliet and her nurse hold, despite Juliet seeming rude and insistent, the nurse is blatantly teasing her, and the scene is purely comical. Act 3 is the turning point of the play; the deaths of both Mercuito and Tybalt change everything. Romeo finds out his punishment for killing Tybalt is banishment from Verona. When Juliet learns that Tybalt is dead and Romeo banished, she begins to accuse Romeo of seeming beautiful but acting vilely, but then rebukes the nurse for wishing shame on Romeo. From this we see the confusion and switch of emotion going through Juliet's head. Act 3, scene 5 shows Romeo and Juliet after their wedding night together. Juliet tries to persuade Romeo that it is not yet dawn, and not yet time for him to leave her. At first he says he must go, but then resolves to stay and face capture and death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once again, her language shows a maturity far beyond her fourteen years and this is further supported when with detached emotion she declares, "...O happy dagger, this is thy sheath," and stabs herself. The way she gives her life for him without a thought proves her love can only be true, and just shows the extent of her love. Throughout the play, Shakespeare continually chooses language, which takes us on a journey with Juliet. From an introverted child who was still strongly guided by her nurse and only spoke when spoken to, she developed into a strong-willed woman who surrendered everything for love, including her family and ultimately, her life. Her passion for Romeo knew no bounds and as the play develops, Shakespeare conveys the change in Juliet by the clever use of language. Personally I find it difficult to comprehend Juliet as someone to admire, bearing in mind her ultimate demise, but I do envy her single-minded passion for Romeo. I cannot condone any form of suicide, even if it is a love pact, and I found their deaths such a prodigious waste when they both had their whole lives in front of them. I am not sure that "love at first sight" is a real phenomenon but Shakespeare, again through the use of Juliet's language, certainly had me believing that it was possible. With the endless oxymorons, metaphors and similes for imagery, repetition and puns Shakespeare managed to convey the change in Juliet's character amazingly. He manages to portray the despair, joy, confusion and understanding that they feel, as well as their love for each other. I believe that one of the main reasons that this play has been so successful is the fact that many of the emotions we experience today are covered. ...read more.

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