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Violence and Conflict in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Explain how the themes of violence and conflict are central to 'Romeo and Juliet' with reference to at least three scenes in the play. Romeo and Juliet is a play written by William Shakespeare who was born in 1564 and died in 1616, during his time he wrote many plays which were prolific including Macbeth, Othello and The Tempest. Theatre in Elizabethan times was marvellous entertainment. Plays would be performed almost anywhere, the theatres were new and extremely popular places for people to meet up socialise. All sorts of people went to watch plays, from the poorest people to the richest. The poor people would stand at the front while the richest would sit down and watch from a more comfortable place. During 1592-93, Shakespeare wrote long poems instead of plays as the theatres were closed due to the plague. The people in this time were very religious and wouldn't have allowed love stories or anything other than violence and conflict, this is why Romeo and Juliet is superseded with much violence and conflict which covers the love story in Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet violence and conflict are very important as a result of the fact that two families in this play dislike each other and are feuding. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that they want to fight the Montague's specifically shows that they contain a lot of hatred towards them. Shakespeare makes violence and conflict in the play dramatic for the audience by initially introducing conflict i.e. even the opposing families servants are arguing later, this escalates into violence i.e. Tybalt and Mercutio fighting and ultimately this ended in death. This scene is important to the rest of the play the reason being it introduces the characters, family's and shows amount of violence and conflict that will be throughout the rest of the play. In Act 3, Scene 1 Mercutio causes fight between him and Tybalt while Benvolio urges him stop: 'I pray thee good Mercutio, let's retire. The day is hot...' here Benvolio is telling Mercutio to go inside as the Capulets are looking for trouble. When Tybalt and Mercutio start to brawl Romeo arrives and tries to break them up. Tybalt then insults Romeo in an attempt to provoke him into a fight, but Romeo responds calmly and will not take up the challenge: 'Tybalt the reason that I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage...'. ...read more.

Conclusion

This scene is important to the rest of the play because her father says he will disown her if she doesn't marry Paris: 'Graze where you will you shall not house with me' and she is in a dilemma because she can't marry two times. Her mother also doesn't want anything to do with her, this is shown when she says: 'Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.' I think Shakespeare made his play violent because in those times people were very religious and they wouldn't have watched his plays if they wasn't violent. This is why he couldn't write Romeo and Juliet as just a love story as that wouldn't have been allowed in those times; therefore he covered up the love in the play with violence and conflict. The violence in the play has the effect of turning it into a tragedy due to the amount of conflict and the death of Romeo and Juliet. It also creates the image of violence being unfair because of the deaths of so many in the play and the tragic end of the two lovers. The violence in the play has the effect of exciting the audience, causing them to worry and think about what will happen to Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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