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Romeo and Juliet has violence and conflict as one of its central themes. Discuss how this is shown in act 1 scene 1 and act 3 scene 1.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet has violence and conflict as one of its central themes. Discuss how this is shown in act 1 scene 1 and act 3 scene 1. If we were to think about the world's greatest lovers, our attention would be immediately drawn to Romeo and Juliet. Why is this? Could it be because there love is so pure, so unspoilt? Or is it because the innocent couples lives ended so unpredictably? Are we intrigued by the role played by fate in the lives of every day people? Could it be that Shakespeare immortalised the couple in poetry that remains quite breathtaking in its intensity and beauty? Chance, destiny, and fate are all discussed in this play, because of the questionable theories of the time. Is it a popular story because of the universal themes: love, hate and death? The story starts with a boy and girl, Romeo and Juliet, who fall in love after seeing each other at a ball. To their horror they discover that their families are sworn enemies. They get married secretly, because of Juliet's arranged marriage with Paris. Romeo gets banished forever for taking tybalts life. The lover's part, having spent the night in each other's arms. The Friar explains how Juliet can escape from her coming marriage to Paris by taking a poison to fake death. ...read more.

Middle

This shows Tybalts power and confidence. He is never afraid of voicing insults. When the Lords come into the scene they are aware of the present conflict and draw their weapons. ".... Give me my long sword" This shows the high intensity of hatred between the families showing that they wouldn't hesitate to kill the other. Lady Capulet mocks what her husband has said, "a crutch, a crutch" this implies that he is old and needs a walking stick rather than a sword. This adds humour to the tense scene making the reader laugh. ."Thou villian Capulet..." says Lord Montague. This is a huge insult for someone to say, implying he is a peasant. The prince tries to restore the peace into the two families by making them aware of the consequences, ".... Once more on pain of death, all men depart." The prince is telling the two families that if they don't obey his command they will die. He says this because he is fed up with the conflict in the streets of Verona, and wants it stopped ".... Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace." The mood the prince creates is angry but also tried of this pointless feud. "Three civil brawls bred of an airy word." ...read more.

Conclusion

He will banish him for his wrong doings. The Prince uses blank verse to show how serious he is being. "Mercy but murders, pardoning those who kill." In fewer that a hundred lines into the play, Shakespeare has created an atmosphere of tension where the least word or gesture can trigger off unthinking violence which is shared by the entire community- old and young alike, whether they are the lowest servants or the respected heads of noble families. Also in act 3, Romeo forgets his new bride for a moment and takes his sword to attack her cousin in an act of vengeance for the death of Mercutio. Prince Escalus hears of the sequence of events from Benvolio, he promises strict justice. To banish Romeo, "let Romeo hence in haste, else when he is found, that hour is his last." He can do neither more nor less than this. All though the play there is violent language, which goes with the violent behaviour of the Montague's and Capulets. "A dog of the house of Montague moves me." Language like this is carried on though the play, showing the conflict. It is the conflict which is in the way, right until the end, where sadly the conflict is resolved though the deaths in both the two families. In conclusion it is the conflict and violence that makes the play what it is. In terms of exciting, enthralling and basically loved by many. Cheryl Brassington ...read more.

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