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Romeo and Juliet, How shakespeare makes it compelling

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Many times a playwright has managed to force the audience to suspend their belief and be touched by an implausible ending. However, it is unlikely that anyone has done this with the precision or such clearly defined tools as Shakespeare did in the play of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare makes the implausible ending of Romeo and Juliet compelling by using dramatic devices to convince the audience that Romeo and Juliet are destined to die, expressing the idea that death leads to love and love leads to death and that their actions are for the greater good; Shakespeare also rectifies the lovers' irrational actions by using other characters' actions to raise the "emotional normality level," to make the lovers' actions seem more plausible. Throughout the play, Shakespeare constantly repeats the theme of destiny through the use of classical references such as "star crossed" and "Cupids arrow." This idea of destiny means that the audience does not blame the two lovers for their actions; they instead blame the gods, (Friar Lawrence), making it a lot easier for Shakespeare to attain the desired audience response. Shakespeare further strengthens the audiences' idea that Romeo and Juliet are destined to die by demonstrating what happens when people love and what happens when people die, even before the death of the main two lovers. ...read more.


This mixture of pity and desire within the audience is hijacked with devastating effect by Shakespeare, the audience are seeing some of their biggest dreams acted out in front of them, young love; if they are old, they feel nostalgia for the love they used to have; if they are young, they enjoy all the feelings they have being played out to their extremities in front of them. However, because of Shakespeare's use of the prologue, the audience also knows that this dream will come to a close. As a result, the audience savours every moment the dream lasts, wanting it to never end, when the lover's die, the audience's dream of young love is shattered. Another way of seeing Shakespeare's development of destiny is that the playwright establishes an image in the mind of the audience of a battle between Love and Death, with Romeo and Juliet's relationship representing love. This is shown explicitly in the scene of marriage when Romeo proclaims, "death do what he dare." Unsurprisingly, most audience members will side with the slightly less frightening side of Love, and in doing so, they side with Romeo and Juliet and the success of their relationship. This means that, whilst the audience ultimately knows how the "battle" will end, they have emotionally invested in the success of the lover's relationship. ...read more.


Because Romeo and Juliet are anyone, they can do anything and because they can do anything, any ending is plausible. Shakespeare makes the implausible ending of Romeo and Juliet believable and emotive by establishing the people and places of Verona as conflicting extremities; wise, foolish; heroes, sinners; lovers, haters; young, old and many, many more. Shakespeare can harness this wall of malleable characteristics so that he can do anything with his characters in the story will make sense when compared to the audiences view of the character, a technique so effective that it inspired Robert Plutchik to devise his spectrum of psycho evolutionary emotions. This technique ties in with Shakespeare's repeated use of the theme of destiny to the point of creating a predetermined rule. The theme of destiny means that the characters of the play are completely bereft of responsibility for their actions. This set-up that Shakespeare achieves is literary perfection when trying to combat the implausibility of his desired ending. Many writers after him have tried to repeat this technique, including Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange and also in his following essays Clockwork Oranges, but none have ever done it with such acclaimed success as Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. Louis O'Sullivan English Coursework: Romeo and Juliet Essay 10SP Set 1 JHS 1 ...read more.

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