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

"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare

Extracts from this document...


"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare Violence and conflict are central to "Romeo and Juliet" discuss. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tragedy about "a pair of star cross'd lovers", blinded by their love for one another; it is a classic story of forbidden love, with scenes of high drama, killing and a tragic ending. The play both opens and ends with violent scenes, caused by the on going 'grudge' between the two families. The feud between the Montagues and the Capulets reigns supreme, and rules seemingly over love, over justice, in an almost unfair manner, as 'civil blood makes civil hands unclean'. The image of violence being so unfair exists prominently in the deaths of the central characters of the cast. The young and pure lives of 'Romeo' and 'Juliet' is brought to a despicable end through the violence around them, which eventually brings about reconciliation between the families. Violence and conflict are the main themes of the play. Violence is the act of physically trying to injure someone; it is shown throughout the play accompanied by conflict. Conflict is tension and disagreement over a subject of discussion that can occur frequently. Many opposites such as love and hate, life and death have been used repeatedly to emphasis the conflict, which is presented well by William Shakespeare on different levels and in many ways. The themes of love and hate are used effectively, by applying different language, and the emotions expressed by the use of soliloquies. A great deal of violence and tension is built up from the start, but contrasted with the right amount of romance, producing an even balance. Shakespeare's use of contrast is well established in his opening prose, where he describes "Fair Verona where we lay our scene" with such romanticism and poetic taste, only to destroy this amity with descriptions of "mutiny", and "civil blood". The tension between these human emotions and the fine balance between passionate love and passionate hatred has a grand impact on the atmosphere and success of the play. ...read more.


The atmosphere is tense, as Tybalt appears to be eager to fight Romeo, since Lord Capulet prevented him to proceed with it during the ball. The arrival of Tybalt brings a great agitation to the atmosphere, when he approaches, hoping to find Romeo, Mercutio still in a quarrelsome mood provokes Tybalt. "And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something; make it a word and a blow." Mercutio continues with this behaviour, by drawing his sword and claims it will be "the fiddlestick" to which Tybalt "will dance." There is a sense that once again the tension is building towards violence, as Mercutio is acting very condescendingly towards Tybalt and is looking for a fight. On the other hand, Benvolio seems to realise the potential dangers, and tries to discourage Mercutio from starting another street brawl. Benvolio acting as the peacemaker brings a contrast to the scene, by opposing to all their views; he decreases the tension by acting reasonable. He reminds them of Prince Escalus' threat and logically advises them to go to a "private place" to settle this, "or else depart" away. In contrast Mercutio raises the tension by being very determined not to "budge for no man's pleasure". To an audience these radically contrasted characters create huge tension and anticipation, as their conflicting ideas of both love and hate clash with terrific dramatic effect, also giving distressing suggestions of Romeo and Juliet's fated tragedy. Romeo's entrance at this point increases the suspense considerably as Tybalt makes it clear whom he wishes to fight with, stating, "here comes my man." Romeo, just coming from his marriage to Juliet is reluctant to fight; therefore he offers friendship, which Tybalt rejects. Romeo responds to the insults very calmly, and not considering his honour and pride he tries to avoid conflict. Honour being very important to Elizabethan society would have shocked the audience as Romeo was at his failure to draw. ...read more.


The atmosphere changes to bewilderment and sorrow, due to the news and anger expressed by all the parties involved. This scene is vital and an interesting part of the play, as the climax is being built up towards. The scene also shows the change of personality of the characters, especially the aggressiveness of Capulet. Violence is effected primarily in the language and throughout the scene, the dramatic irony of Juliet's secret marriage to Romeo, has the audience gripped in the action. In conclusion violence and conflict are central theme to "Romeo and Juliet" and if it were not for this theme the play would be a romance and not a tragedy. It is only due to the feud between the two families that there is such a problem with the romance between Romeo and Juliet. As they are of equal standing and if it were not for the conflicts their marriage would have been perfectly acceptable. The fact that the Capulets and Montague's despise each other, and all the characters are very influenced by their loyalties, conflict and violence arise. William Shakespeare uses many devices, physical, emotional, imagery to make the conflict into a major part of the play, which turns it from being a romance, into a tragedy and leads to the inevitable result of the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Romance is found at the heart as well due to "Romeo and Juliet's" love for each other; breaking all traditions and discreetly having a hidden relationship behind their families' backs. Both topics go perfectly together creating an exciting and entreating play. The audiences' attention is attracted as using two families being rebellious against each other provide a good base for two lovers to be getting entangled between. The play also reflects Elizabethan society but this does not reduce its appeal because it is to some extent still occurring in some cultures around the world today. This gives this play an eternal appeal that will not die out. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Violence and Conflict is a central to

    Then he reminds both of them that they will be in serious trouble if the Prince comes, because this exactly what he doesn't want. Both members of the family do not take any notice and carry on. Romeo quickly steps into help, however this completely backfires as Romeo tries to


    They act purely on the impulsive nature of their relationship. In the early stages of the play, Friar Laurence comments on how dangerous this love between Romeo and Juliet could end up being. "These violent delights have violent ends" He warns Romeo that the most violent love has the coldest

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