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Shakespeare carefully develops language to suit his characters and the mood of the play. By referring to the characters and events in Romeo and Juliet show how he does this. Discuss different interpretations of the characters giving your opinion of them.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare carefully develops language to suit his characters and the mood of the play. By referring to the characters and events in Romeo and Juliet show how he does this. Discuss different interpretations of the characters giving you opinion of them. Romeo and Juliet was written in the late 16th century by William Shakespeare, a time when the language was very different to the English we speak today. I have seen several different productions of Romeo and Juliet: Firstly, Baz Luhrmann's modern film, which I really enjoyed and easily understood. This was because Luhrmann's version transposed the action into the 21st century, with drugs, alcohol, car, firearms and a modern set, so that I could easily identify and relate to it. Zefferili's old-fashioned film is probably more how Shakespeare imagined his play to be, as it is portrayed with a set and costumes from the 16th century. Finally I saw a theatrical production in Warwick which helped Shakespeare's words come to life, and gave me a clearer idea of each character's role in the play. Gregory and Sampson In 'Romeo and Juliet,' the opening scene involves two of Capulet's servants, Gregory and Sampson, who are armed with swords and bucklers. ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio is funny, and very descriptive, going into the finest detail about the 'chariot', and the 'fairies midwife.' Mercutio starts his speech with 'O then I see Queen Mab hath been with you,' which sounds comical and magical. In Luhrmann's production, the Queen Mab speech is delivered very well, with the idea that Mercutio has lost touch with reality, because he has taken drink and drugs. This makes Mercutio feel relaxed, unconcerned about what people think of him, or what he is saying. Mercutio continues his speech with the finest detail saying; 'She comes in shape no bigger than an agate-stone on the forefinger of an alderman, drawn with a team of little atomi.' 'Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,' and ' Her wagon spokes made of long spinners' legs.' From this we can see that Shakespeare develops Mercutio's language to emphasize Mercutio's lively personality. This detailed description builds up an image in my head of Mercutio's perception of Queen Mab: she is a fragile, beautiful, magical fairy. However his magical description becomes violent and disturbing, talking about how, 'She driveth o'er a soldier's neck, and then dreams he of cutting foreign throats'. Romeo and his friends, who are listening to Mercutio's speech become very disturbed and anxious, and Romeo replies 'Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace!'. ...read more.

Conclusion

felt that the Nurse was portrayed as too sophisticated and formal in the theatre production to make any of her crude jokes entertaining or funny. Lady Capulet and Juliet are very reserved with each other, not like the Nurse and her now dead husband. Juliet refers to her own mother as 'madam' and Lady Capulet relies greatly on the Nurse's support when it comes to making decisions for Juliet as she says; 'This is the matter. Nurse, give leave a while, We must talk in secret. Nurse come back again, I have remembered me, thou s' hear our counsel.' This shows that Lady Capulet is too scared to talk to Juliet in private without the Nurse present as she feels that they are not very close, and the Nurse can deal with the situation better. To show that the Nurse is not very well educated she does not speak in poetry. Instead she speaks in prose, which shows she is not very sophisticated. Shakespeare used language to give his characters different personalities and to make them come to life. He also changed the tone of the play by altering the way different characters spoke. He uses language to set a crude and bawdy scene and then changes the tone of the play into a romantic and emotional scene again, by using more sophisticated poetry. ...read more.

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