Romeo and Juliet Essay - a play with a tragic themeThis essay gives a general answer to a theme question from a higher English pastpaper.Question -Choose a play which involves a tragic theme and show how the dramatist makes theplay a moving experience for the audience. You may refer to structure, characterisation,key scene(s) or any other appropriate feature.Structure - 1. Introduction 2. The character of Romeo / the start of the play 3. Key scene - act 3, scene 1 4. Juliet‟s monologue 5. Conclusion„Romeo and Juliet‟ is one of Shakespeare‟s best known stories and most celebratedtragedies. In this essay I will show how the structure and characterisation of the playmake it a moving experience for an audience. The tragedy comes from the play‟s twinthemes of love and violence. The prologue suggests the „star-crossed lovers‟ will meet atragic end and in the first scene there is a brawl between the Capulet and Montaguefamilies; the Prince forbids any fighting in public and shortly after this, we are introducedto Romeo, who stands in contrast to the violent society of Verona.Romeo represents the wide-eyed romantic who falls in love at first sight. who is piningfor his love Rosalind. He has missed the violence in the street. Mercutio and Benvoliopersuade him to attend the party at the Capulet‟s house where he meets Juliet. Thedialogue of the play emphasizes his rush of emotion at their first meeting: „She dothteach the torches to burn bright‟. Comparing beauty to fire suggests that it can be adestructive force. In contrast, Mercutio is a more down-to-earth character; he makesrude jokes and puns at Romeo‟s expense and mocks his friend for being naïve andidealistic.The turning point of the play is act 3, scene 1. Before this, things have been going wellfor the lovers. In the previous scene, they were married, after the Nurse and FriarBenedict have given them advice and support. At the start of this scene, Mercutio mocksBenvolio for being a troublemaker. When Tybalt arrives, Mercutio turns his jesting tohim. The tone of this dialogue is light rather than serious. When Romeo arrives, hisattitude towards Tybalt is that of reconciliation.The death of Mercutio is accidental. He is wounded under Romeo‟s arm as he tries tobreak up the fight. It can be played by the actors as horseplay that goes wrong.
Mercutiocontinues to joke as he dies, about his wound: „it is not as wide as a cellar doorbut it may suffice‟. Comedy co-exists with tragedy through the course of the play;however, with the death of Mercutio, the tone of the play changes as the lovers launchtheir desperate plan.The outcome of this scene is that the play ends in tragedy. The lovers make plans toelope but bad luck and rash decisions mean that they both end up committing suicide.Romeo is rash and idealistic, without the climate of violence created by the Capulets andMontagues, the plan to escape with Juliet may well have worked. It is therefore difficultto argue that the lovers were fated to die, even though this is the tone of the play‟sprologue.The events at the cemetery are foreshadowed by Juliet‟s final monologue:Ill call them back again to comfort me.Nurse!- What should she do here?My dismal scene I needs must act alone.The Nurse is a stabilising influence upon the young lovers, but at this point in the playJuliet has rejected any further help, as she criticised her romance with Romeo. Theaudience is prepared for the final scene in the graveyard - she fears waking up withTybalt‟s corpse in her family tomb. This symbolizes that her own family may representdeath to her – the world of brawling and one-upmanship is perhaps the factor thatcaused her to fall in love with Romeo in the first place. Even though it puts her indanger, Juliet would rather make her own decisions than do what is expected; and thisleads to the final tragedy of the double suicide.In these ways, „Romeo and Juliet‟ is a tragic play which makes the audience think aboutissues of love and violence. The fact that it may have ended happily makes it a movingexperience.Posted by Bobby King at 04:08 No comments:Labels: drama, essay, higher, Romeo And Juliet, ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet Essay Plan - FateAnother Romeo and Juliet essay. This is answers a theme question from a higher exampaper. Is there a mystical force at work in the play? Or does the tragedy just come frombad luck?Question -Choose a play in which a main theme is made clear early in the action. Show how thedramatist introduces the theme and discuss how successfully he or she goes on todevelop it.
