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

Compare and Contrast two scenes in Romeo and Juliet which explore key themes in the play

Extracts from this document...


Compare and Contrast any two scenes in Romeo & Juliet which explore key themes of the play In this essay I will be comparing two scenes within the play that convey similar and contrasting themes. The themes I have chosen to contrast are love, hatred, loyalty, time and fate. I will also look at how Shakespeare uses these themes to characterise the protagonists and antagonists, moving it towards its tragic denouement. The scenes I have chosen are Act 2 Scene 2, the famous balcony scene, in which Romeo and Juliet fall deep into blinding love and agree to marry; and Act 3 Scene 1, in which a terrible fight breaks out between Tybalt and the Montagues, resulting in Tybalt and Mercutio's deaths, and Romeo's exile. I have chosen these scenes because they show such contrast that it is hard to believe that they are in the same play. They also uses a wide range of themes that are used in very different ways within the two scenes, as well as this, the scenes are two of the most romantic and exciting of the entire play. ...read more.


The anger shown in this scene is portrayed through Tybalt and Mercutio's constant taunting of each other. This creates dramatic irony as neither Mercutio nor Tybalt know of Romeo's wedding to Juliet. Mercutio calls Tybalt a "rat-catcher" and "King of the Cats", in a very intimidating and demeaning way. This is a definite contrast to the balcony scene which rejects the families' hatred of each other based merely on their names. The role of Mercutio in this scene shows the extent of the enmity for Mercutio belongs to neither house yet is caught up in the fighting between them, showing that the hatred is beyond just the families. Loyalty is one of the central themes for both scenes; however, the way in which the characters express their loyalty is very different. In 3.1, the "ancient grudge" brings together the various alliances. The Capulet Tybalt feels passionate towards his family, referring to Romeo as "boy", a very degrading and insulting form of address. Mercutio too, despite being neither Montague nor Capulet sides with Romeo and is dismayed by Romeo's "cowardice", exclaiming disbelievingly, "O calm, dishonourable, vile submission". ...read more.


This personification of fortune as a being rather than a "force" adds to the shock of the scene. It shows Romeo's frank description of himself and of his position and the theme of fate and hatred are used to move Romeo's quite backward character to the present. Fate leads Romeo into exile, where he can no longer see Juliet, and in an attempt to, leads to his death. The fate described in 2.2 is far less morbid and fearful as it is in 3.1 onwards. However, its optimism proves to be short-lived as the tragedy engulfs the play's action In conclusion, Shakespeare's use of many contrasting and similar themes within the play brings out the great tragedy in Romeo and Juliet which makes it one of the most famous plays in English literature. Shakespeare conveys these varied themes through the characters' speeches and body language and actions. They dominate the play, and are present within every scene, though especially in the ones I have discussed in this essay. Shakespeare shows that no matter how different the scenes are, they are all linked by the themes that ere expressed within them. For it is not one, but all the themes combined that lead to the tragic deaths of both Romeo and Juliet and the woeful ending to the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Simon Lock ...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. Analyse the character of Tybalt and explore his role in the play 'Romeo and ...

    Tybalt is actively seeking vengeance, but is no less aware of the danger of confronting a Montague supporter. His first words are; 'Follow me close, for I will speak to them' These words are directed at Petruchio, a friend of Tybalt's who is accompanying him.

  2. In Romeo and Juliet there are lots of opposing themes. Explore how the themes ...

    This is one of the many prophetic images Shakespeare uses throughout Romeo and Juliet, all of which are used to great affect. Another example is in scene four, where Romeo voices his fears of an "untimely death", and feels that if he enters the Capulet's ball it will bring about

  1. I will be examining the presentation of Romeo's character throughout key scenes in the ...

    also allowing the audience to empathise with Romeo who does not want to fight, as Juliet is Tybalt's cousin. However Mercutio infuriated by Romeo resilience and sees his actions as 'calm, dishonourable, vile submission' because of Romeo unwillingness to fight Tybalt, even though Tybalt has stained his reputation.

  2. Juliet's characterisation in "Romeo and Juliet"

    The Nurse is the closest person to Juliet. She has been looking after Juliet since she was born and wants more than anything to see her happily married. Juliet asks her to help her find the name of the person she just kissed.

  1. Discuss and compare the pivotal two scenes that impact on the dramatic action of ...

    been previously said at the beginning of the play in the Prologue. In the Prologue we are told that the deaths of the 'star-crossed lovers' (line 6) is the only way their 'parents' rage' (line 10) will end. The knowledge of their certain death adds pathos to our view of events.

  2. Romeo & Juliet - An exploration of the ways Shakespeare sustains our interest in ...

    Elizabethan plays nearly always have a sharp scene at the beginning to engage the audience as quickly as possible and to put a stop to their chatter and get them involved in the play. The Capulet servants openly play with the Montague servants in the streets, leading them on as to propose a fight.

  1. In spite of its title 'Romeo and Juliet' has few scenes In which both ...

    This is Romeo and Juliet's first meeting and therefore very important in making their love believable. Romeo sees Juliet first and instantly expresses amazement of her beauty, saying "O she doth teach the torches to burn bright" and "So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows."

  2. How does Shakespeare Express the Themes and Characters on Stage - Romeo and Juliet.

    Tybalt runs away in fear. When Mercutio dies Romeo is transformed rage. Romeo is really angry and feeling guilty because he held back Mercutio. He runs after Tybalt for revenge. He forgets Juliet and kills Tybalt. Romeo shouts " O, I am fortunes fool." This shows that he feels that he has no control of

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