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The language in Romeo and Juliet is some of the most beautiful ever written. Compare and contrast the romantic language used by Romeo with the more prosaic language used by Juliet's nurse.

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Introduction

The language in Romeo and Juliet is some of the most beautiful ever written. Compare and contrast the romantic language used by Romeo with the more prosaic language used by Juliet's nurse. William Shakespeare is recognised as one of literature's great influences. Very little is known about him and what is known is found from all sorts of written events in his life. William was born in 1564 in the time of Queen Elizabeth when England was fighting wars for freedom and Catholics and Protestants had to try and learn to live together as Englishmen. He had three sisters and three brothers and his father John Shakespeare and mother Mary Arden and was born and brought up in a flourishing little country town of Sratford-upon-Avon in south-central England of perhaps two thousand inhabitants. It had a mix of rich and poor but mostly rich who went about their everyday lives gossiping about the battles which Britain was facing at that present time. Then there was the small matter of the great plague, which broke out in Stratford in July and lasted for six months, killing nearly one sixth of the population. William though and the rest of his family were lucky enough to live through it and how lucky are we that he did. It is thought he attended King's New Grammar School although it is also thought he might never have gone to school. Whatever he did he must have been educated well as he grew up to become one of the best playwrights and poets ever. In 1582 (aged 18) he married Anne Hathaway (Aged 26). ...read more.

Middle

It was like they were in love with the fact that they were in love if you see what I mean. Now I will now talk to you about Shakespeare's language and the different techniques he uses. In most of Shakespeare's works he uses blank verse (unrhymed), poetic verse (rhymed) and prose. Most of Shakespeare's plays are in blank verse (unrhymed). This is mainly used by characters who speak noble characters who speak more eloquently (well said) to show their feelings and moods. The main part of Romeo and Juliet is written in blank verse (iambic pentameter) and is written in lines of ten syllables, with a pattern sometimes repeated of weak and strong beats e.g. in fair Verona where we lay our scene. But if Shakespeare had made every line like this then the play would have become very boring so he changes and varies the rhythm in a number of ways. He often changes the pattern of weak and strong slightly. So the verse of the play has a strong but varied rhythm so they are blank (this is where the term blank verse comes from). In his works Shakespeare also uses poetic verse (rhymed). This is where Shakespeare uses a pattern of rhymed lines or maybe just two (A rhyming couplet). Rhyming couplets are often used to end a scene and round it off e.g. Romeo: Farewell. Though canst not teach me to forget. Benvolio: I'll die in doctrine, or else die in debt. But also in the middle of scenes it is used and often in a much more complicated way often too express feelings and at times or importance. ...read more.

Conclusion

You can see how their language is totally different from each others in certain situations and you can easily see how different the two characters are and how they have been made to act in totally different ways. My opinion on what Shakespeare is trying to do with the two characters is that the nurse is the comic character of this tragedy She provides light relief in this very complexed and sad play. Her language is the common language of the time for instance she uses words like saucy which means cheeky or sexy. Her language portrays the language of a fool (which Shakespeare has in most of his works e.g. the drunk porter in the tragedy Macbeth). Also the nurse seems to use a large amount of words when a few will do and sometimes she finishes a sentence after using a stupidly large amount of words without actually getting to the point. Romeo's language however shows a higher level of intelligence as he comes from a privileged background. His speech is quite formal, polite and mature. His speech to Juliet is romantic and beautiful and poetic where as when he talks to other it is more urgent and to the point. He uses short sentences that get to the point straight away. Overall Shakespeare uses the nurse for a character which will provide entertainment to the audience which she did at the time and Romeo is there as a main character who is serious and displays a range of emotions and knowledge in his language. Finally I will say that the nurses language is coarse (rough) and his is refined showing the difference between their status saying that he is upper class and she is middle class. That is why the characters are so different in Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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