Shakespeare‟s „Romeo and Juliet‟ is a tale about a „love at first sight‟ which leads totragedy; its impact comes from the two lovers escaping their violent world through thepower of love, yet from the start of the play, there are hints that fate is against them.During the Renaissance, beliefs in supernatural powers affecting human events werecommonplace and this is explored by various references in the play.The prologue introduces the idea that „two star-crossed lovers take their life‟, Thissuggests the events of the play have already been „written in the stars‟. This theme iscontinued in Act I Scene V, where Romeo attends the Capulets masked ball to take hismind off his unrequited love for Rosaline. There he sees the daughter of his familiessworn enemy, and the two fall in love at first sight. However, both are unaware of thisfact at the time and come to learn it later on in the night: „O Romeo, Romeo, whereforeart thou Romeo?‟ The repetition of „Romeo‟ shows Juliets anguish, and her disbelief atthe minute chances of Romeo being from her family‟s worst enemies.Perhaps the most evident development in the theme of fate comes in the turning point ofthe play, and key scene Act III Scene I. In this scene, Romeo tries to break up a fightbetween Mercutio and Tybalt, but tragically his mistake helps Tybalt slay Mercutio.Romeo then avenges Mercutio, after stating that „fiery eyed fury be my conduct now‟.Romeo believes that this outcome was already predetermined by fate: „O, I am fortune‟sfool.‟ This shows that Romeo believes that fate was set to follow its course, and that hewas simply fulfilling his fate. By having these unlikely “misadventured piteousoverthrows” Shakespeare is able to manipulate and strictly enforce the theme of fate,which he picks up on again later in Act V.Yes this also shows that Romeo is perhaps reluctant to take full responsibility for hisactions. He shows naiveté in assuming that Tybalt will leave him in peace; the fact hehas just married Tybalt‟s cousin seems to blind his reason. This is a tension throughoutthe play – the references to fate suggest that supernatural forces are at work, yet thetragedy comes about because of human passions.After Romeo‟s exile, the Friar and Juliet form a plan to get him back in, but it seemsonce again that fate has intervened, against the hapless lovers: „A greater power thanwe can contradict/Hath thwarted our intents.‟ The Friar believes there was nothing thatanyone could do, and that fate was always going to run its course for better or forworse.Upon hearing the news, Romeo decides to return from exile to be with Juliet in death. Hetries to defy fate, exclaiming: „I defy you, stars!‟ Once again, the idea of his fate alreadybeing written in the stars is included, and it also shows that Romeo is eager not to letfate prevail. However, Shakespeares inclusion of this helps bring an effective conclusionto the theme of fate; in Romeo trying to defy his fate, he is in fact tragically fulfilling it.It emphasizes that Romeo‟s rash impulsiveness is as much the agent of this tragedy asany mystical force.
And thus, Shakespeare effectively introduces and develops the theme of fate. By using aprologue to introduce the theme, and putting the emphasis on the theme of fate in theturning point, Shakespeare develops the theme in what I deem to be a successful andentertaining way.My comment -The theme of fate in Romeo and Juliet is slightly harder to discuss than the theme oflove and hate, or society. Although the playwright tells the audience that the stars havedetermined that the lovers will die a tragic death, and Romeo tells the audience that heis fortunes fool, in fact the whole play could have easily turned out differently if Romeoand Juliet had made better decisions. You can contrast this with MacBeth, where thewhole play is built around a prophecy and all the action leads up to his defeat.Personally, I think the two lovers were acting impulsively because they were surroundedby violence and early death. This explains Juliets last monologue before taking thesleeping draught in act 4, scene 3. She thinks about all her relatives in the familymausoleum, including that of her young cousin, Tybalt. To her, living in Verona andbeing a Capulet means death; so, her only option is to fake her death in the hope thatshe can escape with her new husband.Posted by Bobby King at 03:54 No comments: