Violence and conflict are central to “Romeo and Juliet” Essay
Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play. It is famous for its poetic treatment of the ecstasy of the youthful love, dramatizes the fate of two lovers, victimized by the feuds and misunderstandings of their elders and by their own hasty temperaments. Although the play is about love there are many scenes that contain violence and conflict. The play opens with a fight and ends with the death of the two young lovers, leading to the two families reconciling. The violence in the play happens because of an old feud between two families; Montague and Capulet. In the essay I will discuss how violence and conflict is the central to “Romeo and Juliet.””Romeo and Juliet” was written by William Shakespeare, who was born in 1564. William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in what was known as “Shakespeare’s 2nd period” of his career which was around 1595. It is set in the 16th century. When Shakespeare wrote the play when Queen Elizabeth I ruled England. She loved the theatre. People in the 16th century loved any sport and entertainment; they liked watching plays at the theatre. An Audience in the 16th century would have liked Romeo and Juliet because of the Dramatic, love and tragedy scenes.Act 1 scene 1 is an important scene because it has violence and conflict involved. The play opens with Sampson and Gregory, two servants of the Capulet family, having a discussion about the Montague’s. They are armed with swords and small shields; this suggests that they may be looking for a fight. Sampson says “I mean, and we be in choler, we’ll draw.” This is showing he is ready to fight any Montague. Gregory draws his sword when he sees two servants of the Montague’s; Abraham and Balthazar, enter the scene. From this we can predict what will happen between the servants, we can predict there may be a fight, because we know about the feud between the two families Montague and Capulet that has lasted for years.Sampson says “Draw if you be men, Gregory, remember thy washing blow.” this shows that Sampson is trying to aggravate Abraham and Balthazar, he is provoking then by saying ” draw if you be men…” this then starts a fight between the servants. Benvolio (a Montague) enters. Benvolio trying to keep the peace says “Part fools. Put up your swords, you know not what you do.” However Tybalt (a Capulet) enters causing more trouble. Tybalt jumps to conclusions and thinks that Benvolio is trying to cause ore trouble we know this because he says “what, art thou drawn among these hartless hinds?Turn thee Benvolio, look upon thy death.” Benvolio still tries to keep the peace, however this does not work, Tybalt calls Benvolio a coward, and this provokes Benvolio causing him to raise his sword and fighting Tybalt. Three or four citizens join in. The prince of Verona, Prince Escalus, enters the scene. Prince Escalus is furious by the displeased violence by the two hateful families. Prince Escalus is so angry with both the families he says “throw your mistempered weapons to the ground, and hear the sentence of your moved prince….if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” This shows that if the families continue to fight and quarrel then it will end in death if it is not put to a stop.The second important scene is Act 3, scene 1. It is important because it is one of the main violent where two members from either side of the families get killed. This scene opens with Benvolio (Romeo’s cousin) and Mercuito (Romeo’s best friend) having a conversation, Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin) enters the scene. Tybalt approaches Benvolio and Mercutio. Mercutio and Tybalt begin to argue. Mercutio mocks words of Tybalt. Tybalt says “Mercutio thou consortest with Romeo-“Mercutio replies “Consorts? What dost thou make us minstrels” Romeo enters the scene Tybalt draws his sword. Romeo does not respond to Tybalt, However Mercutio using mockery mocks Tybalt’s name. Mercutio then draws his sword.Tybalt and Mercutio begin to fight, leading to Mercutio getting wounded. Tybalt flees and Mercutio is left to die. Romeo is devastated. Tybalt later returns with his sword had drawn this leading to Romeo and Tybalt fighting. They fight furiously. Romeos sword strikes home, Tybalt falls dead Romeo stands transfixed. Benvolio is worried for his cousin and the consequences that Romeo may have to take, he says “Romeo, away, be gone, the citizens are up, and Tybalt slain! Stand amazed. The prince will doom thee death, if thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away!” The prince enters. He is told that Romeo killed Tybalt, and Tybalt Killed his relative Mercutio. The Prince decides that Romeo must be banished “immediately we do exile him hence…” this scene is one of the most dramatic scenes in the play it has drama, grief, defensive and retribution.The next important scene is Act3 Scene 5. The scene is important because it shows Juliet’s relationship with her parents. The scene opens with Romeo and Juliet standing at the window of Juliet’s bedroom. They are discussing what will happen next. Juliet says “wilt thou be gone?