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Romeo and Juliet

  • Date Submitted: 12/01/2013 10:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.1 
  • Words: 2438
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Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy by world-renowned English playwright William Shakespeare. It has managed to capture the hearts and minds of every generation from the Elizabethans to the current population, making it startlingly apparent that the themes of the play – conflict, death and true love – were just as relevant in the past as they are today. The play’s continued survival and popularity are evidence that, despite the stricter moral codes of the Elizabethans, all generations have been able to sympathise with the titular characters.   In this essay I will write about the ways in which Shakespeare convinces both modern and Elizabethan audiences that Romeo and Juliet’s love is special and meant-to-be.

​Romeo and Juliet opens with a sonnet which introduces the basics of the plot to the audience. Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in the opening sonnet makes the rest of the play seem like it is just adding detail to the plot that has already been given.
​The sonnet introduces three key themes to the play – love, death and conflict – and by the end of the prologue the audience knows that a tragedy will follow: “a pair of star cross’d lovers [will take their lives]”, that their two families (the Capulets and the Montagues) are in conflict with one another and that “with their death [they will] bury their parent’s strife”. But the first hint that Romeo and Juliet are fated is in the phrase “a pair of star cross’d lovers”. As Shakespeare has written the prologue as a prophecy, this phrase seems to guarantee not only that Romeo and Juliet will love one another, but also that they are fated to be. “Star cross’d” denotes that their relationship will happen because their stars, or fates, cross paths. The phrase could also be interpreted as signifying that, because their destinies are bound by the stars, their relationship is magical and special.
​Act 1 Scene 1 continues where the prologue left off, introducing (of the main characters) Lord and Lady Montague, Tybalt...


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