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Romeo and Juliet Study of Male Characters

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Introduction

How does the language of these three key scenes help to put across the violence and aggression between the men and how does this make Romeo and Juliet an exciting and dramatic play? 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of the most famous of Shakespeare's plays, as his use of language and the themes put across s appealed very strongly to past and modern audiences. Shakespeare makes use of dramatic irony, innuendo, metaphors and oxymoron's to interlock a passionate- if not desperate- romance with violence, aggression and tragedy- making Romeo and Juliet an exciting and dramatic play for the audience. Throughout the key scenes, we see Shakespeare using language with great intelligence, creating a play dripping with tension and masculinity. During the play, we see displays of inner pride, as well as outer pride amongst the male characters, and it's this pride that causes the majority of apprehension and tension. In Act 1 Scene 1, the audience is plunged immediately into a scene of masculinity. At first this is displayed through typical 'lads' humour, boasting about fighting and innuendo; making jokes about taking the maids virginity- " Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads, take it in what sense thou wilt." ...read more.

Middle

more shows the honour that the houses posses and that the characters have so much pride that even in death they will not admit defeat. In his dying moments, Mercutio cures both of the houses "A plague o' both your houses!"- signifying that things will get a great deal worse from this point onwards, sending the play into a new level of tragedy. This new level of tragedy also sets in motion a change in Romeos character. Romeo no longer remains a peacemaker as portrayed in previous scenes, but now he becomes possessed with hatred and revenge. This revenge shows us that Romeo holds a great deal of honour upon his house, and he will do anything- even kill a man- to uphold the family's name. Tybalt leaves and Romeo swears revenge and so chases after Tybalt and kills him. After this news Prince Escalus banishes Romeo from Verona. Throughout this scene, we can see that Shakespeare changes how the characters address each other. Before Mercutio's death, all characters speak in prose but after his death, characters speak in blank verse. This could be to signify a change in Romeo, and his outlook, as up to this point, Romeo has been an optimist but we see his change greatly into a darker character after the death of his best friend. ...read more.

Conclusion

After this inevitable moment in the play, all violence and aggression in the play is taken away, and replaced with a new found respect. Throughout the whole play, violence and aggression had been the fuel for the characters, until the deaths, where sorrow becomes to overriding theme. "For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo." In conclusion, Shakespeare's use of language helps put across violence and aggression between the men by varying the form in which the violence and aggression comes across, and the amounts in which they are put forward. The language he uses allows violence and aggression to carry the play forward, and promote a great deal of emotion. I think that the way in which Shakespeare has crafted the play is extremely effective; his use of dramatic irony within the play seems to be what grips the audience most. Shakespeare obviously thought very carefully about how much to let the audience in on and every ounce of detail that the audience knows or doesn't know adds to the tension of the play and leaves them wanting more. Also, the way in which Shakespeare varies how violence is put across add a lot more depth to the play, drawing the audience in and allowing them to create an emotional bond with the characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephanie Howe 10Jacobs ...read more.

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