The Importance of the Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet is a heartbreaking play about two lovers who come from rival families. The play is filled with dramatic irony that suggests they are destined for tragedy. Act 2 Scene 2 or ‘The Balcony Scene’ has a larger effect on the rest of the play than all the other scenes I feel. This is because it is concerned with nearly all of the recurring themes during the play. Youth and Age is one theme there is a contrast between these right through the play, Romeo and Juliet are young lovers that are almost starting a revolution actually marrying for love and want to put an end to their family feud, and contrast to that you have Old Capulet and Lady Capulet who are very stubborn and opinionated people who expect everything to be done correctly .This was a revolutionary thing, to marry for love, as large families such as the Montague’s and the Capulet’s would marry for other reasons other than this, for things such as money and property. Marriage was seen as an opportunity to gain assets not a way of uniting two people. Romeo and Juliet are very young and reckless children this is what makes the play interesting and romantic but it also a reason why the play ends tragically as they do no think there relationship through. Love and Hate is also a theme that is stressed during the play as Romeo and Juliet experience this love at first sight when they should be sworn enemies if they were to do what their parents tell them and follow tradition. Fate plays a big part during this play as we are warned at the start of the play in the chorus, it tells us ‘A pair of star crosses lovers’, Greek people a long time a go used to believe that stars told peoples fortunes from the moment they are born, telling us that Romeo and Juliet are ‘star crossed’ suggests that bad luck will have It in for them right from the start as it were. Unfortunately it does as they fall in love with each other before realizing who each other is; they are descendants of families with a blood thirsty rivalry between them. The audience will find a lot of dramatic irony during the play as they already know it will end in tragedy. ‘Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing’ Juliet is talking at the end of scene two, this is an example of dramatic irony as in the end this is what causes him to kill himself.

The play has a lot of links between the actual real life culture of this time in Italy and Life in the play. Shakespeare would have used the cultural links to make the play more believable. The family feuds in Italy were very famous during that time; Shakespeare incorporated these into the play to make it more believable as the audience would have heard of the feuds in Italy already. During the Elizabethan times in Britain and Europe it was considered normal to marry early. Girls were considered Women as soon as they hit puberty, also life expectancy was a lot shorter than today so if you wanted a long lasting marriage you had to marry very young really. During the Elizabethan age marriage contracts were considered as part of business, maybe to marry into money or land but it was definitely not an act of love, Romeo and Juliet are seen to be very foolish marrying with nothing to gain apart from a binding marriage. In the Source of Romeo and Juliet which Shakespeare adapted they were presented as thoughtless and foolish for doing something so stupid as to marry for love. This scene is very significant to the rest of the play for many reasons, one being that it is the first time they are alone properly together, they show how strong their love for one another really is, and how quickly it has developed from just a glance at each other to talking about marriage. Other scenes could no have come to exist without the Balcony Scene such as they would not have got married, as they would not have discussed it or realized how much they love each other. If Romeo had not left his peers and entered the orchard Romeo and Juliet may not have seen each other again and that...
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