Romeo And Juliet
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is an effective piece of drama –
There are mainly two different themes in the play “Romeo and Juliet”:
Love and hate, both of which are in Act one scene 5. Love, from the
love at first sight between Romeo and Juliet, and the hatred between
Romeo and Tybalt.
The plays needed to be affective pieces of drama for the time because
of the way the audience may react if they were not amused by the play
and if it did not keep them interested. These people were usually the
lower-class people, the tickets were very cheap and these members of
the audience stood at the very front near the stage. However those
members of the audience were not very polite, and if they found the
play boring, or did not like that acting, they would throw vegetables
at the actors, shout abuse or even start fights and try to pull the
actors off of the stage. Therefore, the play-writers would try and
make their plays as dramatic and effective as possible to keep the
audience members entertained.
The issues that people were interested in at the time of the play
“Romeo and Juliet” were things like:
Romance If there was not a lot of Romance in people’s lives at the
time, they would like to see it in a play, everybody likes a bit of
romance every now and then.
People liked to watch other people’s troubles, and maybe even be able
to relate to them. In Romeo and Juliet, you see the troubles of the
Capulets and the Montague’s and the hatred between them, and you also
see the fact of Juliet in the middle of an arranged marriage which she
doesn’t want. These are troubles that probably would have been common
to most at the time.
The audiences liked watching fighting; it added action and excitement
to the plays.
Social Status was thought of as very important and the audience would
like to see that importance reflected in the play, I imagine
especially the rich people liked to be reminded of the social statuses
and that people were ‘below’ them.
Comedy was also a big part of issues at the time; I think it would
have just been to cheer people up generally and also to keep the
audience entertained so that no trouble would be caused.
In section one of scene 5, the servingmen speak informally, about all
the work they have to do, they are trying to get everything ready for
the party. In this section there would be excitement and curiosity
from the audience, who did not know what was going on that the time.
The servingmen are frantically trying to find potpan, you can tell
that everything is frantic is this section because there are short,
rushed questions and then complex sentences that are shortened by
In section 2 we see Capulet welcoming his guests and the language used
is changed back to verse, there is then music and dancing and there is
also a bit of comedy when Capulet is speaking to cousin Capulet. The
mood in this section is very jolly, and the audience have a lot to
focus on, they would have been excited and there was probably a lot of
concentration on the clothes that everyone would have been wearing.
This would be based on social status again, which is also what a party
was used for, to show off your social status to others. So everyone
would have been very dressed up which would have been a change of
scenery from the servingmen the audience had just seen.
Section 3 is when Romeo first catches a glance of Juliet and the fact
of love at first sight is exaggerated by the way he speaks of her,
using a metaphor: “She doth teach the torches to burn bright”. This
tells us that Juliet’s beauty is much brighter than that of the
torches – so she is very beautiful. She is so much brighter that she
teaches the torches how to shine – a poetic exaggeration, since
torches can’t really be taught. Soliloquies are also used in this
section; Romeo says that Juliet (whose name he does not yet know) is
like a “snowy dove” among “crows, ‘She stands out in a dark room as a
bright jewel in the ear of a dark-skinned person’. And his speech ‘For
I ne’er saw true beauty till this night’ also emphasise the fact of
love at first sight.
In section 4 Tybalt sees Romeo and immediately wants to fight him,
Capulet may dislike the Montague’s, but he is trying to obey the
Prince’s command. As a host, he cannot allow even an enemy to be
attacked under his own roof. And, he tells Tybalt, Romeo is “virtuous
and well-governed”. Tybalt is angry at losing the chance for a fight,
and blames Romeo for this, especially when he is made to look silly by
Capulet, who tells him off and calls him a “saucy boy.” In this
section you learn a lot about the characters Tybalt and Capulet and
the fact of hatred is obvious but Capulet wants to reserve his social
status and cannot allow for even Romeo, an enemy, to be attacked at
Section 5: in this scene Romeo and Juliet speak for the first time,
and their opening words together in a form of a sonnet which they
share and create. Romeo and Juliet are flirtatious and Juliet allows
Romeo to kiss her when he asks for permission to let his lips pray and
kiss, he also is also saying that if she doesn’t grant his prayer, she
won’t be fulfilling her duties as a saint, because saints are supposed
to make faith stronger, not make it turn into despair. Juliet then
points out “Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake”
meaning that saints do not make requests, but do grant requests when
they are prayed to. They kiss, and Romeo expresses his happiness:
“Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged” meaning that the kiss
of his saint has cleansed him of sin. This gives Juliet an opportunity
to tease him into another kiss. She says that if her lips have taken
away his sin then her lips must now have his sin. Romeo knows that
that couldn’t be right, so he takes his sin back with another kiss.
