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Violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet. Discuss.

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Introduction

Romeo & Juliet Violence and conflict are central to Romeo and Juliet. Discuss this theme with references to at least three scenes in the play. Romeo and Juliet is a play written by William Shakespeare. It is a tragic play about two feuding families who are both described as ' both alike in dignity'. This meaning the two families who are both noble in society and are wealthy households. They should both really know better than to carry on in this child like manner. The two families are known as Capulet and Montague. Juliet is the beautiful daughter of the Capulets who everyone loves, then there's Romeo, young handsome and loveable who cares about everyone. The play is set in the city of Verona, the opening scene opens with a prologue, in a modern day story the prologue would like be the blurb on the back of the book, it gives us an idea of what is going to happen in the story. However it does tell us the ending of the story ' Two start crossed lovers take their lives'. Romeo and Juliet marry in secrecy this leading to their death. The prologue also hints to the audience on what to expect during the play, this being violence, conflict and love. In this essay I will discuss the violent key scenes and ways in which Shakespeare creates dramatic irony in the play. This makes the audience question their own individual life. Act 1 Scene 1 is so important in the novel as it introduces all the violence conflict and love; it opens the play with a feeling that lasts throughout. It shows us how sever the feuding is, so bad even the servants are involved. ' A dog of the house of Montague moves me.' The city of Verona is fed up of all the fighting and arguing. With two households so high up in Society it is very childish for them to act like this, you would expect better from them. ...read more.

Middle

To Tybalts surprise Romeo does not want to fight, as he is now part of Tybalts family. Romeo has now frustrated the audience because he too is trying to stop the violence, ' Villain am I none .... Bid love thee better'. This is Romeos attempt to try and explain to Tybalt that he does not want to fight however he can not tell him the right reason this being that has just married Tybalts cousin in the scene before. Romeo could overcome the situation he has gotten himself into by telling Tybalt about the marriage at the risk at his own life. Instead he stands aside and chooses to watch his best friend die. Mercutio cannot stand Romeo being a wimp and walking away from Tybalt so he decides to fight for him. This leading to the forthcoming tragedy. Romeos character is again questioned in this scene when he selfishly allows is best friend to die and then after his death drastically kills Tybalt. While Mercutio is dying he responds to Romeos actions with a curse ' A plague on both your houses'. At the time the Elizabethan audience believed in curses and would have believed this curse was the contribution to the last and final tragedy. In this scene Romeo has changed from being the sensitive boy at the beginning of the play into an aggressive fierce Romeo. This being shown when he strikes Tybalt and kills him. The violence seems to spread from person to person this again being shown as the play progresses on. The prince makes a promise at the start of the play this being if anyone was to break the peace again in Verona they would be sentenced to death. ' If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace'. So why doesn't this happen to Romeo? The prince goes back on his words and sends Romeo into exile ' Immediately we do exile him hence'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The lights will slowly fade out leaving the characters stood there in shock with a slow, sad song playing in the background. This essay has assessed how the violence, conflict and romance have linked together throughout the play and has questioned characters inner feelings and reactions to certain things. The prologue initiates the dramatic irony of the play this being Shakespeare's intention of performing the violence and conflict in the play in a way that it encourages the audience to not only question why the tragic deaths occur but too also ask what can Verona as a society do to prevent all of the chaos that happens. Benvolio's attempt to stop the conflict may as well be said in silence as he is ignored, Mercutio is stubborn but loyal and matches the fierce and aggressive nature of Tybalt who is too immature to notice the consequences of his actions. Juliet's mother's angry nature adds to the feud, her father's stupidity prevents the feud from stopping. Romeos mother is to soft and caring to notice how bad the violence is, her husband wants to get involved but is not allowed. The Prince is not reliable and does not keep promises, the Friar makes foolish decisions. This leaves us with the 'two star crossed lovers' Romeo is to late when he reacts to the violence and Juliet's naivety and stubbornness creates further tension and violence. The reactions from all of the characters involved leads to the big dramatic ending were the tow central characters die arm in arm. It takes this for the fathers to realise what all of this violence and conflict has caused and they both decide to make up. But it is still too late as they have both just lost their two adorable children. The audience are now left with their final decisions and judgments of the play. Shakespeare wanted them to leave thinking about their own individual life and how they live in their own society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Danielle Leahy English Coursework Miss Catterall ...read more.

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