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The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

English coursework Shakespeare Hoang Nguyen 10702 The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Prologue "Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona (where we lay our scene), From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal lions of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-marked love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which but their children end nought could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend." This is one of Shakespeare's many Sonnets in this play. It sets a brief outline of "The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet" It sets us the scene of "Verona" and talks of an "Ancient grudge" of "two households, both alike in dignity". This has been stamped upon the two families children. But it also talks of the misfortune of the two children being taken in by love with each other. This, in turn triggers an unfortunate and disastrous ending, with both children dying for the other's love. This is a play which was written by one of the greatest Britons who have ever lived, William Shakespeare. Written in the Tudor times for the Tutor people and yet people of today still find it profoundly inspirational. It has truly survived the changing of the times, the culture and of the language. It is a tragedy where "love sprung from" their "only hate". The two families The Montague and The Capulet's, of whom have had "an ancient grudge" for each other. (Shakespeare never did tell us the reason why but just that they were sworn enemies.) But all this was to change and the two families would be tumbled into turmoil. ...read more.

Middle

This reflects on how we have moved on since Shakespearian times, the conflict is still there but is dealt with in a much more physical and aggressive manner. Tybalt more or less insulting Mercutio and this is something which is not tolerated in these times, at one point Benvolio had to hold Mercutio back from an out and out fight. Not only has the action been brought up to date but the clothing has also been brought to date. The scene is also a big part, there was a stage in the foreground which could imply that this was a large status event. Then enters Romeo, from marrying Juliet, this gives apprehensive tension, with the audience knowing that he has just been wedded which is also the usage of dramatic tension, but on screen only Romeo knows this. Tybalts attention then switches to whom he came to quarrel with, Romeo. Tybalt: Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford No better than term than this: thou art a villain. This is Tybalt insulting Romeo by saying that "the love be he has for Romeo has no better comparison, than to that of a villain". Romeo of course keeps his calm and reply's not with aggression or contempt but he his still high on his happiness of marriage that he is good natured in his reply. He tells Tybalt that he has a reason to love him, this is very peculiar to Tybalt for their families are sworn enemies. And this is the form of tension of which I spoke about before; only the audience know that the reason Romeo has to love Tybalt. Even with Romeo saying that he does not want to quarrel no more, Tybalt reply's saying that "this shall not excuse" him from the things he has done to Tybalt before. This was what Tybalt had come to do, fight with Romeo for Romeo gate-crashed The Capulet's party. ...read more.

Conclusion

The two friends talking of being quarrelsome and "fee-simple," is Shakespeare giving foresight as in to what there is to come. This would build the audiences anticipation as what there is to come and also would build tension. Romeo: Tybalt I have reason that I have to love thee This is dramatic irony in that we, the audience know that Romeo had just been married to Juliet and Tybalt does not know this yet. Shakespeare also gave us dramatic irony when Tybalt and Mercutio know that Mercutio has been hurt and nobody else does. It is ironic that Romeo set out to bring love and peace to Tybalt and yet causes chaos and destruction. He also did this when he tried to stop the fight and ends up killing Mercutio. Shakespeare uses play on words to be smart. He uses words with double meanings like, in line 16-18, when he talks of quarrelling at some one for cracking nuts because he has hazel eyes. Hazel acts as the double meaning word for it could mean hazel eye or the hazel nut. Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is a play with universal appeal meaning it still has an impact today as it had done many years ago. This is because of its strong themes of love, hate and conflict shall always be present and relevant in society of any day and age.. To me the thought of "love" "from my only hate" is just so romantic, powerful and truly inspirational. Each adaptation reflects the time in which they where aimed at. Zefferelli showed us how the last society was full of fair play and dignity. This was brought to us throughout the play. Whereas Larhmann's adaptation was aimed at this generation, where fair-play and dignity are not as relevant to us, as they were then. His film was one of raw rage, which reflects on this society well. But with both films the core story lines are still there and shows us that Shakespeare has survived the waging war with time well. ...read more.

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