• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Discuss Shakespeare's use of contrast in 'Romeo and Juliet', commenting on language, character, plot ...

    Shakespeare uses Romeo to show the contrast between feelings learned from books and poetry and genuine emotions gained from experience with the contrasts between his courtly love for Rosaline and his genuine love for Juliet ("Did my heart love till now?

  2. Views of love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    wanton's bird, That let's it hop a little from his hand Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, And with a silken thread pulls it back again, So loving-jealous of his liberty. Romeo: I would I were thy bird.

  1. How does the prologue and act one interest the audience and prepare Romeo and ...

    It is pure chance that the servant meets Romeo and Benvolio and asks them to read the list for him. It is also pure chance that Romeo reads the list and sees Rosaline's name on it, so he decides to go to the party, uninvited.

  2. William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'.

    If they remain seated and refuse to dance then it would be obvious they had corns as Capulet said. He also makes a comment to ensure that the men enjoy themselves too, "gentlemen! I have seen the day that I have worn a visor and could tell a whispering tale

  1. To what extent is Romeo and Juliet a good example of Shakespeare's view of ...

    When events happen so quickly, things are 'too rash, too unadvised, too sudden' and mistakes are easily made. The play feels hurried and characters are filled with haste: Romeo and Juliet rush into marriage, then Romeo is banished for a impulsive action, Capulet cannot wait to get Juliet married to Paris.

  2. Plot Summary:

    Scene 5. Romeo goes to Juliet and stays with her till dawn, when he must flee from the city. Capulet tells her of her forthcoming marriage to Paris. Juliet objects, and her furious father says he will throw her out of his house if she refuses to obey.

  1. Explain why Shakespeare's

    Dramatic irony is used when Romeo fights Tybalt before Mercutio's death, because Romeo doesn't want to fight Tybalt because they are family, it says "which name I tender As dearly as mine own". This is said because he has married to Juliet and only he and the audience know this.

  2. How does the prologue to Shakespeares 'Romeo and Juliet' prepare the audience for the ...

    The last line 'is now the two hours' traffic of our stage' this implies that the events that they have mentioned will now take place on the stage by the actors. The rhyming couplet is the last to lines of the sonnet.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work