• 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...


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.


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.


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

    The audience see Romeos personality guided by his love for Rosaline, and the love is so strong that when rejected turns to sadness. Shakespeare wants the audience to see Romeos flaw, and he wants us to see that Romeos character will help determine the outcome of the play.

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

    thine to keep him company:" Romeo announces the presence of Mercutio's soul, hovering above their heads, which is waiting to be accompanied by Tybalt. The exasperated combatants commence a fight, which enables Shakespeare to seize the viewer's interest and intensify the atmosphere.

  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. Violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet. Discuss these themes with reference ...

    Meaning that the fatal consequences of that day's event will hang upon what happens in the future. The setting of Act 3:5 is completely different to the other scenes in the play, because the scene takes place in the home of the Capulets.

  1. To What Extent Were Romeo And Juliet Fated To Die?

    Shakespeare may be trying to explain to the audience that something awful will happen, we are already told in the prologue that they both end up dying. Perhaps he is trying to put the message across in a different way, with out actually having to say anything in words.

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

    shows the extremes of Love and Hate that Romeo feels in his soliloquys. The character that Shakespeare portrays Romeo as may have contributed to his rash decision at the end of the play and hinted towards his actions to the end.

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

    stall holders, thinking they are above them then stealing and refusing to acknowledge the vendor, and the Capulet's through their entrance, knocking people over) and both are adamant that their houses are better than the other (Montague's attitude apparent through constant mockery of the house of Capulet, and the opinion of the Capulet servants through their reaction to that mockery).

  2. The prologue refers to Romeo and Juliet as 'Star - crossed lovers'. Is their ...

    (Line 90-3, act 2; scene 3) So he is basically saying, I will help you, Romeo by marrying you, to try to unify your feuding families. By the joining of a Capulet and Montague in marriage would bring the two families closer together and end the feud.

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