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Show how Shakespeare presents dramatically the themes of love and hate in the play "Romeo and Juliet".

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet - Love and Hate Show how Shakespeare presents dramatically the themes of love and hate in the play "Romeo and Juliet" The literary genius, William Shakespeare, was born in 1564 and throughout his life wrote a collection of plays, poems and sonnets. In the 16th century, the type of theatre was very different to that of today. Actors were only male, so any female parts had to be played by a boy whose voice had not broken. This also meant that intimate love scenes were not included as they were uncomfortable for the actors and would not be very realistic. The theatre itself was round with a small circular stage in the centre. Props were few and words had to make up the scenery, lighting and atmosphere. Plays had to be performed in the afternoons when it was most light and were usually more of a social 'get-together' than a formal event. Middle and lower class citizens attended these shows and were unsettled and often uncultured. This meant that the very beginning lines of the play could not be vital, as no one would understand the play later if they missed them. In addition, the following few lines had to be spoken loudly to attract the audience's attention. Romeo and Juliet begins in exactly this way, with a short opening chorus which explains the whole story, and then a fight scene. Romeo and Juliet is a romantic tragedy that portrays two lovers trying to build their relationship on a foundation of hate. ...read more.

Middle

His language changes from fatherly, loving words to talking about her in the third person when she disagrees to his plan. "Thursday is near, lay hand on heart, advise: And you be mine, I'll give to my friend, And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, For by my soul I'll never acknowledge thee, Nor what is mine shall never do thee good." He refuses to change the plans, and says that if she does not comply, he will disown her and leave her to beg and die on the streets. So far in the play, two characters have died for the hatred between the two families, but the next, Paris, is totally innocent and is killed again, by Romeo's desperation. The true price of hatred is shown with his death, as he was neither a relation to Montague or Capulet. Paris attempts to arrest Romeo as he suspects that he is trying to disfigure the Capulet tomb. In defence, Romeo explains that he loves the Capulets more than his own family but, being loyal to his love's family, Paris thinks Romeo is mocking him. They fight and Paris is killed. This is another example of the scale of the hatred between the families. Romeo will do anything to see his love again. However, against the background of hate and misery to the play, Shakespeare portrays a beautiful love story about two lovers trying to make the best of the unfortunate situation they find themselves in. ...read more.

Conclusion

The determinedness of Juliet's language enthrals the audience and it seems that with this quality, surely nothing else can go wrong. 'Romeo and Juliet' ends with a great tragedy, the suicide of the lovers to be united in death. So many things went wrong in a short space of time, and looking back the audience may question whether they believed that the lovers could pull it off. Unfortunately in a dramatic climax to the play, Romeo and Juliet die together, for each other, in the Capulet family tomb. It seems that only love can overcome hatred in the end as is so dramatically shown by Shakespeare. The two lovers united in death, rest happily and the two families are brought together in mourning. "O brother Montague, give me thy hand. This is my daughter's jointure, for no more Can I demand." Shakespeare's usage of love and hate has given lead to many other plays and films after it, such as 'West Side Story'. It gives a very effective story line that keeps the audience captivated with every twist and turn. The background of hate involves the audience who can identify with one or more of the characters, and are often left feeling extremely sorry for the families, such is the realism of the play. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a true demonstration that love overcomes hate, but in their case, the only way out was to be reunited in death. "Never was there a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." ...read more.

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