• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

William Shakespeare was, and still is the world's most admired and respected playwright.

Extracts from this document...


William Shakespeare was, and still is the world's most admired and respected playwright. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1544 to parents John and Mary, William was educated at Stratford Grammar School, receiving an excellent education. Young Shakespeare grew an early interest in performance and when he was in his early twenties he fled his wife, Anne Hathaway, to travel to London pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. His love for acting later developed into him writing plays along with starring in them. This then developed further, with Shakespeare constructing theatres in which his plays would be displayed, the most known of which was the Globe theatre. This theatre was round so that the majority of the crowd could watch his plays. Though they contained two sections; a seated area at the top of the theatre for the higher class, giving a clear view. Then there was the pit; this was where poor spectators would watch. His first play, Comedy Of Errors, although not as popular now, was a big hit in its prime. As shown by the opinions of many the most appreciated and well known of Shakespeare's works was Romeo and Juliet. Romeo & Juliet was written during a period when Shakespeare had accessed the full potential of his writing skills. He would have been about 31 years old when he wrote it. It stands as a great play in its own right. It is believed that Romeo & Juliet was written around 1595. This is shown in act 2 when The Nurse in the play refers to "an earthquake eleven years past." ...read more.


As Tybalt set out to fight Romeo, Tybalt has nothing against Mercutio, other than the fact that Mercutio is a Montague. Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a duel, which he accepts. Shakespeare's use of language adds tension to this particular scene. For example, when Mercutio challenges Tybalt: "Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out." Shakespeare shows the audience that Mercutio is not scared of Tybalt, this is shown as Mercutio says that Tybalt had better draw his sword quickly otherwise he would cut off Tybalt's ears before the sword is out. This use of language, which plants grotesque imagery in the audience's mind helps to build up the tension in the scene. This is another factor, making this scene a turning point in the play. The tension that builds, results in a duel between Mercutio and Tybalt. Romeo tries to persuade Mercutio not to fight: "Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up." Romeo's efforts to persuade them otherwise, by reminding them both about how the Prince has forbidden fighting anywhere on the streets of Verona, were in vain. The fight commences, and Romeo steps between the dueling pair. Tybalt stabs Mercutio, under Romeo's arm, Mercutio dies from his injuries. Mercutio's death can be seen as a turning point in the play, as it leads to Tybalt's death, and from there on in events worsen for Romeo. Moreover, whilst Mercutio is dying, he insults both houses: "A plague a'both your houses." ...read more.


The language Shakespeare uses to portray such moments is essential as the scenes and actions described would be dull without the fu=figurative language, wisely placed by William Shakespeare. This language alters for each of the characters in Romeo and Juliet and makes character unique in such a way that without the language they would be almost all the same. For example, mercutio, is portrayed as the less serious 'joker' of Romeo and his associates; this is image is mainly put across to the reader through the language used by mercutio. 'Here's my fiddle stick, here's that shall make you dance.' This shows mercutio using metaphors to taunt tybalt into play fighting with mercutio. Where he says his 'fiddle stick' this refers to Mercutio's sword and as mercutio states that his sword will encourage tybalt to join in his play fight, as if the music coming from his fiddle is tempting tybalt to dance t his music. This gives the image that mercutio believes he is in control and by using his sword he can force tybalt in to doing whatever he wishes. Though his arrogant language used portrays a lighthearted image of Mercutio, he also possesses a serious side to his persona. 'I am hurt. A plague o' both your houses! I am sped. Is he gone, and hath nothing?' This is said by mercutio just after Tybalt has stabbed him; he is cursing both the Capulet and the Montague houses as he feels that his death would not occur if the feud between the two families did not exist. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and Contrast the characters of Mercutio and Tybalt.

    3 star(s)

    Lurhmann version was made so it would appeal to a younger new generation by influencing things from today. Some of the modern influences in the Lurhmann version were guns, cars "new music" and other objects most of us relate to that weren't used in Shakespeare's time.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present The Character Of Romeo Montague?

    The over- exaggerated performance that Shakespeare writes for the character of Romeo is maintained throughout until the end of Act 3 Scene 3. As the nurse enters, Romeo lunges for her in hope of word from Juliet. The nurse tells him that Juliet weeps for days on end because she is missing him so.

  1. Compare 'Macbeth and 'Romeo and Juliet' as tragedies - which do you find more ...

    However, when Macduff tells him to 'despair thy charm' and reveals that he 'was from his mothers womb untimely ripped', Macbeth suddenly becomes resigned when facing death, even if it is after a spell of despair and cowardliness. He agrees to fight with Macduff till the last even though he will die.

  2. How is Death And Violence Portrayed In Romeo And Juliet By William Shakespeare?

    Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall". When they come across two Montagues and the aggression spills over into confrontation as the Capulets begin to 'bite their thumbs' at the Montagues. This is a sign of disrespect ("I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it")

  1. To what extent are Conflict and Love inextricably linked in the play 'Romeo and ...

    The first scene of the whole play is an action-packed and enlightening scene. Act One, Scene One starts with a fight, which builds audience expectation early on, between Montague and Capulet servants, who go by the names of Gregory, Sampson and Abraham.

  2. Mercutio, Benvolio and Tybalt give us three very different portraits of the young men ...

    Mercutio gets so carried away during this long speech that Romeo interrupts, "Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace. Thou talk'st of nothing." This suggests to me that Mercutio loves to hear his own voice. Mercutio uses lots of sexual puns and in some cases he goes too far.

  1. Romeo and Juliet theatre production essay.

    The power of an actor would be shown by his ability to command the attention of the audience. It has been estimated that about 20 to 25 percent of the population attended the playhouses, which again is a far higher percentage than today.

  2. How is pride and honour portrayed by the characters Tybalt and Mercutio in Romeo ...

    He seems scared and worried for his life, as if sub-consciously knowing that he has gone too far. Following on there is a short street battle, until Romeo finds a Capulet gun and shoots Tybalt many times before falling into a fountain underneath the Friar Laurence?s Church.

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