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Themes of Romeo and Juliet

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Themes of Rome & Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a play based on 3 main themes; love, hatred and violence. The play is mostly about how Romeo and Juliet find each-other and are then separated because if the 'ancient grudge' that is between their families. The play is a tragedy because of the way it ends and all the violence and fighting and other deaths. In Shakespeare's time, violence wouldn't have shocked them as much as it shocked us because they liked violence and also, they were used to it because that was what it would have been like in real life 'I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire, the day is hot, the Capulets are abroad, and if we meet, we shall not escape a brawl...' Benvolio is scared because the day is hot, so everyone is irritated and he knows that if Mercutio is provoked, Mercutio might do something regretful. This gives us the impression that Benvolio is the peace-keeper. Using the weather as an 'excuse' to why they might start a fight is a dramatic device. When he says '...not escape a brawl...' ...read more.


Even though Tybalt is the type of person that always picks a fight and gets aggravated very quickly, when Romeo arrives on the scene, he says to Benvolio and Mercutio ' peace be with you, here comes my man...'. This gets Mercutio angry as well. Romeo has just come back from his calm, happy, peaceful wedding to a place where chaos is about to break out. This is called dramatic irony. In the previous scene, Romeo has just married Juliet, so now he is related to Tybalt. He keeps this in mind as Tybalt says '...the love I bear thee can afford No better term than this: though art a villain...' In Shakespeare's day, the audience would have been shocked because the word 'villain' was an extreme insult; villains were dirty, poor, low-class people who lived in slums, not people like Romeo who was actually wealthy and high-class person. '...the reason that I have to love thee... thou know'st me not...' This would have shocked everybody because they would have been expecting Romeo to fight back but instead, Romeo is just walking away, trying to stop the fight before it even has a chance to start. ...read more.


Tybalt runs away as Mercutio says, 'I am hurt. A plague o' both your houses!' The last part, a plague on both your houses would really have shocked the audience because in the time that the play was set, the plague was a terrible disease, a curse to say it to someone. He doesn't only say it once, he says it 3 times to emphasise the fact that all the fighting going on between the two houses (Capulet's and Montague's) is just as bad as the plague, in fact, it is worse. Benvolio returns, making it official that Romeo is dead. Up until now, Romeo been quite calm, making sure he doesn't say anything that will start a fight. Now though, he just lets go and he doesn't care what he does, he just wants to kill Tybalt. We can see that the death has affected him a great deal because when he finds Tybalt, he says 'either thou, or I or both must go with him...' this meaning that he is willing to take Tybalt's life and/or risk his own life to avenge Mercutio's death. ...read more.

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