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Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet - Analyse the prologue as a summary of the events and themes of the play as a whole.

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Introduction

Pre-1914 drama GCSE Coursework * Analyse the prologue as a summary of the events and themes of the play as a whole. Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is about two teenage lovers who, despite the ongoing feud between their families, fall in love and get married. However, their lives come to a tragic end, as they die as a consequence of their undying love for one another which results in the peace of their families. This play is similar to a classical tragedy as it has a death at the end as Romeo and Juliet both take their lives. It also has 5 acts and even though it is not in the actual space and time, it is very limited. A chorus is also present but it doesn't comment throughout. Therefore, the purpose of a prologue in a Classical tragedy is to set the scene and set out the plot and major themes to prepare the audience so they can follow the play. ...read more.

Middle

We are not told this information so that we remain interested, it is also conventional not to tell the whole story and there is not enough space or time. Many of the plays key themes are covered in the prologue. A major theme of the play is death and violence. The language used like "strife", "children's end" and "parents rage" gives the audience a clear image that the play is going to focus on scenes of violence, death and misery. Also, love plays a huge role. Words and phrases such as "lovers" and "death-marked love" make the audience picture a romance between two characters in the play, which happen to be Romeo and Juliet. Another main theme is fate. This can be shown by "star-crossed lovers". This has a double meaning. It means that the paths of the lover's stars have crossed which means that it is fate bringing them together and also that it is the lovers dream to be together and love each other and die in each others arms. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, the prologue is formal. It is very dignified and stately whereas, act 1, scene 1, is informal, casual and unconstrained. Also, the prologue is very serious, sober and humourless but Act1, Scene 1, is partly light-hearted and up-beat. The tempo of the prologue is slow paced, lazy and leisurely which is different to that of Act 1, Scene 1 as it is rapid and hectic. It could also be described as agitated and frantic. The intended effect of this contrast is to hit the audience face on with the fast, hectic style of Act 1, Scene 1 after a laid back introduction. This is to keep the audience interested and gets them ready for the changes in themes and moods throughout the play. Therefore, the prologue is effective as an opening as it gives the audience a good start and it explains the play without boring them as it is full of information but on a range of subjects to keep attention and as it sets out all of the main themes and scenes of they play, it is helpful and informative. May 2004 Romeo and Juliet Danielle Jenkins * 1 * ...read more.

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