Romeo and Juliet is still relevant because Shakespeare has created a unique play which involves love, violence deception, humour as well as issues currently going on. The language Shakespeare has used to describe the characters was extraordinary. This story was a love story, but not any love story but that of “star crossed lovers” this script was filled with love, hate, passion and deception. The hate scenes were between the families, this was because the families were archrivals. The passionate part of the play was the love scenes between Romeo and Juliet. The parts that were deceiving were the love at first sight, young, good looking and vulnerable youth madly in love but the most beguilement thing about Romeo and Juliet relationship was that their names were Montague and Capulet. Shakespeare explains all with just a few, extraordinary scripts and made it free from obscurity and easy to understand (clarity)
Romeo’s character is impetuous, decisive, immature, manipulative, rash and violent. When he is impetuous he keeps changing his mind, an example of this behaviour is when he falls in love with Juliet and forgets about Rosaline. Romeo was very decisive when he wanted to kill Tybalt. The part where Romeo was violent was when he wanted to kill Tybalt. He was also very manipulative when he bluffed the apothecary into selling him poison by exploiting his need for money and his poverty state. He was really immature at times when he kept crying and moaning about everything. Romeo always wanted to be idealistic, he fell in love with Juliet and also wanted a marriage although he knew that their families were foes. He was genuinely multi-faced and his emotions showed this and took over him. He was more than often childish and impulsive.
The first w meeting between Romeo and the audience was when he graciously writes lines of sweet words describing his love for Rosaline. Benvolio the cousin of Romeo had a brief conversation with the Montague’s (Romeo’s parents) as they discussed their distress about Romeo’s strange behaviour in recent days. So Benvolio was asked by Romeo’s parents to find out what was wrong with him and find the cause behind Romeo’s strange behaviour. Benvolio finds out that the cause of his problems is Rosaline and he tries to talk him out of the concept of Rosaline. Romeo then starts to use oxymorons. Oxymorons are words that are used in a sentence that have an opposite meaning.
“O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well seeming forms!”
The way Romeo uses these oxymorons, this describes his character as unstable and love struck. He shows this with his words and does this show he really loves her? This is why he uses oxymorons.
“Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here
This is not Romeo, he’s some other where”
What the meaning of this quotation is he is full of contradiction and this shows how confused Romeo is. When Romeo uses the oxymoron
“Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love
Why then O brawling love, O loving hate”
In this quotation Romeo is showing confusion by how much pain love is causing him and why Rosaline isn’t recricating.
The first time Romeo and Juliet meet it was love at first site for both of them. He was admiring Juliet, this time he was not thinking about himself, but he was thinking about Juliet. This is like when he thought he had a relationship with Rosaline but she didn’t want to know him. This showed he changed character so quickly and this is called multi-facade. He had suddenly changed into a mature person. The way Romeo and Juliet was written shows that Shakespeare was really poetic, thus Romeo starts speaking in sonnets. A sonnet is a 14-line poem that expresses one’s feelings but in the sonnet Romeo speaks in he exaggerates. He spoke like a poet, not like a “boy” with urges. Romeo and Juliet both speak in the sonnet, the male character usually spoke this, this is showing that Romeo wasn’t thinking of himself and took this as an equal partnership.
“O she doth teach torches to burn bright
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night”
This shows that Romeo is become more mature, he was become poetic signs of manhood and Juliet was part of the sonnet. It now seems that both have an equal role and one cannot be without the other. Romeo feels that this is the ‘real thing’. That this is true love, which is not just an attraction as it was with Rosaline.
In Elizabethan times a boy would have played the character of Juliet because women were treated as second class to men. Shakespeare cleverly used love poetry at the meeting between Romeo and Juliet to make the relationship more realistic and alive. This showed the passion, love and the love between Romeo and Juliet was unique and special. This was a spectacular relationship in the making. In Elizabethan time the audience would not tolerated a kiss between two men, so Shakespeare expressed this with sweet love poetry, which was humble, true and unique. Therefore Romeo’s character changed from an immature boy in love (thought he was in love) with Rosaline to a mature young adult in love with Juliet.
The sonnet used by Shakespeare is full of religious imagery, this shows that their relationship is equal or a partnership. He uses the sonnet to prove Romeo and Juliet love is pure and true
“The holy shrine the gentle sin in this
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand”
Romeo uses the words “holy shrine” to describe Juliet. It is as she is to be worshipped like a holy shrine thus his love for her is true and that their love is beyond physical. He uses many religious words such as “saints”, “prays”, “pilgrims” and “sin”. This showed that they were asking each other if their love was a sin. Is it natural? Is this a sign that things are doomed? “Star-crossed lovers” Shakespeare uses the language to give the reader signs of love which will be against all odds. Is it all to do with fate?
“Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again”
The scene at the balcony starts when Juliet comes out onto the balcony above Romeo9 not knowing Romeo was there). This leads itself to the type of comparisons that Romeo starts to use such as “sun”, “moon”, “stars” and “heaven” all to do with him looking up to her.
“It is the east, and Juliet is the sun
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon”
In this quotation Romeo is describing Juliet’s beauty to the sun as it shines brighter than the moon. He can’t wait to see her again as he wants to be blessed by her beauty. He also uses such as “twinkle” to create an image of moonlight thus Shakespeare relied in using words in this way to create an atmosphere present as there was no special effects available at that time.
“The brightness of her cheek would shame, those stars
As daylight doth of lamp, her eyes in heaven”
Shakespeare cleverly uses language to express the fire and the love between Romeo and Juliet.
Juliet is very practical she realises that their relationship is “too rash too advanced” but Romeo does not think about the situation as he is truly in love, devoted and passionate about Juliet. Romeo is very dramatic in these scenes and is also quite stupid. He can’t see the seriousness of the situation. His lines are over exaggerated declarations of love and Juliet reacts to theses by saying
” O swear not by the moon, th’ unconstant moon
That monthly changes in her corded orb
Lest that thy love prone likewise variable”
This shows that she is judging Romeo’s faithfulness of his love to her. She tells Romeo to slow down. She thinks things are moving too fast.
“I have no joy of this contact tonight
It is too rash, too advised, too sudden
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say ‘it lighter’ ”
Juliet uses words such as lightning and lighters as lightning is quick to strike and that is the pace of their relationship. Romeo realises and also fears that all is happening is too good to be true
“I am afraid,
Doing in night, all this is but a dream
Too flattering sweet to be substantial”
This show Romeo knows that there are going too fast and he can’t believe it as it was a dream. Shakespeare is trying to show that Romeo is excited and he knows, that he needs to slow down but love is taking the better part of him, but Romeo just wants to get Juliet thus hints of his marriage proposal
When Romeo goes to Friar Laurence, the first thing the Friar realises is that Romeo is up very early which was unusual. He asks about Romeo’s relationship with Rosaline and he says he’s over her, which was a surprise to Friar Lawrence
“God pardon sin! Was t thou Rosaline?”
“With Rosaline, my ghostly father? No
I have forgotten that name, and that names woe”
Hearing this the friar was very happy for Romeo, but Romeo is trying to tell him what has been happening with Juliet. He doesn’t get to the point but he instead uses riddles. He finally tells him and the Friar says that this is bad. Romeo tries to convince the Friar.
“I’ll tell thee us we pass, but this I pray
That thou consent to marry us to day”
The Friar gets seriously worried but Romeo has been convincing the Friar. The Friar is worried that if he solves one problem he might create another
“Net in a grave
To lay one in, another out to have”
The Friar then agrees to marry them, but he thinks by merging the two, the two families will become friends and forget there past affairs. He is trying to create a friendship, but he is worried and knowing how Romeo is the Friar tells him to be wise
“Wisely and slow, they stumble of run fast”
This means that Romeo should be careful and he should not rush into things
The scene when Tybalt comes looking for Romeo to duel him was unexpected and Tybalt did not know of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Instead of meeting Romeo, Mercuito is there. Tybalt asks if he can have a word with one of them but Mercuito makes a homosexual remark
“Mercuito, thou consort’s with Romeo,”
This meaning that Mercuito had feeling for Romeo. Tybalt wants a fight as Romeo comes back. Romeo doesn’t want to fight because of his marriage to Juliet. Rather than Romeo having a fight Mercuito offers to fight Tybalt. The two of them start to brawl and Romeo tells his friends to fight. This chaos results in Mercuito getting stabbed by Tybalt and he tells everyone it is just a scratch although he wanted to be helped. No one takes him seriously as he is always joking around and they do not now that Mercuito is dying. As Mercuito helps himself for a last few breaths of air he curses the families
“Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses!”
After this Romeo finds out that Mercuito is dead and this triggers him and he goes after Tybalt they then start to fight and with rage Romeo kills Tybalt. After this Benvolio tell Romeo to run away and the prince banishes him form Verona. This shows that Romeo character keeps on changing. From a boy in love rushing things to a raging beast full of anger. Romeo has the ability to change and show different forms of emotion.
Following this Romeo complains about banishment saying that the banishment was worse than death. He moans that he will not see his family and friends but not forgetting that his life was spared. He thanks no-one and weeps as well