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'Romeo and Juliet' was first performed in the globe theatre in 1595. The play juxtaposes two opposite genres- the undying love of Romeo and Juliet and the 'ancient grudge' held with the Capulet and Mountague families.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Coursework William Shakespeare's infamous, tragic play, 'Romeo and Juliet' was first performed in the globe theatre in 1595. The play juxtaposes two opposite genres- the undying love of Romeo and Juliet and the 'ancient grudge' held with the Capulet and Mountague families. In this essay I will discuss the pivotal scenes of violence in the play. 'Romeo and Juliet' was written in and set in the sixteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I ruled England at this time and the Elizabethan audience would have enjoyed sports like cock fighting, bear baiting and wrestling. Shakespeare needed to meet his audience's needs as he needed money; play writing was his lively hood. The Elizabethan audience would have enjoyed this as it involves a share of love, violence and fate, which was a belief of the citizens at this time. The first violent scene commences with a confrontation of servants of the families 'both alike in dignity'. This displays the depth of the 'ancient grudge' as even the servants feel obliged to defend their employers. Starting merely with a 'bite of the thumb' a riot begins. The prince arrives, disgusted with the actions and places a threat on both families that 'if ever you disturb the streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.' This is significant in the play as now the audience realise if a character carries on the feud they will be executed. ...read more.

Middle

A lot of Dramatic irony falls into place throughout this scene. 'Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss.' Furthermore she refers to marriage with Romeo, which we know is true, but Lady Capulet takes it as sarcasm. 'I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear it will be to Romeo.' Lady Capulet then breaks the news to Juliet that Lord Capulet wants her to marry to Paris. 'Marry my child, early next Thursday morn.' Juliet Protests, but Lady Capulet responds 'tell him yourself, and see how he will take it at your hands'. Lady Capulet tells Lord Capulet of Juliet's decision and his mood changes from Jovial to anger and diverts towards Juliet. 'Go with Paris to St Peters Church, or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. You tallow face!' Juliet begs her father to stop and falls to her knees. 'I beseech you on my knees.' Still in rage he storms away. Juliet looks for comfort in her mother, who walks away, and again in the Nurse, who has been easily lead to believe Lord Capulet is right. Juliet learns she cannot trust her Mother, Father or Nurse. 'I think its best you married with the county.' Juliet then tells her feelings in a soliloquy, and says she will seek Friar Lawrence's advice, 'and if all else fail, myself have power to die.' ...read more.

Conclusion

'For no more can I command' The Prince declares the peace. 'A glooming peace this morning with it brings; the sun for sorrow will not show its head. Go hence to have more talk of these things; some shall be pardoned, and some punished. For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and Romeo.' If I was to direct this scene the set gloomy, dark and dusty to reflect the ancient history of the chamber and the tragedy that was about to happen. When Juliet woke I would direct the actress to scream, to portray the severity of the situation that was taking place. As the truce was reached I would direct a spotlight to shine upon the crowd to represent the newly found peace. So therefore it can be seen that 'Romeo and Juliet' is a considerably violent play and all violent scenes are quite pivotal in the storyline. For Example when the warning was placed on the families or especially when a curse was placed on the families houses and Romeo being banished. I feel I would remember the play from the violence but as it was so intertwined with the love of Romeo and Juliet I think I would remember them equally. My personal favourite scene is the last, as this is the climax of all the previous events built up in the play and that the violence is brought to an end by the mutual respect and feelings of The families Mountague and Capulet, 'both alike in dignity'. ADRIAN BLISS 10S ENGLISH MRS THOMPSON ...read more.

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