The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set in ‘fair Verona’ and is about ‘a pair of
star-crossed lovers’ from ‘two house holds both a like in dignity’
fall in love. Their ‘death marked love’ is tainted from the start as
their families have an ‘ancient grudge’ which only ‘with their death
bury their parents strife’. There are several reasons why people may
believe that this could only happen in a patriarchal society, but in
my opinion the principles are still the same today.

Shakespeare set the scene in Verona, Italy, during July. Juliet and
Romeo meet and fall instantly in love at a masked ball of the Capulets
and profess their love when Romeo later visits her at her private
balcony in her family's home. Because the two noble families are
enemies, the couple is married secretly by Friar Laurence. When Tybalt,
a Capulet, kills Romeo's friend Mercutio in a quarrel, Romeo kills
Tybalt and is banished to Mantua. Juliet's father insists on her
marrying Count Paris, and Juliet goes to consult the friar. He gives
her a potion that will make her appear to be dead and proposes that
she take it and that Romeo rescue her; she complies. Unaware of the
friar's scheme, Romeo returns to Verona on hearing of Juliet's
apparent death. He encounters Paris, kills him, and finds Juliet in
the burial vault. There he gives her a last kiss and kills himself
with poison. Juliet awakens, sees the dead Romeo, and kills herself.
The families learn what has happened and end their feud.

The characters of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ are very clearly separated
between young and old. The young characters include:

* Romeo

* Juliet

* Tybalt

* Paris

* Benvolio

* Mercutio

* Lady Capulet

The young are always shown as fit, healthy and energetic people in the
play; it seems that in Scene they are fighting, love making, dying or

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running away. This is still a stereotype that is very apparent today.

The old characters include:

* Capulet

* Nurse

* Montague

* Lady Montague

* Friar Laurence

The old characters are portrayed as being very slow, they tend to not
have any action scenes at all in the play (apart for Nurse who runs
about quite a lot). They are also seen as very and unfairly strict.
This of course is how all teenagers see their parents today.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the most famous love story in the English
literary tradition. Love is naturally the play’s dominant theme. The
play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that
springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and
Juliet, love is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that
supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions.

The themes of death and violence permeate ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and they
are always connected to passion, whether that passion is love or hate.
The connection between hate, violence, and death seems obvious. But
the connection between love and violence requires further
investigation.

Fate may also be the most important theme in the play; it is certainly
the most evident. Fate is heavily depicted in the prologue ‘a pair of
star crossed lovers’ and ‘their death marked love’. Through out the
play it seems that everything is against Romeo and Juliet, from them
realising they’re from different families to their untimely demise.

Although it is unlikely that these themes have a part to play in
society today in this magnitude, they still happen in principle. These
themes are relevant if only in a small degree.

In conclusion I feel that ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is still relevant today
and not just in a patriarchal society. I think this because each point
I have made in this essay has at least some relevance today. The
points are the same in principle, if not in the magnitude of the play.
And I feel this is still a play people can relate to.


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