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By Zaynabpinky Jan 13, 2013 1231 Words
The most influential writer in all of English literature, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford upon Avon in 1564 and died 1616. Shakespeare is a famous play writer. Romeo and Juliet is about two young star-crossed lovers from two families which are enemies, and how their love took them to their graves. It is generally believed that the play is based on a real Italian love story from the 3rd Century. The ‘real families’ are the Capeletti and the Montecci families. Shakespeare wrote his version in 1594 which was based on Arthur Brooke’s poem The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet' in (1562). . In this essay I will be analyzing how Shakespeare shows the importance of anger through the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and its historical background Romeo and Juliet is set around conflict and chaos. Shakespeare shows that this “ancient grudge” which was born many years back, and that, although it may not have anything to do with the current generations, it is still carried on. It seems impossible for this grudge to be destroyed as 'new mutiny' seems to explode all the time ."Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean” Shakespeare uses a bit of a play on words here. First, when Shakespeare describes the blood as civil, he means within one group, or one people who should be united. When he uses civil to describe hands, he means that the hands would otherwise be kindly and innocent, if they hadn't killed. Shakespeare has also used the literacy technique of foreshadowing, this is to let the audience imagine or guess of what might come next. This was done through the use of symbols. And in the prologue which states that "star crossed lovers take their life” ,here Shakespeare hints that Romeo and Juliet were meant to die together because it was their destiny. Therefore this is what fate had planned for their lives, as it was crossed through the stars. So the audiences recognize even further that the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet was something which was definitely happening. Shakespeare's job to convince the audience to believe that what has happened in the play was down to fate was easy. As the audience at that point of time would have believed in fate.

The sudden switch from the comedic interplay between the servants to a potentially life-threatening situation demonstrates the rapidly changing pace that drives the action of the rest of the play. For instance, Benvolio, whose name means "goodwill," tries to act as a peacemaker by dividing the servants, but the quick-tempered "fiery Tybalt" forces him to draw his sword, and the atmosphere changes from harmony to hatred within a few lines In the 1600s there was a lot of conflict between the Catholic church and the protestant church. Shakespeare uses the Montagues and the Capulets to portray this - the Montagues being the Protestants and the Capulets being the Catholics. He wanted to show that it could only end in disaster. By the end of this opening scene the audience is introduced to Romeo, who almost represents the theme of love in the play. At this moment Romeo is too busy yearning over his love for Rosaline to notice the brawl, and says “alas, that love whose view is muffled still, should without eyes see pathways to his will”. When Romeo sees the remains of the brawl , his ‘pathway’ of love is disturbed ,and he asks no to know what has happened he then says “here’s much to do with hate, but more to do with love” Romeo is talking about his experience of love in a way that it can make him happy and sad at the same time. He is connecting his feeling to the remains of the brawl, he concludes that although their fight was partly because of the hate of the two families it is more about the love within each family, that caused them to fight within each other where he says “o anything of nothing first create!” he says that love/hate can take many forms and can be created out of nothing, just as the brawls started because of the servants being arrogant. It is sad, happiness and a serious foolishness which can be seen as an oxymoron . Shakespeare uses them throughout the play to connect two themes. However the reasons for the brawl are more to do with love and therefore love overcomes hate.

Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona in Italy. Verona is said to be a very romantic city so it makes the romance seem more real. It is also very hot in summer which can flare peoples tempers and lead to fights - "We shall not scape a brawl; For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring" says Benvolio afraid a fight will break out in the mid-summer heat. The heat further ignites the passion between Romeo and Juliet so it is not only negative.

The violence that occurred throughout the play was mainly because of the way Elizabethan society believed. As they believed that men should live up to the codes of honor that existed at that time. This shown as another important tragedy in the play as the majority of the deaths that occur are committed by characters who believe in this thought. As we clearly see when Tybalt says "now by the stock and honor of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin". Tybalt believed that there is no wrong with killing someone for revenge as he is being loyal to his family and following his codes of honour. Romeo and Juliet are much influenced in the way they behave and live as they belong to the patriarchal society which they live in. If the society was more open, then Juliet would not have to keep her marriage to Romeo secretive and so avoid the tragic end.

Later on in the play ,Juliet was put in very sensitive and vulnerable position because of the way the Elizabethan society worked. Juliet caused her father to even put her in more difficult situation as she refuses to marry Paris, this also made her father angery, as we see in this example "hang thee young baggage, disobedient wretch! I tell the what: get thee to church a Thursday or never more look me in the face. Speak not reply not, do not answer me". Here from the point of an Elizabethan society, Juliet would have seemed the one who was guilty and terribly wrong, where her father as right and fair this is because their society was much controlled by the male. As the society was patriarchal then the authoritative figures should have been men. And so this forced and left Romeo and Juliet with disastrous choices. Which led them to choose their freedom; death.

As far as ideas go, I think that the idea of romantic love contributes most to the tragedy. Romeo and Juliet die because they have this idea that one should fall in love and marry on that basis. That's unremarkable today, but back in Shakespeare's time high-born people, especially, would have expected to be married off for political, social, or economic (or all three) purposes. The idea (held by Romeo and Juliet) that romantic love is the proper reason for marriage is what really causes the tragedy.

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