• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent are the lovers star-crossed(TM) from the start of the play? Discuss with reference to two scenes. Show how Shakespeare conveys these ide

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Rachel Judah 3e GCSE2 Mrs Melinsky March 2008 English coursework essay: 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare To what extent are the lovers 'star-crossed' from the start of the play? Discuss with reference to two scenes. Show how Shakespeare conveys these ideas through language and drama. star-crossed adj, literary ill-fated; doomed never to be happy because the stars are in inauspicious positions. (Definition from the Chambers English Dictionary) Fate is an important theme in the play. Right at the start, the Chorus announces that the play revolves around a "pair of star-crossed lovers" (line 6). The use of the Chorus (a feature of classical drama) was very fashionable at the time but Shakespeare only uses it in two other plays. Its appearance here stresses the tragic nature of the play. In his cinematic production, Baz Luhrmann uses a news announcement to carry the same image as news is in the twenty-first century associated with doom and disaster, which are results of destiny. Shakespeare uses a metaphor "star-crossed" to describe the couple.' It is an astrological term, which indicates that the destiny of the two young lovers has been proscribed in the heavens. It means they were always destined to meet but that they were never supposed to stay together. The Elizabethan people were very much attached to the idea that your destiny was foretold in the stars; and the mention that Romeo and Juliet's 'star-crossed' nature means that they could never have been together. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet says to Romeo "If thy bent of love be honourable". The use of the word "bent" signifies something that is twisted and not natural and "honourable" incites that death is more honourable than shame. The words have strong links to the last scene when Romeo is 'bent' lying over Juliet's body. The end of the scene shows that the lovers are ill fated though Romeo and Juliet's discourse. There is a powerful surge of opposite emotions. Juliet uses metaphors of birds to refer to their fate. The bird element also signifies that it is free of the three most important themes in the play: love, constraints and freedom. She says that the bird is "like a poor prisoner" (line 179), the word prisoner refers to Romeo and Juliet and how they are prisoners of their own fate and will not be able to escape. The bird imagery also refers to Romeo and Juliet's love, which will be swift and fast and will end up in the sky, i.e.: there love is rushing towards death and heaven. However, this there is one very strong point that appears at the beginning of the scene. It is a reference to the stars and is spoken by Romeo; "Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, /Having some business, do entreat her eyes/To twinkle in their spheres till they return." ...read more.

Conclusion

And "everlasting rest" means death as eternal peace. This means that is going to take his chances on death. This means Romeo is trying to say that if he kills himself he is effectively freeing himself of fate. The "Inauspicious stars" represent his destiny and they also refer to the "star-crossed" aspect of Romeo and, Juliet, because as he frees himself of fate and his destiny he will be able to be with Juliet forever. The last comparison that Romeo makes before drinking the poison is "Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on/ The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark!" This is of his life. He feels that it has been a fast yet desperate voyage on a boat and that he is now crashing into the rocks to his death. When the Friar finally arrives and discovers Romeo he says "Ah, what an unkind hour/ Is guilty of this lamentable chance!" "Lamentable chance" means sorrowful accident but the deaths of Romeo and Juliet are not 'accidents' they are predestined. This comment from the Friar is intriguing because it contradicts the fact that the lovers are "star-crossed" saying that their deaths are accidents however both their deaths could have been prevented if the friar had arrived just minutes before, seals the lovers fate. However, seeing as Romeo and Juliet's fate is predestined and 'written in the stars' nothing could have obviously changed the outcome of their fate. They were destined to die together. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Romeo and Juliet 'the star-crossed lovers' are doomed from the start, not by fate ...

    'But thou love me, let them find me here. My life were better ended by their hate, than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.' Little did Romeo know that he again was predicting his own fate, for he will die for Juliet. Later in this act another reference to fate is used by Romeos two best friends, Benvolio and Mercutio.

  2. Shakespeare cleverly masks the true meaning of Romeo and Juliet behind the idea of ...

    Romeo's feelings towards love are very strong and exaggerated; the language he uses is really romantic and exaggerated. "Why, such is love's transgression: Grief's of mine own lie heavy in my breast" (ll179-180) Romeo feels love is rough with him, he feels heartbroken that Rosaline doesn't share his feelings.

  1. Romeo and Juliet theatre production essay.

    in her tomb and Juliet does the same when she wakes up, this shows their love for each other. Also, as it is a tragedy the ending is very sad, however, in this case I think it is probably the best ending the story could have had because, to me

  2. Violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet. Discuss this theme with reference ...

    " Villain" meaning peasant, was known as an incredibly insulting term if you were rich. Through the insults, Shakespeare shows the historical culture of the fifteenth century people. Shakespeare has also applied dramatic irony within this scene to build tension and suspense.

  1. "Romeo and Juliet, the 'star-crossed lovers', are doomed from the start, not by fate, ...

    Another example of this attitude is that they both rushed into getting married, even though they had only known each other for a very short period of time. I also think Romeo was too hasty in rushing back to Verona after hearing the news about Juliet's death.

  2. Romeo And Juliet - gcse english coursework - production notes

    thing to say, but also an incredibly brave one; to mock members of the opposing house to their faces, to openly deceive them and deny them the grounds to fight back is something he believes an unbelievable feat. His facial expression whilst speaking it should be almost non existent, save

  1. To what extent has Juliet grown since the start of the play

    This is where we first see the extent of Juliet's innocence, her immense lack of understanding and the na�ve disposition, which provokes her to accept her mothers, will. Juliet obeys the power of her parents, without any questions. We know this as she essentially says, If when I look at

  2. Consider how Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet sets up what will happen to ...

    Benvolios line "I'll pay that doctrine or else die in debt" is slightly unnerving as it is the ending to scene 1 Act 1 and leaves an image of death into the audiences' minds. This abrupt ending creates tension for the audience and symbolises the ending for Romeo and Juliet.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work