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Shakespeare Never Lets His Audience Forget That the Play Ends In Tragedy

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Romeo and Juliet Essay Shakespeare Never Lets His Audience Forget That the Play Ends In Tragedy At the time the play was written, in 1595, everyone believed very strongly in fate and the stars. London at the time was a walled city of about 200,000, with seven gates providing access to the city from the east, north and west. It was considered small and was criss-crossed by narrow little streets and lanes. The various wards each had a parish church that dominated the life of the close-knit community. To the south and outside were slums and criminal hangouts, and further out were huge estates and the agricultural lands. As the population increased and the central area declined, the fashionable people moved to the west of the city, near where the palace of Westminster lay. Houses were rented out floor by floor and even room by room. Even within the city slums were common, although they were close to pleasant enough streets and squares. England was not a clean place, neither were its people, for in these days there was a gutter in the middle of the street, into which refuse would be emptied to be washed away by the rain. ...read more.


It is a feeling of speed which takes over the dramatic action of the plot and the characters from the very beginning. The entire scenario covers only five days. It is a mark of early Shakespeare to compress all the dramatic action into this time and make it believable. Time in Romeo and Juliet Sunday The servants fight and the prince restores order on Sunday morning just before lunch time. In the afternoon Capulet and Paris talk and later in a different part of Verona Romeo reads the guest list of the Capulet feast. At the feast Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love, they meet again, coincidentally, later in Capulet's garden at the balcony scene where they agree to marry . Monday At dawn Romeo on Friar Lawrence plan the wedding. Then in the afternoon they are married but unfortunately Mercutio is killed by Tybalt who is the killed, in revenge, by Romeo and he is banished by the Prince. That night Capulet agrees for Juliet to marry Paris on Thursday morning and Romeo and Juliet spend their nuptial night together. ...read more.


The lovers themselves stand surrounded by the great public stage of Verona "where civil blood make civil hands unclean." In this way, the Chorus immediately establishes the very resolution of the play. The death of Romeo and Juliet, a death in which private love triumphs over public hatred, acts as a sacrifice for "their parents' rage" and unites the two families and brings civil justice to Verona. Over all, however, is the brooding force of Providence, acting through Fate to bring about these ironic but regenerating ends: social and political justice. The Chorus emphasises the force of fate by building suspense through the use of premonition (a device which Shakespeare uses throughout this tragedy to forecast the outcome of future events) and of words like "fatal," "star-crossed," "misadventured," and "death-marked." An Elizabethan audience believing strongly in astrology and the occult, would give its attention immediately to the Chorus. In the same manner, hearing the social theme, the audience would have turned with more belief because, as Shakespeare knew, the audience of his day would only accept the tragedy of romantic love such as Romeo's and Juliet's only if it were established in a recognisable social context. 1 ...read more.

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