Explain the methods used by Shakespeare to dramatise family conflict in Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet tell the story of ‘two star-crossed lovers’ from two feuding families the Montagues and Capulets who tragically die at the end of the play due to all the conflict going on in their lives. This essay will explain how Shakespeare uses language, imagery and staging to dramatise family conflict. Romeo and Juliet was written by Shakespeare in the late sixteenth century, the play was first performed to a patriarchal society which means the women have to obey their father of husband, engagement amongst the wealthy families were often decided by the parents when their children where at a young age, Juliet was only thirteen when her marriage to Paris was organised. In the opening of the play we are introduced to family conflict in the prologue and we find out that the conflict is an ancient grudge, we are not told about in the play, has lasted many generations. During the princes speech we realise there has been ‘three civil brawls’ so far. The whole of Verona which is the town the two families live in are affected by the fighting. In act 1 scene 1, Shakespeare uses language to portray the conflict between the two families. The servants use of indecent and obscene language shows the importance of masculine honour in Shakespeare time ‘tis, true and therefore women being the weaker vessels are ever thrust to the wall’ this shows that class doesn’t matter, they will all fight to prove they are superior. In this scene Benvolio and Tybalt speak in blank verse as they are the nobility, Benvolio comes across to us as peaceful; ‘I do but keep the peace…’ at this time in the play he is trying to stop Tybalt starting a fight on the other hand Tybalt comes across to us as very aggressive ‘what, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montague’s, and thee’ Tybalt is trying to continue fighting and saying how much he hates peace and Montagues,...
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