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GCSE: Romeo and Juliet
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As early as line 3 Shakespeare writes; "from ancient grudge break to new mutiny" which immediately suggests violence and therefore death which of course is physical conflict. However it does not stop there the prologue continues to say "doth with their death bury their parent's strife" the word "death" suggests physical conflict and "bury their parent's strife" suggests verbal/emotional conflict. This line like the other shows the conflict between the "two houses both alike in dignity"; however this line also shows how the families can put all the hatred behind them and somehow reach peace.
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Exploration of how Shakespeare creates dramatic effect and impact in the two fight scenes: Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 1
This part reveals that the 'star cross'd lovers' Romeo and Juliet are both from the two different conflicting families; Juliet is a Capulet and Romeo is a Montague. 'Star cross'd refers to their destiny in the stars, providing a sense of definite fate. It also tells the audience that Romeo and Juliet die, before the play has even begun. This means the audience will be noticing the things that lead up to their terrible fate (which in the end brings peace to both houses).
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So the prologue built them up for a good story which they could understand better and be excited for. Although the modern audiences might find it contrary to their interest if a prologue gives away the ending of a story. The idea of conflict occurs in the prologue. The quotation "From ancient grudge breaks to new mutiny" refers to a long-standing ill-feeling and grudge between two families which leads to new conflicts and confrontations. It relates to fresh outbreak of fights that resulted in death to members from both families.
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Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio is the only character, who brings action and comedy into this play. He makes the audience laugh with his comic humor and transforms the gloomy, grieved scenes into action and fights.
p***k love for pricking, and you beat love down." This suggests that Mercutio is careless about the feelings of love. He doesn't believe in love and has negative feelings about it. He believes that no one should fall that deep in love that they get trapped and are unable to get out of it. Love is like quick sand, where you fall deeper and deeper. "Borrow Cupid's wings and soar with them above a common bound." This shows us the feelings of Mercutio towards love. He only cares about s*x; he doesn't want himself or his cousin Romeo to be in love with anyone.
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So, by making this prologue it would increase the suspense and the audience would know that they were in for a good play. Shakespeare uses the prologue to outline the main events but also to introduce major themes of the play. Throughout we are exposed to a variety of different themes. At the beginning of the play in scene 1 we are immediately immersed into a theme of hatred and conflict between the two sides. The audience is shown the extent of the feud right at the beginning, "I will cut off their heads," Shakespeare would used the violet conflict at the beginning in the hope of building suspense and showing the possible dangers.
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Nevertheless Shakespeare created exhilaration by writing the play in his own version in 2-3 days. Also, Shakespeare creates tension by making Juliet's age younger from 18 to 13; by making Juliet's age younger we know that she is young and immature. Shakespeare speeds up the action, whereas Brooke gives the lovers three months of married love, but Shakespeare rushes the play and allows them only one night. Mercutio and Tybalt are little more than names in the poem, however Shakespeare appends lots of excitement and tension by giving Mercutio and Tybalt big parts in the play, which turn them into characters, which create both tragedy and comedy.
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Explore the role and character of Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Consider in what ways he contributes to the dramatic impact of the play at key moments, in addition to his dramatic function and characterisation
life, as he says "My child is yet a stranger in the world," and soon afterwards "too soon marred are those so early made [mothers]". He calls her his "hopeful lady of my earth", and implores Paris to "woo" her before they arrange the marriage. Despite the events later on in the play, Capulet's behaviour in this scene is arguably quite commendable from a modern perspective; In a society where Fathers are expected to make decisions for their daughter without consent, Capulet chooses instead - at this point, at least - to give his daughter a fighting chance of avoiding this marriage.
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We also see that Paris had asked Capulet for Juliet's hand in marriage once before, "But saying o'er what I have said before:" Capulet had obviously rejected Paris' request, suggesting that Capulet does care for Juliet and they both must have had a pleasant relationship between them. He then slightly changes his decision afterwards; "But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart - My will to her consent is but a part." Capulet is now allowing Paris' request for Juliet's hand in marriage as long as Juliet will accept him.
