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The Theme of Haste in Romeo and Juliet

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The Theme of Haste in Romeo and Juliet "It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden." Juliet's words here reflect herself and the play as a whole. Haste is one of the overlying themes in the play, primarily observed through the quickly chosen actions of the characters as responses to the situations that are laid before them. Juliet's words apply to the play as a whole to a large extent as can be seen from the rashness of Romeo, Juliet herself and the Friar that contribute to the fast-paced flow of the tragedy and are perhaps responsible for the tragedy itself. The speed at which events occur "too sudden" is largely exemplified in Romeo's impetuous haste. His recklessness in committing himself to his passion for Juliet and marrying her the day after they meet is an important catalyst in creating a sense of rushed decisions and lack of planning. Despite being cautioned by Juliet for being "too rash" and the Friar that "they stumble that run fast" The play itself takes place over just four days, this is compared to the original poem by Arthur Brookes that spans nine months. Critics such as G. Thomas Tanselle support the view that time was "especially important to Shakespeare" in this play, as he used references to "short-time" for the young lovers as opposed to references to "long-time" for the older members of the play" to highlight "a headlong rush towards doom". ...read more.


The word "contract" suggests that, after their few lines of conversation, she feels they have committed themselves to one another. The death of the two "star-crossed lovers" is proleptical. The death of Mercutio and Romeo's murder of Tybalt which follows it foreshadow the deaths of the lovers. One could argue that it's perhaps the impulsiveness of Romeo which causes him to murder Tybalt, as Benvolio says, before anyone could draw a sword to stop it. Obviously Juliet's final decision in the play is her most hasteful and foolish. She was quick to drink the potion, without considering the damage she would cause to her own family. She wakes up to find her lover dead in her tomb, and like Romeo ignores the advice of the Friar. Friar Lawrence tells Juliet she should flee the city and go live among a sisterhood of nuns, however she picks up Romeo's dagger "This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die" She takes her own life because she does not think she can ever be happy without Romeo. Shakespeare seems to be emphasising the ideas of foolishness and haste; this is demonstrated in the opening scene. Sampson: I will bite my thumb at them, which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it. Gregory: Go forth! I will back thee! Abra: Do you bite your thumb at us, sir? ...read more.


"Couple it with / something, make it a word and a blow". Mercutio is the first to suggest fighting on the streets; he knows that he was warned before, and just because he's in the mood to fight, he should have thought about the consequence. When Romeo does appear, Tybalt challenges him, but Romeo does not want to fight, for he loves Tybalt's cousin, Juliet. Mercutio, acting on impulse, challenges Tybalt in Romeo's defense. Mercutio gets stabbed by Tybalt, when Romeo gets between them, and dies unexpectedly. Even though they are supporting characters, they move the play quickly and hurriedly along by their actions. In the events of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the characters make decisions in such hurriedness, hastiness, and impetuous ways. Romeo, Juliet, and many of the supporting characters acted hurried, hasty, and impetuous. The complex developments of events that take place in the few days of the most excellent and lamentable tragedy of Romeo and Juliet can certainly seem to take place over a time span much longer than the one it actually occupies. But, when Shakespeare condensed the play's events to that of a few days, he added weight and heavy consequence to every movement, and gave the sense that the action is happening so quickly that characters barely have time to react, and, by the end, that matters are careening out of control. The audience are left to consider the proleptic words of Friar Lawrence, "Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast" 1460 words . ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Warner ...read more.

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