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    William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to the play as a whole Essay

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    Romeo and Juliet was written by Shakespeare he was, a world renowned play writer and a lot of his plays are still performed today he is best known for writing plays about life. For example Romeo and Juliet was a play written about the love between two people. He has also written comedies which at the time would have been both witty and humorous however today’s audience may find it harder to find such things as are shown in the Tempest for example. We can assume that when Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet he was trying to capture the different human emotions possessed by each individual.

    The prologue is read to you at the start of the play it is an important part of the play because it outlines the story and what the audience can expect to see, “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;” the way this is read is significant, it helps build up intrigue in the play and therefore keeps the audience engaged in what there watching. It may have told the audience the ending but the way in which it does is important at the same time as making the audience wonder, it does also leave the audience wondering; ‘what would bring them to do it?’ ‘Why did they do it?’ These thoughts are what the prologue is trying to instil in the audience and it does it very effectively using a variety of means. It gives the audience some idea of the time this feud has been going on for, “From ancient grudge to new mutiny,” this suggests that it has been going on for a long time and the prologue continues to say that the death of these ‘lovers’ will in some way effect this feud.

    The two houses are carefully put together, by creating such diverse characters on both sides of the two houses they are able to easily be distinguished and there are certainly no two characters the same, by choosing to do this Shakespeare has separated them further. In addition this helps the reader understand the characters and therefore aids them to identify with them, which is crucial because it makes any later performance easier to understand, i.e. why a character is behaving in a specific way. It is effective because it relates to the individual the one viewer, which is again what it is trying to do. It is trying to capture the individual watching making it a more personal and meaningful to the audience as a whole the characters continue to reveal themselves to the audience as the story progresses either through their actions or their attitude to the situations which are presented in front of them.

    Act 1 scene 1 begins with confusion the fight between the two houses is both pointless and extremely relevant, the prologue gives the reader a taster of the play it doesn’t in fact explain why this feud has gone on as long as It has this is what the first act and scene do. Act 1 scene 1 develops characters in the play Benvolio trying to stop the fight “Put up your swords, you know not what you do.” As a to every peace keeper there has to be another side the aggressor Tybalt fits this stereotype.

    In this scene he is especially aggressive as he dismisses any attempt by Benvolio to stop the fight, showing this kind of aggression portrays Tybalt in the eyes of the audience as an aggressive character further helping the audience to understand the character and this is mimicked for other characters for this scene and indeed the play as a whole.

    Act 1 scene 1 also introduces the two main leaders this helps the audience better understand the characters. These two men Capulet and Montague are therefore the oldest fighters in this feud, the men seem both to be controlled by there wives when Lady Capulet suggests that her husband would be better of with a crutch it shoes the audience that she understands that this feud has lost its meaning. If it was a genuine war in her eyes then she would in theory be willing her husband on, the reasons she may have for not encouraging or backing him up are there is no clear reason why these two houses hate each other. A war with no meaning, they have been fighting for so long “From ancient grudge,” that she views it as a mother would view her child she would calm the rage illogical rage that Capulet has for Montague. The fact that these men are head of the two families shows the audience why this feud is still so intense if the older generation with the most power aren’t making an effort to resolve it therefore the younger generation following there fathers example are going to continue this violence towards each other this is all extremely important as it starts the play off full of questions ready to be answered.

    There is a very clear definition between the good and the bad characters in Romeo and Juliet. Tybalt gives the impression that he is unnecessarily aggressive towards Romeo, in particular after he is seen at the Capulet party. There next meeting after the part is shown in act 3 scene 1

    It is arguable that Romeo could be blamed for Tybalt’s aggressiveness, “Boy, this shalt not excuse the injuries that thou hast done me.” we know that Tybalt doesn’t know about the marriage, and therefore this entire escapade is because Romeo was seen at the Capulet party. There is one line, which does two very important things, it builds Tybalt’s character and does in fact explain the reason through Tybalt’s eyes, which is a far more effective way of finding out how someone feels about another, “What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montague’s, and thee.” This is Tybalt’s character, a stereotype of him which doesn’t change throughout, however it does continue to develop, “Gentlemen,” Tybalt uses this to talk to Mercutio and a group of Montague’s. It is obvious that he isn’t being nice but he is in fact being sarcastic and patronizing.

