To what extent does Shakespeare make you feel sympathy for Romeo and Juliet in Act 1 and Act 2?
We are introduced to the play by a prologue which in this case is a sonnet. In this we are immediately told the fate of the two ‘star-crossed lovers’, building tension throughout the play. Shakespeare uses this to make us aware of what is going on during the play so we feel sympathy for Romeo and Juliet throughout the play. We are also informed of the hatred between two households, due to pathetic fallacy, who we then read on to find to be the Capulet and Montague families. At first, I thought it was a bit strange to be told what was going to happen before even reading the play, but once I read the play I understood Shakespeare’s intentions. Act 1 opens with Sampson and Gregory, two Montagues, talking and fooling about, but as soon as Tybalt enters there is instant action, with Sampson biting his thumb and Tybalt, but also trying to$ keep the law on his side, ‘Is the law of out side if I say ‘Ay’’ .This occurs in a public place in Verona, where the play is set; we begin to see the true hatred between the two families in action. Shakespeare then brings the Price into the scene, who threatens the rioters with death if they disturb the streets again, making us believe the two families may try to get along, and not fight again. Romeo is first presented as being very emotional. Although he has loving family and friends, he loves a girl who does not love him back, unrequited love, ‘Well in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit with Cupid’s arrow. She hah Dian’s wit, And in strong proof of chastity well armed, From love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed’. He is moping around, over a woman he claims to love called Rosaline. Shakespeare wants us to truly understand Romeos upset over Rosaline, so that when he meets Juliet and truly falls in love we realise the difference in him. We begin to feel sympathy for him due to the fact he is so distraught....
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