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What do you think are the dramatic functions of the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet? How effective do you think this scene is as an introduction to the rest of the play?
It seems that everybody is affected by the hate everyone is drawn in and infected by it. But we also see love in this scene at least we think its love. Romeo's apparent love for Rosaline, which we find out later to be mere desire. Although the first print of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was in published in 1597, the story dates back to 1476, more than a century earlier. In these times marriage played a very important role in society. Young women would be married off to older men to form profitable alliances between families. It was rare for people to marry for love.
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Therefore, the play will be tragic and it will end up with the death of the two lovers. The audience already knows these things as it is told in the prologue at the very beginning: "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; This creates dramatic irony because the audience already know what is going to happen but they cannot stop anything. The scene is a roller coaster of emotions. Shakespeare creates dramatic effectiveness in this scene as he contracts the themes of love, hate, power and fate in one scene.
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The Chorus in the prologue tells us of the protagonists "death-marked love" and Romeo, commenting on the mess and chaos left by the opening clash between the Montagues and Capulets declares that all emotions are linked, "O brawling love! O loving hate!" thus establishing the play's emotional complexity. His confusion at this early part in the play is down to his love for Rosaline and his choice of words, "feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health" seem doom laden and at odds with expressions of love.
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By wondering what is going to happen it makes us want to see the end and it makes people stay. Just one line gives away so much "A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life". From this you learn that there are two people in love and they kill themselves. They way they wrote "star-cross'd lovers" makes you think its not just any love, it's a special love the "star-cross'd" makes you think its special because stars are special. Hearing this you'd wonder why because it's an odd thing to have in a play, that the two main characters kill themselves.
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In Act three, scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare has managed to combine action, drama and tension.
Thus, this scene is a tragic one as Romeo is driven away from Verona and his love Juliet. Throughout the second act a sense of happiness was created but suddenly the scene then becomes tragic. Tybalt's death could have been prevented by Romeo but he was unwise and decided to maintain his codes of honour rather than be true to his love and this then brought about the death of his friend Mercutio. This is sadly ironic. Benvolio's opening lines immediately create tension, interest and excitement initially through Shakespeare's use of foreshadowing, the irony becomes too dark.
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This includes one of the first references we see to light and dark, day and night, which also link to life and death. This is through the representation of the night and stars, and the day and morning. The "jocund day" that is being described shows just some of the irony that is included in the play, because for many of the characters this day is going to actually be quite distressing. The personification of the 'day' tiptoeing on the "misty mountain tops" is a very creative image that is describing the sun rising up over the valleys and mountainside.
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With close reference to Acts 1 and 5, examine how Shakespeare explores the theme of love in Romeo and Juliet
The second quatrain tells us that the feud is ended and the two families reconciled on after the death of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. "A pair of star-cross'd lovers."In the third quatrain we are told that the story of this is conflict and ends in a tragic way. The final two lines ask for the audience to pay attention. It is significant that the prologue is written in a sonnet form as it is telling the audience that the nature of the story will be based around the theme of love.
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In 1594 when the play was first performed, theatre was the only form of entertainment available to people of all classes. During this period of time people were in great fear of the bubonic plague, having episodes crop up in London and all around the country. The disease was a fast and painful killer and wiped out hundreds of people, for the Elizabethans who first witnessed the play's plague references this would have brought huge paranoia and shock, "Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?".
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This is obviously demonstrated during the drama as Capulet and Montague are the heads of their respective families. Because of the rivalry between the two patriarchs, both families are made to dislike or hate the other, causing Romeo and Juliet to keep their love for each other secret from their relatives. As well, in the Elizabethan era, men had more power than women and wives were treated as possessions of their fathers or, if they were married, their husbands. They were expected to obey every order and not to challenge men. Because of these reasons, in Act 3 Scene 5, an Elizabethan audience would sympathize with Capulet and Lady Capulet because they were accepted as the heads of the household; their authority should not be tested in the disobedient manner that Juliet and the Nurse do.
