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Show how Shakespeare uses language and imagery to develop the character of Romeo in act's 1&2

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Introduction

Shakespeare Essay Rosie Wild L67 Show how Shakespeare uses language and imagery to develop the character of Romeo in act's 1&2 Shakespeare uses language and imagery very cleverly in acts 1 and 2 to make Romeo's character more vivid and real, and to make his love and confusion stand out as two main themes of the play. Act one opens with two servants from the Capulet House, Sampson and Gregory, talking crudely about love and intercourse. They make no reference to real love and refer to virginity as 'maidenheads' and Sampson refers to himself as 'a pretty piece of flesh'. Everything which they say is full of sexual innuendos and this is to later act as a harsh comparison to the love which Romeo later feels for Juliet. The first time we hear of Romeo is from Benvolio and Lady Montague, and she worries of her son's whereabouts. Benvolio is an honest, peace keeping boy and he says that Romeo is under a sycamore. Sycamore is a pun - sick amour- hopeless love. This is our first taste of how Romeo feels. He soon arrives and speaks almost in riddles, as if he is keen not to let the object of his grief show. Romeo says 'Ay me, sad hours seem long' and he further suggests that he lacks what makes the hours go quickly. Though he seems so be circulating around the point, by now the reader knows what Romeo is suggesting he lacks- love. ...read more.

Middle

The sweet budding love is harshly broken by Tybalt's words as his officious, dominant character shows great displeasure in the fact that a relation of his is with a Montague. Romeo puts no effort into seducing Juliet as the words seem to roll from his tongue. 'Two blushing pilgrims' he refers to his lips as. His language has become more intense and meaningful after finding this true love. This shows a lot abut Romeo as we know his feelings are much expressed thorough the tone of his voice and his selective use of vocabulary. The word 'pilgrims' suggests a journey with a spiritual or holy purpose, and we can link this to his journey through feelings to get to Juliet's holy lips. He then precedes further 'let lips do what hands do', he is very tactful as he could just say 'I would like a kiss', instead he tries to justify their actions by suggesting it is a holy encounter. He becomes more confident after their first kiss 'give me my sin again' and he spurs off her returned love. She, in turn compliments him 'you kiss by the book'. After their kiss the poetry Romeo speaks makes us believe that this love is true. Not as yet have we heard him use such detailed imagery and drawn out puns to suggest his point. His love turns him into a magician with his words. Romeo also seems to have a sense of the future, and the dramatic irony intensifies as he says 'my life is my foe's debt' this suggests that now he only lives to be with Juliet and that this will end in fatality. ...read more.

Conclusion

The impending marriage has developed Romeo into a happier man and he is clearly very pleased. His maturation is shown as he proves himself as a good man to the nurse, who he knows Juliet confides in and wants the approval of. 'Commend me to thy lady', he is polite and wishes the nurse to speak well of him to Juliet. She confirms she will 'a thousand times'. The love of Juliet for Romeo, and of Romeo to Juliet is proved more pure in Act 2 , Scene 5, as the nurse sees love and marriage in only physical terms. When she describes Romeo to Juliet his Physical attributes are uppermost in her mind. However, for Romeo and Juliet, their love is past just physical attraction and is on a new level. This is where we begin to accept them as a 'real' couple who are very much in love. Romeo knows the dangers of his marriage to Juliet which shows that he is a sensible man and has weighed up the situation. We know he interprets it accurately as there are lots of references to death. The audience already know, from the prologue how the story ends, so this lets us see that Romeo also knows the dangers of his own actions- 'Then love- devouring Death do what he dare'. He further adds after this that it is worth Death devouring him if he may just call Juliet his own, 'It is enough I may but call her mine.' This shows his rational views on love, and as far as the character of Romeo extends, this is where we see the true difference between himself and the likes of Mercutio. ...read more.

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