Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet Essay

1647 words - 7 pages

Created in 1595, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is about two star-crossed lovers from opposing families who hold an ancient grudge. The theme is about love and hate throughout the play.
Shakespeare built up the tension to Scene 5 from the start of Act 1 intelligently by, for example, building up the feud between the families. This build up of tension is essential to the context of the story and without this the play would not be as dramatically effective. Right from the very start, the feud between the Montague’s and the Capulet’s builds up impact and drama. For example, Tybalt said: “this is a Montague, our foe”.
Prior to this scene, Shakespeare shows an insight into each character. Tybalt is portrayed as a hostile character that has extreme hatred towards the Montague’s. He is very protective of his family and this is seen in his aggression and willingness to fight:
“What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee coward!
This by his voice, should be a Montague,
...To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin.”(Act one scene five).
It can be observed that even the servants are hostile and aggressive towards the rival family, which again contributes to the dramatic effectiveness of the scene. They fight among themselves for the honour of the family they represent.
In act one scene one Romeo appears to be in love with the idea of being in love and focuses his attention on Rosaline who does not return his affection
“She’ll not be hit with cupid’s arrow...she will not stay the siege of loving terms”.
However, we can safely conclude that his ‘love’ for Rosaline was only a passing infatuation as she pales to insignificance when he sets eyes on Juliet. The language he uses when speaking about Rosaline seems exaggerated and contrived. This is reflected when he uses oxymoron’s:
“Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health” (act one scene one).
Shakespeare has made this more dramatically effective in how he has made Romeo fall in love with Juliet the moment he saw her. He did not know at the time that she was a Capulet.
At the first moment he asks a servant “who’s is that lady who’s gracing hand of that gentleman there?”
Shakespeare has transformed him to be in love with Juliet and he has quickly forgotten about Rosaline. He says to himself:
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear-
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.”
He is saying that Juliet so beautiful that she could make torches around the hall glow bright and she is a dazzling jewel illuminating the sky of which is dark. He is also saying...

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