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There are many oppositions in Romeo and Juliet and I am going to explore the oppositions that I think are the most important to the play

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English Coursework: Romeo and Juliet Oppositions There are many oppositions in Romeo and Juliet and I am going to explore the oppositions that I think are the most important to the play. The oppositions have a marked effect on the play and cause some of the turning points in the play such as the fight scene where Tybalt and Mercutio are killed. There are also clashes of oppositions such as when Romeo tries to love Tybalt in the fight scene in Act 3 scene 1. This shows the oppositions of love and hate coming to a sharp focus. In another sense, the clashing of oppositions also happens in oxymoron. The play begins with a dramatic and exciting fight scene, which serves to show is the world that Romeo and Juliet's love is situated in is a world where chaos and violence rule. This is very much about the hate and honour of the two families and it is also linked to the opposition of private and public. This fight scene does the dual purpose of capturing the attention of the audience, but also introduce us to the major opposition: that of Montague versus Capulet. The whole play is based upon the "ancient grudge" that is shared by these two "households both alike in dignity". The way in which the fight is portrayed in the Luhrman film, with the petrol station, guns and the background of heavy rock music, emphasised the fast paced excitement of the scene and it is also very good at attracting our attention. ...read more.


Also Lord Capulet and Montage also want to fight each other as they shout for their "long swords", however they can be restrained, Tybalt however cannot which suggests that Tybalt's belief in the honour code and hatred of the Montagues may be stronger than any of the other characters. The first appearance of Tybalt he appears with Benvolio and they are in direct contrast with each other. Only Tybalt says that he "hate hell", which in Shakespearian times shows, the depth of his hatred. Tybalt's pride and reputation and love of his family and family name comes into conflict with Romeo's love for Mercutio and his love for Juliet in the act 3 scene 1 fight scene. Before and during Shakespearian times, a person's pride and reputation were particularly important. A person would feel very proud to have a famous and respected name and will follow the honour code to ensure that their honour was upheld. If a family member is insulted or injured, that family will seek revenge as when Tybalt was slain, Lady Capulet shouted that since "Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live." In this way, a family feud could go on for generations, as do the Capulet and Montague feud. When Tybalt wants to fight Romeo but Romeo would not draw, it may have been a dent to Tybalt's honour that Romeo would not satisfy him and fight. ...read more.


Romeo and Juliet tries to break Fate's hold on them and "defy you [fate]" although they inevitably still do something that they regret and they are "fortune's fool". Language and reality is another opposition in this play of oppositions. This oppositions is about what is real and what is just thoughts such as when Juliet says "a rose by any other word would smell just as sweet" meaning that no matter what something is called, it will still be the same thing. Shakespeare was very interested in the relationship between word and their meaning. In Romeo and Juliet, he shows that as soon as Tybalt hears the sound of Romeo's voice, Tybalt was blind with hatred. Even though this feud has something to do with the families' honour, this generation of Montagues and Capulets may not be the same type of people as their ancestors. Shakespeare shows the difference between words and actions, between feelings learned out of a book and emotions learned from experience. This is shown when Lady Capulet compares Paris to a book. Light and dark imagery is used a lot in the play. When Juliet is waiting for Romeo, she aches for the sun to go down and "bring in cloudy night immediately". And when Romeo sees Juliet's beauty making the "vault a feasting presence full of light. The light and dark imagery is mainly used to describe the characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Henry Gu Page I 4/20/2007 ...read more.

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