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The chorus refers to Romeo and Juliet as "star-crossed lovers". Do you agree with this view?

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Introduction

6 July 2001 The chorus refers to Romeo and Juliet as "star-crossed lovers". Do you agree with this view? The play "Romeo and Juliet" begins with a prolonged outlining of the plot and ending of the play very blatantly. This is very unusual way to start a play by modern standards but in Shakespeare's era starting a play in this way was not uncommon and was used very effectively. The prologue outlines the whole play in fourteen short lines. Informing the readers of the feud between the families and the situations of Romeo and Juliet and their fate. In the opening passage Romeo and Juliet are described as "star-crossed lovers", this means they are doomed to failure or ill fated. The nature of the conflict is also reviewed in this chorus using simple descriptive terms; "ancient grudge" simply reveals the timescale of the problems between the families; "fatal loins" shows in a very graphic way how the feud is revolved around parents and which family people are born into, nothing else is considered. This chorus summarises the whole play in five lines, although it is very hard to write a successful play when the outcome is told at the beginning Shakespeare manages to keep the audience interested throughout even though they are informed of how the play ends before it even starts. This approach towards the start of a play showed to audiences that they were going to witness a tragedy, society in the time of Shakespeare loved destruction and unhappy endings. ...read more.

Middle

The only people they have to confide in are the nurse and Friar Lawrence. And even these two people cannot both be trusted, in Scene Five she attempts to persuade Juliet into committing bigamy and marrying Paris. "O he's a lovely gentleman. Romeo's a dishclout to him;" In this quotation the nurse is very insensitive towards Juliet, criticising her husband and comparing him to another man. In Juliet's eyes no man alive compares to her Romeo, the nurse does not see how strong this bond is and so thinks Juliet should ignore it and get on with her life as a Capulet while Romeo is banished and heartbroken. Another side to the nurse is seen in this scene, an insensitive side that sees things in a very shallow way. She does not see the power of their love and how it must overcome all obstacles to succeed, even if death is one of these obstacles, it must be tackled. Being betrayed by one of her few trustworthy friends must be very emotionally crippling for Juliet. Another problem facing the couple of which is totally their own fault is their foolishness. They are young, in love and irrational; evidence of this is presented when Romeo kills Tybalt. It jeopardized his whole life and was partly responsible for suicide of the lovers. Although the argument that Romeo committed this deed in a fit of rage at the killing of his best friends is a valid one, he does have time to contemplate his reaction to his friend's murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the pair are born into hatred also adds to the sense of inescapability, they cannot escape there family history, they are born into hatred. Romeo and Juliet's situation could have probably been avoided if only they knew the family backgrounds of one another before they fell in love. If it were not love at first sight they would have been sensible enough to move on in life and forget about each other. The main culprit for them being star-crossed and doomed in that of fate. However hard they try to make there marriage work it never can, something always goes wrong; they have no control over there lives. This makes all the other evidence seem irrelevant but this evidence is the work of fate in the play. This is how everything goes wrong for the two and they fail to succeed. After reviewing all the evidence I have come to the obvious conclusion that yes, the chorus is right to state them as star crossed lovers, all they have in there favour is love and friendship. Everyone bar two people and everything is against them, they cannot do anything right and they end up taking there own lives to be together. Some good does come from these deaths though, it makes the families see how petty this feud is and it brings peace into Verona after hundreds of years of conflict. The two lovers are martyrs to the family Capulet and Montague; they must die to keep the peace. "For never was there a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." ...read more.

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