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The first is the physical conflict that is the constant hatred between the Capulets and the Montagues. The second is the emotional conflict that is the inner turmoil of young Romeo Montague, who is very confused with love. He is in love with a girl called Rosalyne, however the love is unrequited-so she doesn't love him back. Act 1 Scene 1 sees the 2 types of conflict fairly distant, however as the play develops, they start to intertwine- leading to the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet; also bringing, perhaps ironically the end to both conflicts.
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He is suggesting that when a girl gets married so young, later in life they could be psychologically and physically affected. We get the impression that maybe his own wife, Lady Capulet was married young or maybe a previous bride of Capulet, and so he is showing he does care for Juliet and does not want anything to happen to her. Although Capulet is not sure about Paris' suit, he does not know if he will ever find another man as perfect as Paris, so his emphasis is very much on delaying thoughts of marriage rather than putting Paris off completely.
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He was wrong. His plan provokes the opposite reaction to the one he expected. He expects Juliet to cheer up rather more quickly than she did after Tybalt's death, but he is surprised to find her "still in tears". Personally I cannot blame her for being upset, Capulet, on the other hand, seems very nonplussed over the death of his "brother's son". Capulet describes the death of Tybalt thus: "When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew; But for the sunset of my brother's son It rains downright" Capulet does effectively say that Tybalt's death is more catastrophic than the death of day when he compares the two as downpour and drizzle respectively.
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The Friar's close relationship with Romeo is also revealed in this scene, as Romeo confesses his love for Juliet to Friar Laurence, who is clearly accustomed to hearing Romeo's confessions of love and who has evidently given him advice in the past. His knowledge of Romeo's life builds the reputation that he is a man of trust, not one that would deceive a true friend, although other parts of the speech indicate a slight foreshadowing of the incidents that will occur - "Within the infant rind of this small flower / Poison hath residence, and medicine power; / ...Full soon the canker death eats up that plant".
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Mercutio uses the words "alla stoccate" meaning rapier thrust which is Tybalt's nickname. Mercutio is continuously mounting his rage until he can hold it no more. "vile submission". Mercutio fights Tybalt because he thinks it is cowardly and dishonourable towards his house, also it will stain their reputation. He takes the fight for Romeo. He shows a lot of loyalty and respect for Romeo. To uphold his reputation he makes fun of Tybalt when he takes up the fight. "Tybalt you rat-catcher will you walk" Mercutio refers to him as a "rat-catcher"; he does this to take advantage of his name.
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For example, the prologue states that: 'a pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life.' This could mean a variety of reasons but the most important being that the prologue mentioned Romeo and Juliet as 'Star cross'd' basically outlining the loves as opposites, hinting to the audience the misfortune and danger to soon enter their lives. Also in the 16th century most people believed that fate and destiny controlled their lives and understood the second indication when the prologue explained their relationship as 'death-mark'd love' also hinting that the love shared between the two was destined for tragedy.
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Everyone feels sorrow for them as it is about a tragic story about young love. The Prologue is a chorus for which is written for a Greek version of Romeo and Juliet. It is basically saying the storyline and that it is a tragedy, for example it says" a fearful passage of their death-marked love". It tells it's a tragedy as Shakespeare uses words like "fateful" and "death". It also uses words like "Fatal...death marked love...blood" all exemplify violence throughout the play which contributes to the tragedy.
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The entry of Lord Capulet (phase three) shows how Lord Capulet reacts to Juliet refusing to marry Paris, who he has already chosen for her. The Mother and the Nurse part (phase four) shows the nurse's change of heart and how she tries to persuade Juliet to marry and Paris and forget about Romeo. This phase also shows the audience how Juliet's feelings for the nurse change. The scene on a whole is well planned out and well written. Shakespeare makes his points clear in this scene.
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