Violence and Conflict Are Central to “Romeo and Juliet”, Providing a Strong Contrast to the Love Story Between the Two Main Characters. Discuss This Theme with Reference to at Least Three Scenes in the Play.

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  • Topic: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo Montague
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Violence and conflict are central to “Romeo and Juliet”, providing a strong contrast to the love story between the two main characters. Discuss this theme with reference to at least three scenes in the play.

“Romeo and Juliet” is a ’high drama’ tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two teenage "star-cross'd lovers" whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime. “Romeo and Juliet” was written in the 16th century and first performed between 1594 and 1595 at the Globe theatre, when his career as a play writer and a poet was young. His play tells the story of two bitter Italian families “both alike in dignity“, the Capulets and the Montagues who are separated by “ancient grudge“. Their children Romeo and Juliet whom “from forth the fatal loins of these two foes“, are the main characters and their tale of forbidden love is one of the main aspects of the play, although love is not the only aspect integrated in to this play. There is indeed another aspect which is violence and conflict. In act 1 scene 1we witness a quarrel between the Montague’s servants and the Capulet’s servants break out turning the peaceful streets of Verona into a riot full of violence and chaos. The violence and conflict between these two bitter families is due to the “ancient grudge” the cause we know not but none the less it was this “ancient grudge” that “provoked the long standing feud” which resulted in the death of our “star-crossed lovers” “Juliet and her Romeo” in act 5 scene 3.

In this essay I will discuss the historical and cultural background of the sixteenth century, the significance of the prologue, and antithesis in “Romeo and Juliet” along with some scenes which are of most importance for my essay. The scenes are as following act 1 scene1, act 3 scene 1 and act 3 scene 5. Towards the end of my essay I will refer to the defining achievements of the play within the dramatic genre. And finally I will round of my essay with a summary to discuss the title with reference to my key scenes.

“Romeo and Juliet” was written by William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 ' 23 April 1616), the play “Romeo and Juliet” was first performed between 1594 and 1595. William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, his plays were performed by the lord chamberlain’s men in the sixteenth century when Queen Elizabeth the 1st ruled England. This period in time was a very important one as Queen Elizabeth the 1st was riding high over defeat with the Spanish Armada , the English vocabulary was flourishing with an explosion in the richness of our language, caused by food and language brought back from abroad while trading goods. Shakespeare was at a great advantage as most people in the sixteenth century were rather fond of any type of entertainment such as public hanging, cock fighting and performances on stage, an Elizabethan audience would have liked this play as it is of “high drama” along with this Queen Elizabeth the 1st loved theatres which meant William Shakespeare would be funded for further performances on the other hand not every one was keen of performances the puritans at the time believed that performances and plays were bad for society and peoples morals . In the sixteenth century, England was a totally different place compare to today for instance there was a patriarchy society which is the structuring of a society on the basis of the family units this meant fathers had the primary responsibility for the welfare of, and authority over their families. This also meant, brothers, husbands, cousins and uncles had control over other females. Women at the time were not allowed an academic education, or to get a job, their sole responsibility were to bear children and clean, cook and look after the home they were often referred to as the ‘angle of the house’...
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