• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 4696 words

Romeo and Juliet

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Romeo and Juliet' was written by William Shakespeare in 1596. Like many of Shakespeare's plays, it was not an original idea. His inspiration came from a well-known poem of the times called, 'The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet' which was written in 1562 by Arthur Brooke. In the poem, the events took place over four years, whilst Shakespeare shortened the events within the poem so they took place within three to four days. This gave the play greater impact as there is no time for Romeo and Juliet to consider the consequences of what they are doing and make the eventual death of the main characters at the end all the more shocking, as a few days before they didn't even know each other. The character of Mercutio did not exist in the poem; some believe Shakespeare added him to give the play more 'fun' as he is quite a wacky character and to make it different from the poem. It is more likely however, that as believed by critics of those times that part was written for a popular actor who's inclusion in the play would fill more theatre seats as he was believed to be a very popular 'A-lister' actor. Although 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tragedy it contains many more ingredients to fill more theatre seats, Love, comedy, violence and hate are also featured. Throughout the play the atmospheres change, we go from hate to love, love to hate and love to sadness, this changing is a rollercoaster ride for the audience who enjoy the sudden twists and changes in the play. The play contains dramatic irony, Romeo saying he thinks he may die and dreaming that Juliet found him dead adds to the appeal, due to the prologue, the audience know the outcome, yet they don't know why or how such a tragedy happened. Sexual innuendo is used to great effect to thrill, audiences of those times tended to have a fascination for sex like pre-sixteen teenagers today. ...read more.

Middle

Saying she is 'expensive' is also very ironic, as in the end, she 'costs' him his life. Again this line convinces the audience that Juliet is supposed to be beautiful, even if the actor is not. Romeo then says she is too good to use: 'Beauty too rich for use.' Almost like she is 'too good to be true,' and he can't believe he is seeing someone so beautiful. This also links back to the idea that their love costs them their lives, something that the audience is well aware of. Romeo then uses contrasts once again: 'a snowy dove trooping with crows.' This line is interesting as it links back to Benvolio's 'prediction' in Act One Scene Two that Romeo would see Rosaline as a 'crow' and find another 'beatuie.' Romeo is again singling Juliet out, she is better than anyone else in that room. A dove is a symbol of peace, which is again ironic, as their deaths bring peace between their two warring families. The use of contrasts seems to be a big 'theme' in this play, there are two 'opposing' families, Benvolio and Tybalt are opposites, etc. Romeo closes this 'part' of the scene with: 'For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' This again shows how fickle Romeo is, he said earlier how he will never see anyone more beautiful than Rosaline yet now he has. After this rather sweet declaration of love, the atmosphere changes to the opposite. Tybalt has been seen before in the play as a bold and violent man, here he isn't much different. The first line he utters is: 'This by his voice should be a Montague.' This shows Tybalt is looking for trouble, usually at parties you relax and 'let your hair down' yet Tybalt is almost acting like a 'bouncer' on the lookout for a fight. He then gives an order: 'Fetch me my rapier, boy.' ...read more.

Conclusion

'Forbidden' love still happens today, Muslim women falling in love with Christian men is a common example. Honour killings still occur today, murder committed to preserve the honour of a family, usually in religious families. Interestingly women can be murdered for refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, Juliet of course, argues with her father regarding her marriage to Paris. In 'Romeo and Juliet' the characters of the same name fall in love at 'first sight.' Many people argue that you cannot fall in love with a person when you just see them for a few seconds, yet others believe in 'soul mates' people 'destined' to be together, Romeo and Juliet's shared sonnet seems to imply that they are 'soul mates.' In Elizabethan times, children were supposed to obey their parents, nowadays of course, it is often the parents obeying the children. Suicide still happens today, yet not usually in such a 'complex' way. Overall I believe 'Romeo and Juliet' is most certainly relevant to today's audience, after all, if it wasn't such a 'captivating' story, then it wouldn't be replicated on such a grand scale and after all, most people, when asked to name a Shakespeare play, the most named one would surely be 'Romeo and Juliet.' I personally enjoyed 'Romeo and Juliet.' I enjoyed watching it rather than reading it, and out of the two films we watched, I preferred the Baz Luhrman version by far. Probably because it was so 'over the top' and cheesy and I thought it was very skilful of Baz Luhrman to modernise it so well. I found the Zefferlli version a bit dull and 'tame' whether that be because of my age I don't know. I seemed to be able to understand the words Shakespeare used easier than the last year I did Shakespeare; however I think watching the Luhrman version before reading the play did help. Overall I found 'Romeo and Juliet' an enjoyable experience, despite my doubts at the start of the course that it would be 'boring' and not as gory as 'Macbeth.' ...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

  1. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    I have come to the conclusion that Romeo and Juliet is more to do with love than hate because of the style of language used and the way the characters express how they feel about one another. The story contains mostly references to love and therefore would conclude that the story was written about love.

  2. EVALUATE HOW SHAKESPEARE USES VIOLENCE AND DEATH IN ROMEO AND JULIET

    The first conversation between Romeo and Juliet is an extended Christian metaphor, 'Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?' Using this metaphor, Romeo ingeniously manages to convince Juliet to let him kiss her. But the metaphor holds many further functions.

  1. At the end of act II, Romeo and Juliet are married and unaware of ...

    She acknowledges the paradoxical situation of her 'only love' sprung from her 'only hate'. By including these lines, Shakespeare increases the tension in the audience by giving a clue as to how the lovers will meet their demise. When Juliet talks to the Nurse after finding out about Romeo's banishment, she again cries out an exclamation based on fate.

  2. didn't think I would ever fall in love, come to think of it I ...

    He came out fully dressed and jumped on his bed. "Where's my hot coco?" I asked "I thought it was too early for hot coco" he said mocking me "Nah it's never too late for hot coco" I said smiling "What ever" he said jumping of his bed, he opened the door and went out.

  1. Classical Music Interpretations of Romeo and Juliet: Tchaikovsky, Gounod and Prokofiev

    It begins with simple tambourine and snare drum beats marking out the beats of the bar. The clarinet then interrupts with a small motif that winds the music up to the main outburst by the strings. The theme that the strings develop has a sneaky devious feeling to it that is created by the high pitch and gradual crescendo.

  2. How successful is Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Representing William Shakespeare's ...

    It also rules out any confusion, followed in the text compared to the moving image. The views of the city lead to a frame of a statue of Jesus causing us to presume a sin-free, quiet, religious city. The active and energetic camera angle reverses out to include to identical business tower blocks and the city around them.

  1. Discuss the dramatic effect of the contrasts and opposites in Romeo and Juliet

    The audience can understand her pain and grief. Interestingly, youth and age is a very important contrast throughout the play. Firstly, there is a huge difference in age between Lord and Lady Capulet as Lord Capulet is much older than his wife. This is mainly portrayed to the audience visually.

  2. Romeo and Juliet - a simplified version of the classic love story by Charles ...

    early at the cell of Friar Lawrence, where their hands were joined in holy marriage, the good friar praying the heavens to smile upon that act, and in the union of this young Montague and young Capulet, to bury the old strife and long dissensions of their families.

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