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Romeo and Juliet Coursework

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Introduction The tragic and spellbinding play 'Romeo and Juliet' is just as relevant now as it was when it was first written by the respected and admired writer William Shakespeare. Setting the scene in Verona, Italy, the play tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, caught up in a family feud. From start to finish the play is littered with dramatic qualities in order to engage and interest the rowdy Elizabethan audiences. Juxta-position is used in Act 3 scene 1, when marriage is used as a symbol of hope, reflecting the love between Romeo and Juliet. To make the beginning scene dramatic, Shakespeare started in a dramatic setting. Tensions run high throughout the start as even normally good friends, Mercutio and Benvolio are quarrelling. 'The day is hot, the Capulets abroad, And, if we meet we shall not escape a brawl' Shakespeare purposely set the scene on a hot day as its know that everyone is bad tempered and easily angered in such scorching conditions. ...read more.


As in Franco Zeferreli's version, Romeo's nature changed since his marriage to Juliet. However in Baz Luhrmans edition, not only were swords swapped by guns, to engage a modern audience, but Romeo's nature was also softer as he allowed Tybalt to beat him severely as he sat there defencelessly. Angered that Romeo wasn't striking back, Mercutio stepped in. Equally matched as aggressive individuals, this battle was unpredictable, making it effective, captivating the audience. 'They have made worms meat of me' As the mortally wounded Mercutio struggles, Shakespeare has effectively positioned puns throughout his speech. 'Ask for me tomorrow and you'll find me a grave man' Mercutio makes the audience believe that he's only got a minor injury, but he knows his wound is fatal. Shakespeare makes the audience aware of this. 'Go, villain fetch a surgeon' Therefore making Mercutio's death predicable. The excitement of the audience is increased throughout Mercutio's death as Shakespeare's direction causes Mercutio's use of language to be effective. ...read more.


Even and early as the prologue, the words "A pair of star-cross'd lovers..." Reveal Shakespeare's intent in conveying the association of fate with this motif. Like stars, fate exists in the heavens. It is Romeo and Juliet's misfortune that leads to the sorrowful and tragic ending of the play. Conclusion Its fast-pace dramatic action also keeps the audience involved throughout this theatrical play as the increasing tension insures that the audience are kept engaged. Shakespeare had expertly placed this scene in the middle, as it's the turning point of the play, as up until this point the audience believe that it may end happily. Evidence of this is in Capulet speech in the Capulet's ball. 'Verona brags of Romeo to be a well-governed youth' This leaves the audience believing that Romeo and Juliet could have been happily married with lord Capulets blessing. Elizabethan audiences would have been religious and so would have believed in fate. Shakespeare used this factor throughout Romeo and Juliet, to make the staging, and the scene effective and dramatic. He had an effective use of language and dramatic quality also played a large part in captivating boisterous Elizabethan audiences. ...read more.

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