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Romeo and Juliet is a classic Shakespearean tragedy.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Here's much to do with hate, but more with love." Romeo and Juliet is a classic Shakespearean tragedy, based upon the passionate battle of love between the two feuding families. The pair fight to be together, until the death of certain family members separates them and the words: "I can't live without you" become quite literal. Though their quest for love wasn't the only source of relations in the play, for Romeo had feelings for his previous lover and Juliet was forced to marry County Paris, therefore creating un-requited love. Too, the love and respect for family members and also for the actual family pride meant that the pair played a game of dishonesty in the tragedy. Shakespeare deliberately uses a variety of opposites in the play to portray the sense of two different worlds, as it changes from violence to beauty, to passionate love, to malicious hate. Not only in the plot but also in both language and theme. It is inevitable to say that without the emerging use of conflicting descriptions, there wouldn't be the same antagonism, conflict and ambiguity that make the play so successfully deep. Also, the use of irony helps bind the plot together. Most characters are frequently saying things, which, in the context of the play but unknown to themselves, have a deeper and more ambiguous meaning. Shakespeare achieves such depth in the play, by using a contrast of love and hate themes through the dialogue of his characters, Romeo and Juliet, as I will now display. To begin, as I stated earlier, Romeo begins the play having feelings for someone else, Rosaline, though they were previous to his meeting of Juliet. However, I feel these feelings were not true and those he had for Juliet were of a much stronger nature. Romeo's language to convey Rosaline was very unconvincing, for he seemed to be uncertain about how he felt. ...read more.

Middle

This reflects a great deal on his character as, Tybalt must feel he has the ability to over power Capulet. So when Capulet refuses to outlaw young Romeo, Tybalt's immediate response is anger. Consequently, he doesn't succeed, as he is told that by doing this, he would be making a scene and that the atmosphere must be kept as calm as possible. Lord Capulet seems to keep his anger in, which surprises me, as he acts extremely superior to those around him. I think the reason being for this is that appearance is very important to him and he didn't want actions to go against his pride and name. However, this is not present in the way Romeo and Juliet's language is portrayed, as neither one of them worry about being from different backgrounds, and most importantly, from different families. This is why I feel that the likelihood of their relationship fitting in is slim to none. The chances are, both families would disapprove and their relationship would have been pulled apart. This would happen although both have comforters. Juliet has her dear Nurse and Romeo has cousin Benvolio and close friend, Mercutio. It seems bizarre however, that intelligent Mercutio isn't involved with the family feud. Instead his character 'consorts' with the Montague's and still isn't really on either side. He thoroughly despises Tybalt, as is shown in act 2, scene 4, when both he and Benvolio mock him. "...A duelist, a duelist. A gentleman of the very first house, of the first and second cause. Ah, the immortal passado! The punto reverse! The hay!" It seems Mercutio has a problem with Tybalt's method of fencing. Perhaps a little jealous? Or just an excuse to start a fight? I feel that Shakespeare wanted this to show, so Mercutio's wittiness could shine through. It's obvious that he uses it as a strong point when enrolled in a battle of swords and harsh words, with Tybalt I act 3 scene 1. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Baz Lurhmann film, Juliet wakes just as Romeo does this, and so Juliet is able to speak to Romeo briefly. I prefer this, as it makes the tragedy more powerful, as her words to him are heartfelt yet he cannot respond. It is just the two lovers which makes it emotive. She realizes he has taken poison: "I will kiss thy lips. Haply some poison yet doth hang on them to make me die with a restorative." Yet in the Shakespeare play, Romeo is dead as Juliet wakes from her fake death.. Her heart was twice heavy seeing her husband dead, so she kisses him ("Thy lips are warm") stabs herself with Romeos dagger, longing they will be together in their second life. A potion saved her from the wedding but it did not save the life of Romeo. So in conclusion, feel it is obvious that the play is much more than a 'paean of young love'. It was written to be perceived as more than just a simple love story. Shakespeare toys with the love and hate conceptions, and delivers heights of joy and depths of misery. And because of this, the play begins with hate, but ends, because of the death of Romeo and Juliet, with peace. Both the language and themes of love and death play important roles in the tragedy. They co-operate with light and dark imagery to make the play the masterpiece is it. A play of paradoxes and oxymoron's, good and evil, neither one without the other. For without love there would be nothing to lose, and without death there would be no way to lose it. Still, I feel it isn't these deaths that conclude the play, but instead the public revelation of what took place. The strength of the hate is worthless compared to the presentation of beautiful love. So Romeo's statement: "There's much to do with hate but more with love" is indeed true. For in the remembered impression of Romeo and Juliet, it is the passion of the lovers, their chatter by moonlight, and parting by sunrise, that remain. ...read more.

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