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ShakespeareÍs play: ïRomeo and JulietÍ is more about violence than love

Uploaded by Svejk on Apr 11, 2006

The popular thought that ÔRomeo and JulietÕ is a romantic play is inaccurate because over time people tend to want to make everything happy and especially in the modern-day world, people prefer romantic themes with happy endings, not a story about two lovers who commit suicide.

An Elizabethan audience, around the time of Shakespeare would have reacted very differently to ÔRomeo and JulietÕ than we do as laws and customs have changed over the 400 years since Shakespeare. The Elizabethan reaction to love would be different, as Ôtrue loveÕ did not really feature in a marriage. A Tudor husband would decide whom his daughters would marry for financial gain or uniting old enemies as the friar hopes to do by marrying Romeo and Juliet. These days marriage, in most countries, is free and based on Ôtrue loveÕ.


A theme throughout ÔRomeo and JulietÕ is the use of Stage Craft. Examples of Stage Craft are:

Dramatic irony: where the audience knows what will happen but the characters do not.

Foreboding: where, through a characters speech, a message or reference of violent things to come appears.

Soliloquy: a monologue or long speech performed by a single character normally to his or herself.

Word Play: such as a pun which is a play on words used for either comical or sinister effect, or an oxymoron, a word couplet that seems to contradict each other, for example; Ôonly choiceÕ- you cannot make a choice when there is only one option.


The theme of violence in the play is present from the very beginning. In the prologue it has the quote ÒFrom ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.Ó This refers to the feud between the houses and how it is creating turmoil in the city. When Samson and Gregory, two Capulet servants, are walking through Verona, Samson is talking about killing the men of the Montague household and raping the Montague women; ÒÉwomen, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.Ó The hatred between the two houses is also very prominent as when Gregory says; ÒÉdraw thy tool! Here comes two of the house of the Montagues.Ó This scene sets the tone for the rest of the play due to its violent nature.

In Act III. Scene i. Romeo slays Tybalt in return for him...

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Uploaded by:   Svejk

Date:   04/11/2006

Category:   Romeo And Juliet

Length:   9 pages (1,952 words)

Views:   3448

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