Section 6: in this scene Romeo finds out from the nurse that Juliet is
a Capulet, Romeo shows that he doesn’t care about Juliet’s money. He
exclaims, “O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt”. Because he is
now in love, he now owes his very life to Juliet, and she is his foe.
Suddenly Benvolio comes to tell Romeo that it’s time for them to go.
On the their way out, Capulet tries to get the strangers to stay by
offering them some food, but they refuse the offer, so Capulet heads
for bed, leaving Juliet and the Nurse alone as the last guests go out.
Section 7: in this scene Juliet sends nurse to ask of the name of the
young gentleman she did not know, which we know to be Romeo. “Go ask
his name. If he be married,” she wants to find out as much as she can
about him. However, when she does find out about Romeo, it was not
what she wanted to hear, and on hearing that his name was Romeo and
that he is a Montague she exclaims, “My only love sprung from my only
hate! / Too early seen unknown, and known too late! / Prodigious birth
of love it is to me, / That I must love a loathed enemy”. This is a
powerful speech and a sonnet, which emphasises what she is saying,
which is that if she had known Romeo to be a Montague she wouldn’t
have fallen in love with him, but now it’s “too late.” She feels, like
Romeo, that love is once and forever, and they both fear the
consequences of their love, but without any thought of changing their
minds or hearts.
Examine the party scene where Romeo and Juliet first meet. What makes
this scene dramatic and effective on stage?
There are mainly two different themes in the play “Romeo and Juliet”:
Love and Hate. These two emotions are expressed throughout “Romeo and
Juliet”, but are mostly in act one scene 5
“Go ask his name. If he be married,” Juliet wants to find out as much
as she can about this gentleman, and when she does, it is not what she
wanted to hear.
“His name is Romeo, and a Montague, the only son of your great enemy.”
The nurse breaks the bad news to Juliet.
“My only love sprung from my only hate!”. The one person who happened
to give Juliet the feeling of love had to be the one person who would
be least welcomed by her family. The remainder of her family would
have the entire opposite feeling towards Romeo as Juliet had, her
family already hates him.
The other main theme of the play ‘Hate’ is expressed in this scene
also by Tybalt. Tybalt is the cousin of Juliet, a Capulet. Tybalt
notices Romeo at the Capulet party, and his first instinct is to do
away with him. “Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him
dead I hold it not a sin.” A M
ion for their future in this scene. The audience knowing that their
families are rivals, and that there is much confusion in the air, the
audience are tense to see the outcome. It is blatant to the audience
at this stage that the play will either end with love or hate, but
they do not know which.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is his eleventh play. It is with no
doubt a tragedy.
Shakespeare has included all the necessary elements for a tragedy. The
play has a tragic hero
of high standing who dies. The hero opposes some conflicting force.
The hero has a tragic
flaw and this flaw will lead to his downfall and the downfall of
others. Good is always
wasted driving out evil. Indeed, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is the tragic hero. He is the only son of
family, therefor he is of high standing and very wealthy. He is so
well respected that even
Capulet, His family’s sworn enemy praises him:
?let him alone,,
He bears him like a portly gentlemen;
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him
To be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth.
I would not for the wealth of all this town
Here in my house do him disparagement?(I.IV.65-70)
This means that among the people of Verona, Romeo is very well
respected, and he would
not do any harm to Romeo at that time. Romeo is the hero in this
story. Romeo must die
along with Juliet in order to stop the families’ feud.
The conflicting force which Romeo opposes is the fact that he is a
Montague that is in
love with a Capulet; his family’s sworn enemy. The Montague’s and the
Capulets have been
feuding for many years. Romeo is a Montague and he is born into the
feud. He does not like
it and he feels that it is a waste. Romeo has to disobey his family so
he can be with Juliet.
In this play, Romeo’s tragic flaw is that he is always melancholy,
downcast, and Romeo is always in love, and when he falls in love, he
falls hard. Romeo is
depressed over Rosaline. Romeo is very disheartened over her and it
seems he has been like
this for some time already. Montague tells us this when he says Romeo
“?Shuts up his
windows, locks fair daylight out, / And makes himself an artificial
night…”(I. I. 135-137).
Romeo has a major problem. Even after he meets Juliet, he is very sad
because he discovers
that she is a Capulet. Shortly after, he is banished from Verona and
is very downcast once
again over the fact that he will not be able is see Juliet again.
Romeo is so extremely in love
that he says that instead of being banished, he would rather be dead.
When Friar Laurence