Romeo and juliet social and historical context pwpt
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Romeo and juliet social and historical context pwpt






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Romeo and juliet social and historical context pwpt Romeo and juliet social and historical context pwpt Presentation Transcript

  • Romeo & Juliet The Social & Historical Context
  • The Setting
    • It is generally believed that the play is based on a real Italian love story from the 3 rd Century. The ‘real families’ are the Capeletti and the Montecci families.
    • Shakespeare wrote his version in 1594 which was based on Arthur Brooke’s poem of 1562.
    • This period was ‘The Elizabethan Era’ which was also known as ‘The Renaissance’. A time of significant change in the fields of religion, politics, science, language and the arts.
  • Religion
    • Romeo & Juliet was set during a very religious period.
    • It was a ‘catholic’ society with a strong belief in damnation for mortal sin.
    • Suicide and bigamy were both considered to be mortal sins.
    • Shakespeare was writing following ‘The Reformation’. This was when England became a protestant nation, having broken away from from papal control by Henry VIII.
    • Society became more open and less oppressed.
  • Family
    • Many Shakespeare plays show conflict between parents and children.
    • The father was the undisputed head of the household.
    • Women had no rights or authority in law. They could not own property or money but could influence their husbands.
    • Children were regarded as ‘property’ – and could be given in marriage to a suitable partner. Often a political or financial transaction, to secure and retain wealth.
    • It was not unusual to be married very young.
    • In high society, children were often raised by a ‘wet nurse’ and did not have a strong bond with parents.
  • Love
    • Courtly love – is about behaviour at court i.e. in the royal household. It should be:-
        • Polite Ceremonious
        • Restrained Intellectual
        • Courteous In love with the idea of being in love
    • There was a difference between ‘real love’ and infatuation. It was admiration from afar.
    • No contact just an exchange of gifts, letters, poems etc
    • Romeo refers to Juliet as ‘a saint’ & ‘a goddess’ -
    • she is neither.
    • Real love by comparison is:-
        • Contact Passionate Physical
        • Powerful Emotional Deep
  • Honour
    • A sense of family honour is often misplaced.
    • A strong belief that the slightest wrong or insult must be avenged as a matter of personal pride or to protect reputation.
    • This can lead to:-
        • Revenge
        • Violence
        • Civil Unrest
        • Death