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Romeo and Juliet love and hate

By chessagami Nov 07, 2013 701 Words
Essay Question: How does Shakespeare effectively convey the tragedy of the relationship between Romeo & Juliet?

Shakespeare successfully and effectively conveys the tragedy of the star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet through the love versus hate theme, descriptive and deep language, along with the dramatic construction of the story. The two beloved are doomed due to their family’s long history of hatred which leads to violence.

The theme of love and hate is shown clearly with the newlywed Romeo and Juliet, contrasting greatly to their two respective houses of Montague and Capulet. Hate is clearly shown between the two houses when Tybalt immediately wishes to start a fight with Romeo when he is seen in disguise at a Capulet party by saying “What, dares the slave, come hither covered in an antic face, To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?” He clearly believes that to even attend an opposite house is an extremely rude insult, and thus proving the great amount of hatred between the families. The love theme is shown deeply between Romeo and even his enemies when he says “But love thee better than thou canst devise” to Tybalt. He lowers his pride when he ‘loves’ his enemy which means that he would happily bow down. The everlasting love between Romeo and Juliet as they Juliet says “My love as deep; the more I give to thee the more I have, for both are infinite” meaning that her love for Romeo knew no bounds, and that as she loved Romeo more, he loved her back more. The love between two enemy houses shows the tragedy clearly by making their situation unable to be resolved due to their heritage from opposing families.

The deep and descriptive language is used to its full effect by Shakespeare is displayed through the use of soliloquies, light and dark imagery. These techniques help to convey the tragedy clearly and make the audience understand the atmosphere surrounding the scenes. This is shown clearly in Act 3 Scene 2 where Juliet expresses her sexual desires and dreams about Romeo, but also shows that she was desperate since she could not do it in the day due to her and Romeo’s relationship being forbidden by their families. The imagery helps to give the audience an either positive or negative mood which creates tension about what would happen next in the tragedy. This is shown when Juliet says at the end of Act 3 Scene 5 where she claims that “if all else fails, myself have power to die” which leaves the audience wondering about what it could mean and lead to. This rich and powerful use of the English language helps to support the tragedy through changing the mood of the audience.

The dramatic structure of the play helped to convey the tragedy through its layout of a complication. The play starts out exciting with the main feud being introduced at the beginning. To not break the pace, the main complication is shown very early on, in just Act 2 where Romeo confesses his love for Juliet, then realising that they belonged to the two enemy houses. Extra rising action adds to the build up of the tragedy so when it reaches the crisis point, the tragedy is much more interesting, such as the ‘balcony scene’ where Romeo and Juliet commit themselves to each other and agree to get married. The crisis point is where the death of Mercutio and Tybalt lead to Romeo being banished prevents Romeo and Juliet from meeting which is the tragedy. They are forced to go to extreme methods as a resolution to be together which shows how far the tragedy goes. This dramatic structure including the complication, rising and falling action with a crisis point and resolution convey the tragedy effectively. The use of these techniques helps the audience to understand the feelings of the characters inside this play and feel their tension, stress and desperation. This makes the addressees feel sorry for the families of Romeo and Juliet but also realise that it is their fault, being sworn enemies and restricting their lives. It shows in reality that other people’s feuds can cause innocent people such as Romeo and Juliet to get hurt.

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