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

The Context of the times - Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare

Extracts from this document...


CALEIGH GRAHAM ROMEO AND JULIET COURSEWORK 2002 THE CONTEXT OF THE TIMES Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century. It was set in Verona, in Roman Catholic Italy. Things were very different then to how they are now. Couples were made to confess to Friars before marriage. Marriage was arranged and carried through at a very young age. Marriage was also very hasty. There were many family feuds. For example: The Capulets and Montagues. The language used in their times was also very different. It was very poetical (Petrarch). It is hard to imagine life then, but Shakespeare makes it much easier as he describes everything throughout the play in great depth. SCENE PAINTING Shakespeare set his play Romeo and Juliet for the 13th century. The time when the play was written and actually started to be performed was during the 16th century, the Elizabethan times. In those times it was extremely difficult to show the setting using sets on stage like we do today. Plays had to be performed outside and during the day because there was no electricity to light indoor theatres. The theatres for the better of people had an open roof. For example: the Globe theatre in London. To determined whether the scene was set in day or night-time the actors had to think of letting the whole audience know as there were no props, backgrounds or lighting. ...read more.


"Then I defy you, stars!" is Romeo's defiant challenge when he hears of Juliet's death. Death is frequent in the city of Verona. The old citizens brood over it. "Well, death's the end of all"..."We were born to die". Young lives are often cut short. He most memorable of all is the vision that haunts the play, Death as Juliet's bridegroom. "Death is my son-in-law, death is my heir". CALEIGH GRAHAM Other unlucky coincidences of tie consist of Mercutio's death (which is also the turning point). Tybalt being antagonised by Capulet. The bad timing Romeo had. The actual death of Romeo and Juliet was unfortunate. In my opinion the most unfortunate and even cruel part of the play was the fact that Friar Lawrence might have been about to save Juliet but hears the watch coming. Friar Lawrence may have lost his job but he may have been able to save both Juliet and Romeo's lives in the long run and he would have had the comfort in his heart that he saved their lives. Shouldn't that be more important to a priest? YOUTH/AGE Age in this play is all much too quick for any life today. In times of Shakespeare, girls were expected to be ready for marriage at fourteen years of age. Fourteen-year-olds today can hardly take care of themselves let alone be ready to start a family. ...read more.


They are also made to defy their friends. Romeo abandons Mercutio and Benvolio after the feast so he can go to Juliet's garden. Love is the main theme of the play, but the reader should always remember that love in Romeo and Juliet is a brutal, powerful emotion that captures individuals and throws them against their world, and, against themselves. MEMORIES Most of the memories are from Acts 1-2. Shakespeare ensures the audience that the play is relating to time of youth, intensity, passion and honour. Nurse's memories are very humorous. The part would never suit a man. Even though they seem funny at the beginning they are tragic at the end. "Such comfort as do lusty young men feel". I see her cold humour is there as a reminder that not everything is negative in Shakespeare's plays. I think that the humour is a major necessity. CALEIGH GRAHAM "Oh Tybalt, the best friend I had- we met, we wooed and made exchange of vow" When Tybalt is dead Nurse pines for him and remembers back when they first met and how the relationship was between them. From that quote we can guess that they were quite close. Towards the end of the play the lovers remember the start of the love affair as if it was years ago. They feel as if they have known each other forever as they clicked as soon as they met because they were so right for each other. ...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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work