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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use language and drama to introduce and develop the theme of violence and conflict? In the Elizabethan time period 1589-95 Sir William Shakespeare a playwright wrote the play 'Romeo and Juliet'. The play is often thought of as a love story however it is actually far more concerned with violence, death and fate than it is with love. Romeo and Juliet is highly regarded as one of Shakespeare's best plays, even as one of the world's finest love stories. However the play has many other themes of conflict, violence and inevitable tragedy. The play title immediately introduces the theme of love, and the not the darker side of the play, as the name 'Romeo and Juliet' refers to two lovers and nothing else. The play also includes the constant mentioning of the inevitable tragedy. In this essay I will be looking at the themes of forbidden love, family feuds, and revenge that come between the relationship of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet to answer the question of how violence and conflict are introduced by finding evidence to support each theme. I will then conclude by answering the question as a whole. Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon. He married Anne Hathaway in 1882 and had two children. Hamnet and Judith. William Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. Shakespeare used a variety of sources for his dramas. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo does not find out about the set up and therefore visits Juliet's body and thinks she is dead. He kills himself with poison and falls into Juliet's tomb. Juliet then awakes to see her once beloved Romeo and Paris lying beside her. She to kills herself with Romeo's dagger. The Act in which the two lovers die displays a lot of dramatic irony. The dramatic irony is created when seconds after Romeo's suicide, Juliet awakens, which is very ironic and unfortunate. This gives the audience the feeling of regret for both families. The families now see reason to stop their feud. Family feuds are another theme in 'Romeo and Juliet' that is the cause of all the tragedies and anger. The feud that persists between the Montagues and the Capulets has been passed down through each generation, "Profaners of this neighbour stained steel - will they not hear?". This quote from the princes speech is very subjective to the ancient quarrel, and when price says will they not here he is referring to the constant attempts on each generation to end the quarrel. "neighbour stained steel" shows the families are in quarrel as it means their swords are stained with the blood of their neighbours. The word "stained" shows signs of ancient quarrel because stains cannot be removed and this was possibly caused by a petty incident. ...read more.

Conclusion

The violence in these themes comes from and is included in the final theme of inevitable tragedy. The actions made in association with each theme result in an inevitable tragedy, being the death of the star-crossed lovers; Romeo and Juliet. Violence is produced in each theme due to the decisions each person makes. There is always someone to disagree with that decision, for example when Romeo chooses not to fight, Mercutio disagrees and violence starts and results in death. Shakespeare might have written this drama to caution all youngsters prone to fall in love at the flicker of a smile that sometimes the lovers may have to pay for their love with their lives. It is also possible that Shakespeare settled for a gory ending to his play presumably because he preferred untimely death of lovers to death of love over time. ?Another plausible reason could be his unhappy marriage with Anne Hathaway, who was senior to him in age. The main message Shakespeare tries to put across is about pride. The families let pride get the better of them and this results in a never-ending grudge, unless they swallow their pride. The futility of prejudices is shown when Tybalt refuses to end the feud with Romeo in Act 3 Scene 1, "and so, good Capulet, which name I tender". Romeo tries to end the feud by apologizing and referring to the Capulets as "good". Tybalt's pride gets the better of him. They do not get anything good out of their pride and this is the message Shakespeare tries to put across. ...read more.

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