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Romeo and Juliet Coursework

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Essay question: Outline the development of Romeo's character from love- sick callowness to determined passion. Romeos' character fluctuates throughout the course of the play; which is manipulated by Shakespeare as a way to convey the naivety of young love to the audience. A key portrayal of this is when Romeo pronounces "I will defy you stars". Impossible as this is for Romeo to do, what he believes he is eluding, transforms into a mere acceptance of his fate. This ideology is a show of his impetuosity on the path he takes to evolve from a petrarchan lover to a mature young man who passionately evokes his feelings for Juliet. This creates a love hate relationship from the audience towards Romeo that mirrors his changing moods within the play; this is a dramatic device that translates within English literature and drama by Shakespeare to keep the play inveterate throughout the ages. Shakespeare portrays Romeo within each of his archetypes (stereotypes/epitome) which can be found within all of his plays. The archetypes he displays Romeo within are as a lover during the world famous balcony scene, a warrior when he slays Tybalt in act 3 sc1, a king when he quotes "I defy you stars", which is ironic as in the prologue it states "a pair of star crossed lovers take their lives" and as a magician when he takes the vile of poison from the apothecary. During Act 1, Scene 1; Romeo is revealed to the audience as melancholic, in a state of depression and lonesome. ...read more.


Romeo is now a more mature and level headed character who is wooing the heart of Juliet. Romeo displays his affections when he declares, "Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow, that tips with silver all these fruit tree tops", perhaps metaphorical he is manipulating language to win over Juliet's heart. We see that Friar Laurence is in shock at Romeo's change, within Act 2, Scene 3; he quotes "Bendicite!" He cannot believe Romeos change from a love sick puppy to a man with determined passion. The Friar keeps his wits about him and is critical of Romeo, "Young men's love then lies, not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes". This brings back the notion of Romeo perhaps being blinded by love and impetuosity. The Friar is right to have an analytical reaction towards Romeo as this notion is displayed towards the end of the play when he learns of Romeo's mistakes. Throughout the duration of Act 2, Scene 4; Mercutio and Benvolio believe that Romeo is immersed within a state of melancholy, but contrary to their prior perception, "Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead; stabbed with a white wench is black eye, run through the ear with a love-song!", they see the real Romeo, "Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo: now art!" Within their observation they acknowledge the fact he is now longer lustful for Rosaline. Lines 69 - 74 within this Act, is another example of Mercutio being used as a medium, through which Shakespeare can compare and contrast himself and Romeo. ...read more.


However, during this scene there is a portrayal of his former self when he quotes "I defy you, stars!" Romeo believes he can challenge fate, but it puts him on a crossroad and ultimately conspires to his death. It is an act of foolishness and naivety, as your fate is predetermined by God and written in the stars. In conclusion I hold firm that fate is to be held accountable for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo conspired to his own downfall by allowing revenge to consume him and kill Tybalt thus conspiring to his banishment. Nothing stands in the way of destiny as this I believe and the audience of the time that it was foretold by God. However Circumstances were manipulated by the Friar, who hoped that wed lock would bring an end to the feud. He tried to avert their deaths, but to no avail as fate intervened. However, there is a strong case for the Capulet's responsibility, as their ignorance drove their daughter to death in my eyes. Overall, I believe that not one single person can be held responsible but the many protagonists within the play, who were blinded by impetuosity, passion and the age old feud as predetermined in the prologue" A pair of star crossed lovers take their lives". Ultimately only God can write the script for your life and you must not challenge this, which I believe is a key theme that Shakespeare wanted to raise through the vehicle of his play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Candidate Name: Taranveer Atwal Candidate Number:6014 Centre Number:51433 Date: 20th November 2010 ...read more.

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