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Violence and conflict are central to 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Introduction

Violence and conflict are central to 'Romeo and Juliet'. Discuss how far you agree with this comment with close reference to at least two scene of your choice. When reading 'Romeo and Juliet' the initial key theme appears to be love. However, with closer attention to the text I can see other themes emerging within the play, one of these being the conflict and violence between two houses. Many of Shakespeare's plays are written in this way and have deeper meanings and plots than what they appear on the surface. Throughout the play there are many scenes of violence, but within these scenes there is often a peacekeeper, trying to create and end to the conflict. This is one of Shakespeare's deeper plots in the play. At the time 'Romeo and Juliet' was written, one of Shakespeare's patrons were queen Elizabeth, whose one of many ideals, were to create a united kingdom. This idea of peace and love is explored throughout the play. The play itself is about two houses at war with one another, and the battles they go through. The son of one house and the daughter of the other, fall in love without realising the others identity. Because of this love, much conflict is created and this is one of the key themes of the play. ...read more.

Middle

When describing Juliet, Romeo uses no oxymoron's, expressing his true love for her. After this declaration of his love for Juliet, Tybalt sees Romeo and the conflictof the houses is again brought up, 'this, by his voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy. 'What dares the slave'. Though Montague and Capulet are enemies, Capulet desists Tybalt from disturbing the peace in his house, 'you'll not endure him! God shall mend my soul! You'll make a mutiny among my guests!'. When Romeo an Juliet first speak, they start with a sonnet, which in Shakespearian times was the highest form of love poetry, 'have not saint lips, and holy palmers too?', this use of religious language is associated with god and at the time Shakespeare was writing, religion was very important in England. This symbolises Romeo's real affections towards Juliet and shows the contrast between his feelings Rosaline and Juliet, in the way he writes about each of them. After meeting one another, both Romeo and Juliet discover their lover's identities. Before Juliet discovers Romeo as a Montague, she says, 'if he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed', saying she would rather die then be without him, representing her love for him. ...read more.

Conclusion

She decides she cannot live without Romeo and seeks help from the Friar Lawrence. Word is sent to Romeo of her plan, but it is not delivered, and Balthasar, one of Romeo's friends, mistakenly tells Romeo that Juliet is dead, 'then she is well, and nothing can be her body sleeps in Capels' monument'. Romeo returns to Verona and makes his way to an apothecary, 'let me have a dram of poison, such soon speeding gear as well disperse itself through all the veins, that the life - weary taker may fall dead'. When he sees Juliet dead in the chapel, he takes the poison and dies, 'here's to my love! O true apothecary thy drugs are quick - thus with a kiss I die'. When Juliet wakes and Romeo is dead she already knows she cannot live without him, 'o happy dagger', she takes his dagger and kills herself, 'there rest, and let me die'. This scene has been predicted throughout the play by different characters, the very death of the two characters symbolises the unity of their love and how it overcame their family's conflict and rivalry. Through there is a lot of conflict within the play; the love scenes balance this out, as they are so powerful. However, Romeo and Juliet would not be what it is today without both love and conflict as these are the two key elements that make the play. ...read more.

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