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Shakespeare cleverly masks the true meaning of Romeo and Juliet behind the idea of a pair of 'star crossed lovers' controlled by fate and destiny. Close study of the play reveals a very different meaning.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet: Essay 2 Shakespeare cleverly masks the true meaning of Romeo and Juliet behind the idea of a pair of 'star crossed lovers' controlled by fate and destiny. Close study of the play reveals a very different meaning. Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is all about the human condition. It is based around two star crossed lovers, who's affections are torn apart by their family's feuds. The play is structured so that the ending is inevitable, and all outcomes are due to the characters human conditions and the effect that others apply to the situation. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is far more about the nature of hatred rather than love, even though people see the play as a romantic tragedy. Hatred determines Romeo and Juliet's outcome as well as Mercutio and Tybalt's, hatred is also the main influence on the path in which the play takes. Four of the five major characters, Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt, all have the same ending, death. Each character has a small part in influencing Romeo and Juliet's fate, each character share a same characteristic that is shown in many different forms, the characteristic they all share is the same as the emotion Shakespeare masks, hatred. All of the characters feel a form of hatred towards a never during the play, this hatred is a great impact throughout the play on Romeo and Juliet's outcome. Shakespeare was a strong believer in the notion that their flaws and not their strengths govern people; the play shows us this in the form of the characters and their flaws. Romeo's flaw is that he fall in love quickly and easily, this is clear to see and is spotted near the beginning of the play when Rosaline is forgotten and Juliet is the new love. "This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand" Mercutio's flaw is that he's very impulsive and feels he is invincible, this is seen when he is stabbed and his response is as if the wound is a joke and not very serious. ...read more.

Middle

We see Tybalt's fiery conduct and use of weapons, from the first time we see Tybalt is becomes obvious of his major importance in the play. The first scene in the play sets the whole atmosphere between the two families, the hatred that each family share for each other predicts the outcome for the future events that will change the course of the play. The first scene shares a lot of hatred, but most aggression and hatred towards the other is shown by Tybalt, his pure anger and grudge towards any Montague will effect the play further on, Tybalt is led by his anger and any Montague to lighten this flame of rage will surely result in a death: "What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word As I hate hell, all Montague's, and thee" Tybalt's opening sentence is aggressive, and his following words hammer home the hatred in which is character has towards hell, and the Montague's. It is clear hatred will dominate the play from this point on, and Tybalt. Act3 scene1 brings us to the climax point and is a major part of the play as a whole; this scene sees Romeo determine the ending of the play. Tybalt's role in this scene is of great importance because it is his anger and hatred that causes the point to reach climax. Tybalt's behaviour drives Romeo to avenge the death of his best friend and to end the future for both Romeo and his Juliet. Shakespeare creates Tybalts character to make us focus on the hatred in the play, Tybalt brings about most major brawls and fights including the brawl in which crisis point is reached. Shakespeare shows us through the character of Tybalt that hatred and the families grudge will dominate the play, and not the love of the two star crossed lovers. We see in the ball scene how serious Tybalt is towards the honour of his family and the aggression and hatred he bears inside. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare was alive when Elizabeth I was on the throne, so any opinion Shakespeare may have had that was different to that of Elizabeth I, then it needed to be masked. Elizabeth I was a strong believer in fate and destiny, so when Shakespeare's opinion was that opposite of the queen he needed to hide it behind the star crossed lovers. The opinion that is not so clear to see when you are unsure what you are looking for, is actually very easily spotted when studying closely the character of Benvolio. The title of the essay is correct in suggesting that Shakespeare hides a lot of his opinions behind 'Romeo and Juliet', when the structure of this play is looked at more closely and the structure are understood, then the clear message is expressed cleverly but simply when thought about. Shakespeare masks these messages so clearly that even the emotion of the play, love, is not actually the emotion intended but the emotion, hatred, is the real feeling that Shakespeare wanted to express. I believe the title is correct because only when the play and characters have been studied closely, the real message is seen and how Shakespeare has actually cleverly masked this all behind love is acknowledged. Shakespeare's lesson is to show us that we are not governed by fate or destiny, but by our behaviour and personal flaws, Shakespeare would like us to believe that we choose out own paths and our behaviours cause us to do what we do. Shakespeare believes that there is no fate and destiny, but only our personal flaws. The project could easily have been argued the other way that fate and destiny do rule our lives, but clearly the plays real message our hidden behind the title, which is a hypotenuse. The title does cleverly mask the true meaning, that fate and destiny do not rule our lives but our personal flaws are the indicators to which path we choose, behind this hypothesis. Joseph Baker 10p centre no. 20605 candidate no. 1008 February 2004 ...read more.

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