Romeo and juliet social and historical context pwpt

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Romeo and juliet social and historical context pwpt

  1. 1. Romeo & Juliet The Social & Historical Context
  2. 2. The Setting <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare wrote his version in 1594 which was based on Arthur Brooke’s poem of 1562. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Religion <ul><li>Romeo & Juliet was set during a very religious period. </li></ul><ul><li>It was a ‘catholic’ society with a strong belief in damnation for mortal sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide and bigamy were both considered to be mortal sins. </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespeare was writing following ‘The Reformation’. This was when England became a protestant nation, having broken away from from papal control by Henry VIII. </li></ul><ul><li>Society became more open and less oppressed. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Family <ul><li>Many Shakespeare plays show conflict between parents and children. </li></ul><ul><li>The father was the undisputed head of the household. </li></ul><ul><li>Women had no rights or authority in law. They could not own property or money but could influence their husbands. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>It was not unusual to be married very young. </li></ul><ul><li>In high society, children were often raised by a ‘wet nurse’ and did not have a strong bond with parents. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Love <ul><li>Courtly love – is about behaviour at court i.e. in the royal household. It should be:- </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Polite Ceremonious </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Restrained Intellectual </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Courteous In love with the idea of being in love </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>There was a difference between ‘real love’ and infatuation. It was admiration from afar. </li></ul><ul><li>No contact just an exchange of gifts, letters, poems etc </li></ul><ul><li>Romeo refers to Juliet as ‘a saint’ & ‘a goddess’ - </li></ul><ul><li> she is neither. </li></ul><ul><li>Real love by comparison is:- </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contact Passionate Physical </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Powerful Emotional Deep </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Honour <ul><li>A sense of family honour is often misplaced. </li></ul><ul><li>A strong belief that the slightest wrong or insult must be avenged as a matter of personal pride or to protect reputation. </li></ul><ul><li>This can lead to:- </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Revenge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Violence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Unrest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Death </li></ul></ul></ul>

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