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Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

ROMEO and JULIET Shakespeare builds up the audience's sympathy for Romeo in many different ways. In this essay, I am going to look at the prologue, the balcony scene, the fight with Tybalt, and the death scene in the vault. I intend to concentrate on Shakespeare's use of language, juxtaposition of scenes, as well as Shakespeare's use of fate at the beginning of the play, and his use of dramatic irony. Firstly, in the prologue Shakespeare uses the idea of fate to get the audiences sympathy for both Romeo and Juliet. 'A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.' This says that the only way to end the fight between Romeo and Juliet's family is for them to die. This warns the audience that fate is already against Romeo. Moreover, by this Shakespeare has also added some dramatic irony to the play because the audience know that Romeo is going to die, but Romeo is unaware of this. ...read more.

Middle

In Act 3 Romeo is confronted by Tybalt for his appearance at the Capulet's party. Shakespeare uses juxtaposition of scenes here to show the audience that Romeo's feelings for Juliet are real. In the previous scene, Romeo and Juliet had just got married and in this scene, he is trying not to get in to a fight with Tybalt. This shows that he takes the marriage seriously because Tybalt is now related to him so even though Tybalt insults him he doesn't get into a fight with him. Act 3 Scene 1 lines 61-63: 'Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting.' This juxtaposition shows how serious Romeo is about his marriage to Juliet, which increases the audience's sympathy for him because Tybalt kills his best friend Mercutio so he has to kill Tybalt even though he doesn't want to. Act 3 Scene 1 lines 125-129 'Now, Tybalt, take the 'villain' back again That late thou gav'st me; for Mercutio's soul Is but a little way above our heads, Staying for thine to keep him company: Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.' ...read more.

Conclusion

In contrast to, Act 5 Scene 3 lines 112-115. 'Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace! And lips, O you, The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss A dateless bargain to engrossing death!' This shows Romeo's seriousness in what he is doing and how he no longer rushes into things, savouring every moment, showing that he is now a man. All this plus the dramatic irony in the audience knowing that Juliet is about to wake up, brings the audience's sympathy for Romeo to a climax. From the beginning of this play to the end, Romeo is cursed by fate 'thou art wedded to calamity,' because the only way to stop a feud between the two families was for him and Juliet to die, even though nobody knows why it was started or who started it. 'As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie; poor sacrifices of our enmity!' this shows two young lives oppressed by their parents' ancient feud. Through this use of fate, his use of language, juxtaposition, and dramatic irony Shakespeare builds up sympathy for Romeo in this play. By Debo Amon. ...read more.

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