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Romeo and Juliet

By JainiShah3 Feb 27, 2013 1379 Words
Act 2 Scene 2 is a very famous and touching Scene in Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. It shows the romance, affection and danger of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship love which makes the play moving. Romeo and Juliet’s thoughts are shown widely in this scene and, as an audience, we start to see how their love may or may not have meant to be.

Romeo’s feelings towards Juliet are shown in the beginning of Act 2 Scene 2. It begins when Romeo is creeping into the garden. There is an underlying threat because he may get caught for crossing onto perilous territory. This makes the audience feel anxious but is also builds up excitement. Also, suspense is created when the lights turn on in Luhrmann’s play because Romeo is taking huge risks to see Juliet which could end in death. Moments later silence approaches when the ‘bright [angelic]’ Juliet enters the scene on the balcony. Romeo’s feelings are shown in his description of Juliet as she enters; he refers to her as a ‘saint’ and ‘an angel’ because of her beauty and innocence. Similar to Act 1 Scene 5, when Romeo and Juliet meet, he uses religious terms such as ‘holy’ and ‘shrine’ to describe Juliet and this gives us an understanding that Romeo has respect for her. The word ‘saint’ shows he elevates her as if she were a pure and holy.

However Romeo is presented as being troubled in Act 2 Scene 2 when he believes he is unworthy of Juliet; ‘I am too bold. ‘Tis not to me she speaks’. However, Romeo soon realises that Juliet loves Romeo as much as he adores her. Removing this line in Luhrmann’s production and placing Juliet on the same level as Romeo removes their large distance between them and shows their intimacy. However, it Luhrmann many also be indicating that they are rushing into their relationship since they only recently met. This can be comparable to Friar Laurence’s reaction in Act 2 Scene 3 to their love as he also indicates that Romeo should go ‘[Wise and slow]’ because ‘they stumble that run fast’. Friar Laurence is explaining that Romeo should be careful with his actions because Juliet may start to feel uncomfortable.

Juliet shows her feelings for Romeo however she we believe she is confused. She speaks with anxiety and she asks questions; ‘O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?’ Juliet is questioning why he has to be ‘[Her] only love sprung from [her] only hate’ in Act 1 Scene 5 because she wants to be with him. Juliet uses the juxtaposition of Romeo and a rose to show how a name doesn’t have a meaning yet another ‘name’ would not show the beauty of the real object. She uses this imagery to find a reason for her and Romeo to be together. Although she is anxious, in the film she has a dreamy look in her eyes which shows how much she loves him.

Later on in that scene, Juliet expresses her love to Romeo truthfully while trying to find out if Romeo honestly loves her or if it is just lust. However, Romeo doesn’t obey her. Instead, he tries to show Juliet how much he loves her by using metaphors and imagery to compare their love to the moon. Juliet doesn’t approve of this match; ‘O swear not by the moon’ because she believes that the moon is ‘inconstant’ and always changing. She’s cutting through his sentence which is shown in Luhrmann’s production as she is trying to stop Romeo from being dramatic and radical because she’s being sensible and trying to understand if he loves her.

Conversely, he says ‘With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold love out’. The reader soon understands the risk that Romeo is taking in order to be with Juliet and this makes the play moving. He’s using a conventional approach to love – he is going in the direction of how society sees love – because he believes he has to win Juliet and he wants to show Juliet how much he loves her. Nevertheless Juliet believes ‘It is too rash, too unadvised [and] too sudden’. She uses the rule of three to exaggerate that she just wants Romeo to be straightforward and honest. Although they may have strong love between them, they are rushing into their relationship without realising the consequences.

The audience of Luhrmann’s production can understand that Romeo is presented as being over-confident in parts of the scene because of his careless actions in the presence of Juliet. In the film, Luhrmann shows Romeo’s confidence when Romeo stands up and shouts out ‘Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me’. The jeopardy he is taking makes the play moving because their love is forbidden; it also looks foolish to the audience and is showing that he’s defiant to the authority. Also, although his confidence may be high, Juliet is sensible and knows that he will be killed if he is seen. Therefore she plunges him into the water to hide him and suspense is created as the audience is worried that they will get caught.

We start to see that Juliet desperately wants to know if Romeo’s intentions are honourable; ‘Dost thou love me?’ In the performed version she whispers because she’s scared of the answer and Romeo replies with a kiss which he believes gives the answer of a yes. However, Juliet’s facial expressions in Luhrmann’s production show how she is still uncertain. Therefore, just before Juliet leaves, Romeo decides to be straightforward in order to make her stay longer; ‘Th’ exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.’ Juliet and the audience have a moment to realise that Romeo’s love for her is real and Juliet accepts the marriage. The background music in Luhrmann’s film implies to the audience, the happiness between them. We find their relationship very moving because we know Juliet will lose everything by marrying Romeo and she doesn’t have a secure future, yet she still agrees to marry Romeo. We can realise how much love she has for Romeo since she is risking her future.

Other characters such as the Nurse react to Romeo and Juliet’s feelings for example in Act 2 Scene 5. At first, the Nurse’s reaction is quite devastated and she believes Juliet is being foolish as ‘[Juliet knows] not how to choose a man: Romeo!’ On the other hand, the Nurse realises that Juliet and Romeo love each other and she only wants Juliet to be happy. The audience understands that the Nurse wants Juliet to be happy because she raised Juliet as if she were her own daughter.

There is hope and excitement for Romeo and Juliet when he is looking up at her at the end of Luhrmann’s Act 2 Scene 2. However, there is dramatic irony because we know their future soon ends in death. This creates the relationship to be moving because it is emotional and heart-breaking for the audience since we know what eventually happens. We can also relate to Act 3 Scene 5 because Juliet has a premonition that makes us nervous because she thinks she’s going to die and we know she will which shows dramatic irony.

Throughout the play and the performed version, Romeo is presented to be rushing into the relationship and having a conventional approach to love and Juliet is presented as being more serious and sensible. Other characters such as Friar Laurence and the Nurse react to their relationship, at first they were shocked but they soon supported them through the marriage. Overall, their love has fitted together and I believe that their love could have been fortunate. Romeo and Juliet’s relationship could have worked out well because we find out they truly love each other. This scene is emotional because we realise that there wouldn’t have been a tragic end to their love if their families weren’t enemies. The prohibition of their love makes the play moving and since they fell in love with one another, the rest was their fate. As the prologue said ‘A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life’, Romeo and Juliet’s fate was to fall in love and to face death.

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