Romeo and Juliet Coursework Essay

Published: 2021-09-11 06:20:08
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Category: William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare’s plays he very rarely used original ideas. Most of the plays he wrote, such as “Romeo and Juliet,” were adapted from other people’s stories. Shakespeare used these ideas as basic outlines for his plays. The story of “Romeo and Juliet” had been around for hundreds of years before Shakespeare created his own version. The most recent was a poem by Arthur Brooke. His version was called Romeo and Julietta; this play was over 3000 lines long and written in rhyming couplets.
There are lots of parts of Brooke’s poem that Shakespeare has used in his play such as the characters Mercutio, Tybalt and Paris. Although Shakespeare’s play has a lot of similarities to Arthur Brooke’s poem, Shakespeare’s version also has a lot of differences. Tybalt, who is only mentioned once in Arthur Brooke’s poem, plays a very important part in Shakespeare’s where he helps keep the feud going between the two households. Also Brooke’s version takes place over months whereas Shakespeare’s only takes place over a few days, this adds greater interest to the play because so much happens so fast.
Arthur Brooke’s poem is also less interesting compared to Shakespeare’s because Shakespeare exploits the use of unusual contrasts such as action and comedy, intimate romance and public spectacle. In addition, Shakespeare adds a large number of new features to the story of “Romeo and Juliet. ” In Brooke’s poem he doesn’t use must detail or emotion in his characters whereas Shakespeare makes his characters a good deal more entertaining, giving them interesting and intriguing personalities.
Shakespeare also adds the fight scene in “Romeo and Juliet,” which is a very important scene in the play because Romeo loses his best friend, Mercutio, and also kills Tybalt, his wife’s cousin. This scene is entertaining to the audience due to the large amount of action, and the fact that it draws upon the audience’s empathy towards the characters, particularly Romeo. Shakespeare’s version uses a lot more complex ideas, such as Brooke’s poem places a lot of the blame on fate and bad luck, but Shakespeare makes it so all the characters are share the blame in some way.
When Romeo and Juliet first see each other they fall in love at first sight. The love that Romeo and Juliet experience, which is a romantic and passionate love, is a different type of love to the others that Shakespeare uses in the play, like the way Paris loves Juliet which is more physical and he thinks of her more like property. Romeo and Juliet’s love is very intense, when Romeo describes it he uses words like “sun,” “moon,” “stars,” and “heaven,” which makes their love seem particularly spiritual. Romeo tends to use complex language, to represent Romeo and Juliet’s intense love.
When Romeo describes Juliet’s hand as a “holy shrine,” he uses a metaphor; this makes Juliet’s hand seem especially important to Romeo, like something that is worthy of worship. Shortly after Romeo uses this he uses an oxymoron, “gentle sin,” which are words that don’t go together normally. This is similar to Romeo and Juliet themselves since they are in love but, enemies at the same time, “my only love sprang from my only hate. ” Another type of language often used by Romeo and Juliet is hyperbole, such as, “I am no pilot, yet wert thou as far as the farthest sea, I would venture for such merchandise. The hyperbole language shows to the audience how deeply in love they are. There were a lot of things that prevented Romeo and Juliet being together. The biggest problem was that they were from opposing households. Juliet doesn’t seem close to anyone in her family, her father is abusive towards her when she doesn’t want to marry Paris and her mother won’t defend her, this would have made it a lot easier for Juliet to marry Romeo behind her parents back, whereas Romeo though seems a lot closer to his family because they are very upset over his banishment and his mother dies of grief for him.
This would probably make it harder for Romeo because he would want to defend his family in the rivalry between the families, like he does when he kills Tybalt even though he’s married his cousin. Some of the characters in the play don’t make Romeo and Juliet being together easy. Romeo’s best friend has a very cynical view on love; he says things like, “under love’s heavy burden do I sink,” and make s jokes about Romeo being in love with Juliet and Roseline. Tybalt also has a negative view about Romeo and Juliet being together.
He says, “Uncle this is a Montague our foe: a villain that is hither come in spite,” this shows that Tybalt thinks as Romeo as an enemy and detests him. When he sees Romeo dance with Juliet at the party he wants to start a fight with him and when he is not aloud he later challenges him to a fight. Another thing that keeps Romeo and Juliet apart is that powerful men such as Juliet’s father dominate Verona, and women have a low status and are regarded as property. This makes it hard for Juliet to disobey her father and not marry Paris.
When Juliet does stand up for herself her father threatens to throw her onto the street. This particular scene involves verbal and physical abuse such as, “hang thee young baggage, disobedient wretch,” this shows what a fearful, dominant man Capullet is. The physical abuse is particularly dramatic for the audience in the Bas Luhrman version where you see Juliet get thrown to the floor. Shakespeare has added this to the play to criticise the patriarchal society of the time. Paris treats Juliet in the same way, when he sees her crying in the church he says, “thy face is mine and thou hast slandered it. By the end of Act 4 Romeo and Juliet are separated from each other and isolated from everyone.
Romeo is banished to Mantua, all his friends and family are in Verona as well as Juliet. Romeo has no idea if he will even see Juliet again. Juliet is isolated in a different way to Romeo. She has her family and nurse and other people around her, but she has no one she can trust or ask for advice. Even her nurse who she used to be so close to earlier in the play has betrayed. In Act 4 Scene 3 Juliet been to see Friar Lawrence and she is alone in her room. She is scared what will happen to her when she takes her potion.
She says, “what if it be poison which the Friar has subtly ministered to have me dead. ” Here she has to make a difficult decision and she has to make it by herself, not knowing if it’s poison. Their isolation from everyone after they are separated makes their death more emotional for the audience. Even towards the end of the play Shakespeare uses contradictions and contrasts to make the play more interesting. In the tomb there are contrasts between light and death, Romeo says, “thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,” which he contradicts by saying, “her beauty makes this vault a feasting presence of light. The play mixes a lot of action, where lots of things happen, with intense personal reflection, as Romeo and Juliet see each other dead. The action, like when Romeo fights Paris, makes the scene more interesting because it gives the scene more contrast between the tragic way that Romeo and Juliet die, which the play has been building up to from the start and the quick unexpected death of Paris. Shakespeare, very cleverly makes the tragedy hard to blame on anyone person.
At the end of the play the Prince says, “All are punished. Everyone close to Romeo and Juliet were to blame in some way, even Romeo and Juliet were to blame partly because of their rashness in getting married and not having their parents permission. In Act 5 Scene 3 Romeo and Juliet tragically kill themselves. This scene is very sad and emotional, but in a way their suicide can be interoperated as a good thing. Throughout the play Romeo talks about, “inauspicious star,” and saying fate is against him, but when they take their own life they are finally free of their bad luck.

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