How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?

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Darrell Cain

How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?

Shakespeare has taken this story from a basic tale which can be traced back to the thirteenth century, edited the story a little to make the actions of the characters even more outrageous, for example, Juliet is not even fourteen, and she is already bedding Romeo, whom we must hope is also fourteen, and turned it into one of the most renowned plays of the Elizabethan era, with the theme of conflict.

There are many forms of conflict in the world. The most obvious image is that of a tank blowing apart a group of infantry. There are, however, other forms of conflict, such as parent and child when they can not get their homework done, or parent and teacher, when a child gets an unusually low mark. However, in Romeo and Juliet, the conflicts are familial and very violent. Even though this is supposed to be the tale of 'a pair of star-crossed lovers', there is a lot of references to death and ill-fates.

Shakespeare explores numerous different types of conflict within this play, including parental and child, as Juliet argues with her parents about her arranged marriage to Paris, which is the last thing that she wants, as she is already married to Romeo. Romeo experiences an internal conflict when he discovers Juliet is a Capulet, but still wishes to court her any way. Then there is the violent inter-familial conflict, usually started or enhanced by Tybalt. For example, if Tybalt had helped Benvolio to stop the fight in the first scene, instead of attacking him, then there would have been no major fight in that scene, and the Prince would not have told the people to keep the peace on pain of death, a large number of references to which can be found in the prologue.

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The Prologue is recited at the start of the play to tell the audience what the next two hours has in store for them, rather like a blurb on the back of a book. It would help to remove disruptive elements from the audience, as any who dislike the story would be able to leave the area before the play started. It would also help to draw attention to the stage and the fact that the play is about to start, giving people a chance to settle down before the important opening section of the play. The ...

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