…” Romeo replies “…I must be gone and live, or stay and die,” Juliet does not want Romeo to leave; however Juliet soon realises that Romeo must go he shall be put to death. The nurse enters, she tells Juliet her mother is coming. Romeo soon leaves the scene. Juliet is heartbroken. Lady Capulet enters, to find Juliet sitting on her bed weeping. Lady Capulet misunderstands the situation “evermore weeping for yours cousins’ death?”Lady Capulet soon realises that Juliet is weeping over the loss of Romeo not Tybalt. Lady Capulet then tells Juliet that Lord Capulet has arranged for her to marry Count Paris. Juliet is angry to hear this sudden news and says “…I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet. And when I do, I swear it shall be Romeo…” This clearly shows Juliet still loves Romeo. Capulet and Nurse enter on scene. They see Juliet in floods of tears. Lord Capulet, like his wife, assumes she is still crying over the death of her cousin. Lady Capulet soon puts this assumption straight and tells Capulet that Juliet will not marry count Paris. Capulet is confused and says “how? Will she none? Doth she not give us thanks? Is she not proud?” Juliet replies “Not proud you have, but thankful even for hate that meant love…”Capulet is furious and tells Juliet to marry Paris of he doesn’t want to know her. Juliet goes to see Friar Lawrence to see what he thinks about the marriage and she says “If all else fail, myself have power to die” Juliet shows how much love she has for Romeo in this scene. She argues with her father about the marriage. Although she knows there is possibility that Romeo may not return she still stands by the fact that she loves him. This scene also shows that Juliet’s parents do not really care what their daughter wants, just want to keep their reputation by having her marry Count Paris.If I had to direct act3 scene 5 I would use a traditional setting. The stage would be a room in a grand house, with big golden chandeliers and red velvet curtains. The balcony would be covered in beautiful roses, to show the love in the scene. Juliet would be wearing maybe a white garment, to show purity as would Romeo would be wearing light colours. Lord Capulet would not hit Juliet but would raise his voice; Juliet would stand up to him and shout back. I would do this to show how strong Juliet is in the scene for disagreeing with the marriage to count Paris.Act 5 scenes 3 is the last important scene I will discuss. This scene is important because the two young lovers both die. The scene opens with Paris and his page in the Capulet vault. Romeo and Balthazar soon appear armed with tools. Romeo sends Balthazar away. Romeo enters the tomb Paris realises its Romeo and tells him to leave. Romeo is in no state to be provoked, however Paris does not leave. Romeo says “wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee boy” They begin to fight, Paris is wounded and dies. Romeo starts to speak to himself; he believes that Juliet is dead, although he does not know that Juliet only drank a sleeping potion, because he believes that Juliet is dead, he drinks a poison and dies Friar Lawrence and Balthazar enter and move Romeos Body into the vault. Juliet wakes and asks Friar Lawrence where Romeo is.Friar Lawrence tells her what happened. She tells Friar Lawrence to leave. “What’s here? A cup closed in my true lovers’ hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. O churl. Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after? I will kiss thy lips. Haply some poison yet doth hang on them to make me die with restorative [she kisses him} thy lips are warm,” this is what Juliet says, this shows that she too has no reason to lie now her ” true love” is dead, that she wants to die. She hears noises and says “Yea noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger.This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die” she stabs herself falls on Romeo and dies. If I was to direct Act 3 scene 3 I would have the stage look as if it was set in a pretty church with flowers everywhere to create a peaceful and religious atmosphere. I would show how upset Juliet is by having her scream and fall to the ground crying when she sees Romeo dead. This would show the grief, the audience would also think she was going mad with grief. Although the scene would be set in a church because the death of the two young lovers is so dramatic, it wouldn’t matter where it was set, because the audience would be focused on the events going on.In my opinion Romeo and Juliet is quite a violent play, looking at these scenes, I have noticed that although the play is based on love, along the way the two lovers had to tackle the violence, loss and grief of those around them. From watching the film I remember the love side of the pay, but reading the play I remember the violence side more. In my opinion the pay does have equal amounts of love and hatred. My favourite scene was the last scene where both Romeo and Juliet die. This is my favourite scene because this scene shows how much they would sacrifice for each other. I also like this scene because it has drama, tragedy, grief all in one and the two families reconcile, although it took the death of their children to make them realise what they had.