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Violence and Conflict in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Violence and Conflict in Romeo and Juliet Four hundred years ago, William Shakespeare wrote the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a popular play that continues to capture the imagination and emotions of people around the world. The drama portrays the passionate, violent and often desperate lives of the youth of Verona. Even today, the tragedy resembles a blue print of the problems that the adolescents of the twentieth century must face each day. In this play Shakespeare explores the pitfalls of young love, and the consequences they receive from their actions, which mostly revolve around violence and conflict. In Verona, the feud between the Capulets and Montagues reigns supreme, and rules seemingly over love, over justice, in an almost unfair manner, as 'civil blood makes civil hands unclean'. The image of violence being so unfair exists prominently in the deaths of so many of the cast. We see the two obvious images of the tragid death of Romeo and Juliet. Their young, pure lives are brought to a despicable end through the violence around them 'Romeo and Juliet' was written between 1594 and 1596. During this period, poets and dramatists alike were experimenting with a variety of styles; blank verse was a new form, and so was the sonnet. Shakespeare intentionally wrote 'Romeo and Juliet' for the Queen, simultaneously gaining her interest and enthusiasm for his style of writing. The play contains a lot of sexual punning, rude jokes and verbal interaction, which Elizabethans enjoyed watching and reading about. These sorts of entertainments factors would really get the audience excited and their interest towards the story grows rapidly. Throughout the entire play there is a strong sense of violence, which continues to portray unfortunate consequences. I will be explaining the aspects of violence and conflict in various scenes, to discover how they are a trigger to further preconceptions. Act one, scene one. I feel that Shakespeare begins his play in the same way he intends to end it...through violence and conflict. ...read more.

Middle

The prince also says that "Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste, Else, when he's found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body and attend our will: Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill." After this cruel and well-deserved announcement the scene ends. This scene has a lot of conflict and surprising actions, which Shakespeare creates to add dramatic irony, suspense, and thrillers to the play. Act three, scene one is a great turning point for Romeo; Shakespeare brings down his happiness through violence and conflict. Tybalt's stubbornness and Mercutio's continuous teasing cause a lot of trouble for Romeo's future. I think that Shakespeare shows during this scene that all awful things happen through violence, nothing positive comes from it, and conflict revolves around fait and destiny; it occurs only for a reason. Act five, scene three. It is nighttime, and this scene takes place in the local cemetery. Alongside Juliet in her tomb is her arranged fianc´┐Ż Paris, he has come to say goodbye to Juliet. He explains and says he will come to the tomb every night to lay flowers and mourn "Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew,- The obsequies that I for thee will keep nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep." Paris hears a noise: it is a whistle, from his servant. A warning. Paris hides "The boy gives warning something doth approach." All in due time Romeo and Balthasar arrive, Paris beside watches patiently. "Hold, take this letter; early in the morning, See thou deliver it to my lord and father. Give me the light: upon thy life, I charge thee, Whate'er thou hear'st or seest, stand all-aloof," Romeo gives his faithful servant a letter. It is addressed to Mr. Montague, from Romeo. He stamps it, and then instructs Balthasar to leave. At this point Balthasar is pretty worried that Romeo might kill himself "Why I descend into this bed of death," so he stands nearby the tomb. ...read more.

Conclusion

These innovative aspects of the play, moreover, reinforce and embellish its principal themes. The latter include the contrast between love and hate, the correlative use of a light/dark division, the handling of time (as both theme and as structural element), and the well-known status accorded to Fortune and its expression in the dreams, omens and forebodings that signify its tragic conclusion. Violence and conflict has definitely been the underscore in this play, as violence has occurred most frequently, whilst conflict has been discretely flowing throughout, hitting where it hurts most. The deaths of young Romeo and Juliet were only caused through aggression and variance, which played with fait and twisted their destiny, to erase the blindness and substituted it with contentment and peace. Shakespeare is trying to make it clear that there is no need for violence when love can overcome, enduring your pride and putting your prejudices to a side can open your eyes to many desirable aspects of life. This is a great mistake the Capulets and Montagues made. Violence played its part, conflict wasn't far behind, they played with Romeo and Juliet's love, they destroyed many lives and corrupted both families, but at least one affirmative aspect came out of it...the final alliance of both families. I feel that I have fully explained each scene carefully, highlighting the parts that contained a lot of violence and conflict, clearly stating the meaning and my own opinions. I have evidently backed up each point made with quotations and then further went in detail by elaborating Shakespeare's intentions, and how they worked well together. I have expanded on the fact that it was an exceptionally effective play and how I thought 'violence and conflict' were definitely central, I also explicated how and why they were central, providing extensive quotations. Romeo and Juliet was a play of love and romance, warped in bloodshed and divergence, for never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo... ...read more.

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