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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Coursework Assignment: Romeo and Juliet The play starts with an initial chorus; this chorus is presented to us in the sonnet format, which consisted of fourteen lines. This style of opening a play was a common technique for William Shakespeare. Even though Shakespeare has given away the ending of the play he still must ensure that there is enough drama, suspense, tension and action to keep the audience enticed. This idea relates to the fact that in Elizabethan times many people knew how the play would end but were looking for how well it was told. The chorus refers greatly on many occasions to examples of death and suffering " Civil Hands," " fatal loins." But the most prominent quote is the one that refers to Romeo and Juliet being "Star-Crossed Lovers." This suggests that their fate is already written in the stars, and the idea of their love being crossed may even have significant biblical references. Immediately you are able to tell, that there will be some sort of tragedy and they will cease to exist by the end of the play, even though the end of the story is given away it still retains interest as the audience would like to know how their "piteous misadventures," have lead to their unfortunate deaths. It is clear in all Shakespeare plays that there are two or three major points of interest where the play rises to a huge climax, and then there is a point of subdued interest. This pattern continues throughout the whole play and they are mainly marked through the use of dramatic devices such as the use of deaths, love, music or humour. This technique sustains interest throughout the play as the audience can clearly see that something significant is about to happen. The first instance where this happens it presented somewhat rashly in the Baz Lurrman production of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

Middle

The friar and the nurse remain neutral and tend not to disagree with Romeo and Juliet's private meetings. The friar marries off the couple hoping that it would bring peace and prosperity to the two families, but the fighting just gets worse. Tybalt soon finds out about the relationships between Romeo and Juliet and lashes out violently at Romeo. Mercutio chooses to intervene, and the scene ends with the death of Mercutio. This scene creates suspense, as when Mercutio has been stabbed he still is able to remain witty, "Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man," in the Baz Lurrman version he laughs while he says this, this shows him to be a particularly important character and is used primarily to be evocative and draw emotion from the audience. His last words are "plagues on both your houses," this shows that he too had become sick of the petty fighting. This is the major turning point in the play whereby the plot becomes more serious and the feud between the two households increases in this scene there are seven ironic twists which lead to tragic consequences and the audience begs to question "what if" which is what makes the play a tragedy. The irony of this scene is that such a religiously peaceful marriage caused more of an aggravated war between the households. The film version shows innocent bystanders this shows the ongoing hatred will continue into future generations if the fighting is not stopped. In the film version- Romeo is enraged and chases after Tybalt and avenges Mercutio's death. The film version shows fast cars and music, it also shows Romeo in another light- he looks almost merciless. This sustains interest as rising tension is added; the two deaths add anxiety and the audience are eager to know what will happen next. Inevitably the death of Tybalt will spark more belligerent behaviour between the two households. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play is timeless; this means its messages are relevant in any era. The play has been modernized in the film to suite the audiences of today. Even though certain effects cannot be achieved on stage Baz Lurrman has been able to transfer the main foundation of the story line to make it relevant in today's society. There are certain features of the play that have been tweaked for film use. The film version is more comical and has more action in it, and I think this makes the ending less prominent. It has many crucial themes in it such as fighting between two families, unlawful marriages and sex, social use of drugs and street crime/violence. Shakespeare has quite rightly chosen to use these themes in the play as they are everlasting and will never really be eradicated from the global society. The themes have just as much relevance as they do now as they did in 1594 when the play was written. The fighting between the families resulted in the deaths of two of their youngest members. All of the characters killed in the play would appear to be pretty young. The play revolved around the younger characters and the older characters such as the Capulet and Montague did not really tend do get involved. But it was the harsh and unrealistic decisions they made that did the most damage. The decisions and actions of the older members of each family resulted in the deaths of the younger members. That is also a message significant to life today. In places like Sudan, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, which are poverty-stricken countries, young children are forced to fight against and kill on another. This is all down to the fact that politicians and governments cannot settle their trivial squabbles and this inevitably results in civil wars. Many ongoing civil wars have lead to famine and out breaks of hunger and disease in many African countries. It is fair to say that children are dieing and getting unnecessarily involved in an adult's war. ?? ?? ?? ?? Abuzer Sadikot 11DC ...read more.

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