    The different relationships between the characters start to create a relationship structure in which you can see the feelings which the characters show, as with Romeo and Juliet the feeling is obviously love and in Act 3 Scene I it is accurately portrayed when Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt as his marriage to Juliet means that much to him that he is willing to go against his own beliefs. However as there is a clear definition between the good characters and the bad Romeo is just sticking to how a true ‘gentleman’ would behave with dignity and honor.

    The love, which Romeo and Juliet have for each other, is unquestionable one unique thing about there love is that it became so intense so quickly after just splitting up with his girlfriend he nearly instantly forgets her and falls in love all over again.

    from their first meeting to the dramatic end the bond they have doesn’t diminish even when Juliet hears of Tybalt murder she still welcomes her husband this over casts any doubt that the audience may have had about there love. The feud doesn’t stop for them, they have to continue their usual life but with this love they both share with each other. Their relationship can be compared to that of Mercutio and Romeo’s again Mercutio is willing to fight for Romeo as he is bound by his marriage to Juliet. This display of so called ‘parenting’ is not shown by Romeo’s father who seems to be more detached from Romeo and doesn’t know much about him.

    The Capulet boys including Tybalt seem to be more aggressive than the Montague’s from the beginning it is them who start the fight, “look upon thy death.” As well as starting the fights another example of how someone can behave in a fight is to keep the peace this can be construed from characters such as Benvolio. This man seems to be more level headed than the rest, he isn’t bound down by love for a woman or hatred of a house. He is thinking only of himself and this way of living isn’t admired by the majority of the men in both houses due to their own way of living and dealing with things being so contrasting to his views. Romeo is similar to Benvolio in Act 3 Scene 1 in his willingness to do the right thing and listen to what he’s been told. He weighs the pros and cons of his decisions when for example he knew that getting involved with Juliet was dangerous to both his life and to the reputation of Juliet, but he knew his feelings for Juliet and he decided that they over ruled the pressure he would get from characters such as Tybalt for example who would obviously be outraged by Romeo even trying to come into his life.

    Tybalt’s character was created in order to have one dominant aggressor. In the play you have Benvolio the peace maker, Romeo the romantic, Mercutio the true friend and Tybalt the villain. It does in fact have a lot of the characteristics of the stereotypical story.

    A typical example of how emotions cloud the judgment of characters in the play is when Romeo kills Tybalt after the death of Mercutio. With this in mind, the rest of the Act is largely built upon two wants and no way to make a compromise. The Capulets hate the Montagues however, neither side can give one good reason for this hatred all that we can gather is that anything that either side does annoys the other. Moreover, Tybalt’s hatred seems to be one sided and illogical, he demonstrates this by addressing nearly everybody in a characteristically stereotypical tone of voice i.e. aggressively this is shown obviously more to the Montague’s to threaten them he speaks to them harshly.

    The reason that Act 3 scene 1 is so significant is because the two other acts don’t have such peculiar things happening. The conversation leading up to the actual fight has many similarities with the first fight in act 1 scene 1 although this time Tybalt’s anger isn’t just directed at Montague’s but at a single being, Romeo. The character Mercutio is cleverly built up in act 3 scene 1 firstly he puts his views across “Though art like one of these fellows that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword” he shows in this that he can read people and he himself is quite serious and seems to take life seriously this is shows threw him getting quite defensive and resenting what others say about him he is also quick to pick up on people when there being hypocritical again from the previous quotation that was Mercutio’ answer to Benvolio’ willingness to retreat he is saying that Benvolio is a hypocrite and shouldn’t be giving advice id he’s not willing to follow it.

    Tybalt and Mercutio are very similar they both act aggressively. When Mercutio is killed he feels many things not only does he feel betrayed by Romeo but he also figures he’s got nothing to loose and really brings out what he thinks about the feud going on between these two houses, “A plague a’both your houses!” he compares them to ‘beasts’ basically he doesn’t warrant the fighting, and he saw what Tybalt was thinking and the significant part of it is the curse he places on both the houses in doing this he is showing that the argument with Tybalt wasn’t just because he was a Capulet but that Mercutio generally had a problem wit Tybalt for his attitude and his view on life which as we know is both shallow and narrow minded.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to the play as a whole Essay. (2017, Oct 28). Retrieved from

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