Romeo and Juliet written by Shakespeare Essay Sample
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Romeo and Juliet written by Shakespeare Essay Sample
‘Romeo and Juliet ‘ is a play written by Shakespeare in 1594, with one of the main themes being conflict. Shakespeare uses conflict to create progress in the play by adding uncertainty to whether a goal was to be achieved. Conflict is important to the play as it was the reason that the relationship between Romeo and Juliet ended in a tragedy. In the play, conflict is introduced through the personality of characters, nature and conflict between the two families, and verbal and physical conflict. Each paragraph will discuss the conflict presented in different lights .
Even in prologue, placed in the beginning of the play to foreshadow or pre-warn audience about what will occur later on in the play, the Montague’s and Capulet’s conflict is already introduced, showing its importance. The quote “from ancient grudge break to new mutiny” tells of an old fight between the the two families, which has been existing for many generations and has now erupted once again. ‘Ancient grudge’ and ‘new mutiny ‘ are used to juxtapose the conflict of the old generation and an emerging one of the new generation. The quote ‘where civil blood makes civil hands unclean’ portrays the resulting violence of death and killings.
In Act I Scene I, conflict is shown both verbally and physically. The conflict began with a hate speech with Gregory and Sampson, the two Capulet servants, gossiping about how they were going to sexually abuse and rape the Montague women servants. This can be shown in the quote ” ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.” This play on words conveys the ultimate violence. Either Simpson will murder the women— taking their heads— or force the Montague servants against their will, taking virginity or “maidenheads.” Threats eventually turned into violence after one of the Capulet servants showed the Montague servants the Elizabethan finger, which during that era was very insulting and offensive as shown in quote ”I will bite my thumb at them, which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.’ The word ‘disgrace’ shows dishonour, making the Montague servants feel lowly and greatly insulted.
In Act III scene I, Shakespeare explores the theme of conflict and violence through the language he used to refer to the characters. This is shown in the quote “pardoning killers only causes more murders.” Prince Escalus used the word “killers and murders,” which are very derogatory and depicts the prince’s power. Furthermore, the reference to the characters as ‘villains’ could suggest that they are involving others in their feud. Shakespeare did this to show that anyone who is involved in killings and violence are considered villains, a malicious person. Hence, the language used in the play helps create tension in the atmosphere that foreshadows the fate or destiny of the characters. In quite “plague o both your houses,” Mercutio curses the Capulet and Montague as he blamed that their feud has caused his death. That was when he realised that he was dying and decided to take no sides, cursing both families. The word ‘plague’ is a symbol of illness and bad fortune. This plays a major role in the play as it foreshadows the tragedy in the relationship of Romeo and Juliet.
In Act III scene V, Shakespeare introduces conflict through interactions within the families. This is different from other conflicts in the play as it does not involve death nor violence. It began with Juliet and her father arguing about Juliet does not want to marry Paris. Soon, the other characters got involved. In quote ‘unworthy as she is, that we have wrought,” Shakespeare uses language to create an intense atmosphere of conflict, so that the audience knows what is going on. The Capulets became extremely frustrated, calling her ungrateful and unworthy, threatening to disown her if she did not marry Paris by Thursday. This is shown in the quotation ‘I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday, or never after look me in the face.’ In the time context with which the play was written, men were considered to be more powerful than women and rightfully entitled to violent measures when in conflict. This can be shown the the phrase ‘my fingers itch’. The word ‘itch’ here conveys that Capulets wanted to slap Juliet, which was rightful for men.
All in all, the play Romeo and Juliet is a portrayal of two contrasting genres— romance and tragedy. At the beginning, the protagonist Romeo wanted to marry Juliet, but is unable to achieve this due to ‘an ancient grudge.’ This conveys how the theme of conflict is the main reason for why the play is tragic. Without it, the play would not have been the same. Shakespeare’s use of conflict in the play helps audience relate to the narrative as everyone has been part of a conflict in some point in their lives. The play relates to today as it highlights conflict in themes such as religion, family, and politics. Conflict is unavoidable as it is something everyone experiences. Humans will always be involved with conflict as long as our thoughts differ, and if violence is involved, the result might be as tragic as the play.