This sample essay on Two Star Crossed Lovers reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
In my essay I will be studying the meeting of the “two star-crossed lovers”: Romeo and Juliet. The play, which was written in 1595 by the famous William Shakespeare, is one of his most popular and is well known around the globe. In this essay I will be exploring how Shakespeare presents Romeo and Juliet’s meeting in Act 1 Scene 5.
It all takes place in Verona, Italy. A young boy from the Montague family falls in love with the beautiful Juliet of the Capulet family. An ancient feud between their families makes their love impossible, only when their blood is shed and their lives come to an abrupt and premature end may the feud come to a close.
William Shakespeare has made the structure of Act 1 Scene 5 very sectional. Throughout the play there are lots of characters who enter and leave.
Shakespeare uses very little stage directions; this is because he believes that the language he uses should lead to natural directions and movements. In first section of Act 1 Scene 5, the servants are arguing amongst themselves about how Potpan doesn’t do his fair share of the work. Shakespeare has used this to foreshadow the events which occur later in the scene, where Lord Capulet and Tybalt argue about Romeo’s presence at the Capulet party. Tybalt says “It fits when such a villain is a guest: I’ll not endure him” to which Lord Capulet argues “He shall be endured.
” This argument then escalates to the point where Tybalt goes off stage and swears he will take revenge on Romeo. This is the event which the small disagreements amongst the servants foreshadowed.
This is not the only event which Shakespeare foreshadows; in the final section of the scene Juliet is having a conversation with the Nurse; inquisitively asking questions about the mysterious young stranger with whom she has fallen in love. Juliet says “If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed.” This prophesises her abrupt death shortly after her marriage to Romeo. This is also a link to how Elizabethan society believed strongly in fate, as all the events and foreshadowing hint towards how it was Romeo and Juliet’s destiny to fall in love and face their tragic end. This was Shakespeare’s way of adding drama using structure.
In this scene we discover many things about each of the characters involved. Earlier in the scene Lord Capulet introduces and welcomes his guests to the party. He is portrayed as a highly respected member of society who has a reputation to uphold, as being a good host in Elizabethan times was extremely important. He says “welcome, gentlemen” which is then emphasised by being repeated a second time. This shows how he is eager for people to feel satisfied with the party atmosphere. In Act 1 Scene 5 Tybalt is portrayed as an angry and vengeful man who feels great hatred towards the Montague family. In the middle of the scene Lord Capulet and Tybalt argue after Romeo has been sighted, once again Lord Capulet is seen as a reasonable man as when Tybalt is degrading Romeo by calling him a “villain”, Capulet replies by saying “be patient, take no note of him”.
By this he meant he should just ignore him and take no notice, but instead of accepting this, Tybalt swears revenge by saying “I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall.” He is unforgiving, however also loyal to his family as he feels he must defend them even through violence this foreshadows the fight which occurs in Act 3 Scene 1. Romeo is seen as a shallow young boy: he falls in love only with beauty before waiting to find out what the person is like. Juliet implies this after their first kiss by saying “you kiss by the book.” This could be perceived as two different things, one being that Romeo is a good kisser or that their kiss must have meant nothing to him as he is too experienced. Not much can be determined about Juliet’s personality in this scene, however we find out that she is devastated when she realises how her “only love” is sprung from her “only hate”. It is also clear by the language used that Shakespeare has portrayed her to be a polite, obedient, courteous and pure young girl.
She says how the timing of their meeting is wrong and how she wishes how the feud was over and they could be happy together. She is deeply upset and frustrated that she “must love a loathed enemy”. However she is strong willed and she is willing to rebel against everything her family believes in so she can defend her decision and love. When Romeo first sets eyes on Juliet he compares her to the Sun and says how the most beautiful and precious jewel can not compare to her. He declares his love privately to the audience, thus forgetting his “love” for Rosaline completely.
Romeo and Juliet’s first conversation is structured in the form of a sonnet; it follows a scene showing conflict so it emphasises the love expressed. Shakespeare uses pure and holy language throughout the sonnet to show the innocence and purity of their love. It is also a way of showing how their love is the real thing; the holy language could refer to how their relationship has been blessed by God. The sonnet rhymes with the traditional rhyme scheme which helps this section stand out from the rest of the act and represents its importance. Romeo and Juliet then begin a second sonnet which is interrupted by the Nurse; this makes the sudden disruption more shocking for the audience as well and the characters. The scene opens with an argument amongst the servants; this is full of light hearted bickering and jokes which provide a comic relief in order to contract with the love poetry used. When Lord Capulet is engaging in a conversation with his cousin, they begin a playful kind of argument over the “nuptial of Lucientio”; this is yet another use of foreshadowing which Shakespeare has included.
The friendly banter and teasing is once again used to warn the audience of the following conflict later in the scene. The exchange of angry words between Lord Capulet and Tybalt is used in contrast with the scene between Romeo and Juliet. This is the biggest conflict in the scene and is vital in the rest of the play, Lord Capulet uses negotiating and persuasive language when asking Tybalt to “take no note” of Romeo, however it becomes clear by Tybalt’s language that he is filled with rage, hence why he swears to take revenge. The language used between Romeo and Juliet is pure and holy; in contrast Tybalt’s language goes against everything which they have said. The Bible teaches to forgive, and love thy enemy, however this is one thing which he can’t bring himself to do. Instead he is consumed by the over powering need to defend his family’s honour which was extremely important in the Elizabethan period.
An Elizabethan audience would of enjoyed this scene for many reasons, one of which being one of the forms of entertainment which is included. The scene opens with Lord Capulet’s party. He is being jovial and trying his hardest to ensure he is a good host because it boosts the reputation and honour of his family which was extremely important at this time. Also when the play would be performed it would include Elizabethan dancing as portrayed in some of the more modern films which depict this famous play. The stage directions at the beginning of the play read “come forth with napkins”. Traditionally in Elizabethan theatre the symbol of a party would always be to come forth or wave napkins.
Therefore it can be seen that in William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” there are a vast amount of language techniques used and a variation in dramatic structure and language devices. A large amount of historical context has been woven into the play and I believe it will be popular for many more centuries to come.