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'Romeo and Juliet' was written in 1595 during a period when Shakeseare had found the strength in his writing.

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Romeo and Juliet 'Romeo and Juliet' was written in 1595 during a period when Shakeseare had found the strength in his writing. The story is about a pair of 'Star- crossed lovers', who pursue their love for each other despite the fact their families have been at odds with each other for decades. The story combines universal themes such as fighting, hate, disguise, misunderstanding, tragedy, humour and contains some of the most romantic language found in literature. To make the play relevant to the 21st century I am going to set the play in the near future in Baghdad, during a period where American troops still occupy Iraq. The Capulets are a rich Iraqi family who are against the Americans and the Montagues are American troops, and like in the play, they do not understand why they are feuding with each other, but what they do understand is that they are involved in a disagreement that goes back in time. This will emphasise the relevance of the themes in 'Romeo and Juliet' such as love and hate and I will continue to use the language of Shakespeare. Also I have chosen this approach because the middle- east is an area that can trigger interest and discussion due to the complex and controversial nature of current world events. The Prince in my production is the Governor, a very important and wealthy character. Shakespeare shows this as his lines are in an Iambic Pentameter. E.g. 'Where are the vile beginners of this fray?' This gives a feeling of importance and wealth. Shakespeare uses it more and more in both the Prince's lines as well as Romeo's as the play heads towards its peak. Act 3, Scene1 is the turning point in the play as it changes from being light hearted and comical to a story of tragedy and sadness. The scene is centrally placed in the play. ...read more.


This helps to build up the tension in this scene because it is the first time we have seen Mercutio using his humour in an aggressive manor. This is where we lose the playful humour of Mercutio, which helps to darken the play by removing the friendliness of him. To represent this, the back projection of the sun will become a darker shade of red. Here, Mercutio actions should quicken and become more aggressive. For example, instead of light- heartedly splashing water from the well, he should be chucking whole buckets of water about, which in Baghdad would be considered quite insulting and rude, since, in Baghdad the water is very valuable. When Romeo enters the scene there is emphasis put on the theme love vs. hate, for example, 'But love thee better than thou canst devise, till thou shalt know the reason of my love'. This is an example of dramatic irony which at this stage helps to heighten the atmosphere. We know that Romeo and Juliet are married, although nobody else does. Romeo is subtly hinting about their relationship (e.g. 'the reason that I have to love thee') but Tybalt does not pick up on this. Romeo is forced to be civil with Tybalt so he can carry on his relationship with Juliet in secret. To show this Romeo will not face Tybalt whilst he is talking to him. Instead he will look away, perhaps at the audience, as it is the audience after all, who knows Romeo's secret. Love vs. hate is also portrayed through Romeo. He tries to love the Capulets because of Juliet whilst still having to hate them because of their ancient family feuds. E.g.' and so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied'. It is also shown in this scene that love and hate cannot co- exist in peace. Mercutio goes mad and is disgusted that Romeo would not fight, as he says 'O calm, Dishonourable, vile submission!' ...read more.


An example of this is when Tybalt says, 'Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford no better than this'. Here Tybalt does not know or give Romeo a chance to prove why they should be friendlier towards each other. He does not bother to find out the facts as he dies before he can even do so. I think one of the most important themes brought out in this scene is fate. For example Romeo says, 'o, I am fortune's fool', which suggests he is blaming fate for what has happened. Another example of Romeo blaming fate is 'this day's black fate on moe days doth depend, this but depend, this but begins the woe others must end'. Here Romeo fears that evil outcomes ('black fate') of today's violence lies in the future ('moe (more) day'). I would argue that this is the turning point in the play where the tragedy really begins. Here Shakespeare uses the language of 'Revenge Tragedy'. This type of play was very popular in the 1590's when he was writing 'Romeo and Juliet'. In revenge tragedy, the main character is a 'revenger', and his language is high sounding and portentous, therefore, Romeo's lines should be spoken in a declamatory way, rather than in a conversational tone. Shakespeare has done this in order to make Romeo's speech a lot more serious and important. It took a Tragedy for the feuding families to do something and make up. I think Shakespeare wanted to make this point in order to make the audience think and wonder what they would do if they were in the same situation. The emotions experienced by the characters are universally recognisable and the consequences of actions arising from intense feelings, for example death, are as relevant today, as they will be in the future. So the situation described by Shakespeare set in Iraq suggests that human nature has changed little over the ages and the actions and consequences of feuds have and will continue to profoundly influence the lives of people in many ways. Oliver Lee Romeo & Juliet Page 1 ...read more.

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