The following sample essay on “Romeo and Juliet” :tells the tale of love in a time of conflict. This tragic play follows a young couple known as Romeo and Juliet as they fall in love, get married and die together during the period of just four days amongst a background full of dreadful violence and hatred.
The play hinges on a very significant turning point in act 3, scene1 where the main character, Romeo, makes a vital decision which changes the fortune of the young couple’s lives for the rest of the play.
Throughout the play Shakespeare uses the contrasting themes of love and hate also the theme of fortune. Celestial imagery, symbolism and irony are used to help convey the themes and show the importance of the turning point in act3, scene1. During act1, the theme hate is strongly expressed through the character Tybalt. Tybalt is a Capulet and cousin of Juliet. A fight starts between the Montague boys and Tybalt and his men, but when Benvolio (a Montague) suggests peace he replies by saying: “What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word.
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee” The theme hate is expressed as the word is repeated twice in one sentence expressing how much Tybalt enjoys violence and that he is more than happy to fight the Montagues. This can be seen as foreshadowing future events as Tybalt is seen another two times wanting to fight with the opposing family. It is emphasised how much Tybalt despises the Montagues as he suggests that he hates them just as much as hell and then he makes it personal by adding in “thee” showing he hates Benvolio as an individual Montague as much as the rest of them.
By using a receding list going from something universal to a personal issue, it reflects and emphasises Tybalts anger by suggesting that he hates them in that order showing the power of his hatred for the montagues. However, the contrasting theme of love is later shown in the act when Romeo and Juliet meet each other for the first time and instantly fall in love. Romeo uses celestial imagery to describe how beautiful Juliet is by saying “o, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! ” The alliteration of the “t” and “b” helps express Romeos feelings as it helps give the words a soft and meaningful sound.
The quote shows that Romeo feels that Juliet is the most beautiful woman there and that she adds light to his dull and dark day. It gives the impression that he is amazed by her and hence shows the power of there love as they have only just met and he is already in awe of her. Act 1 shows the reader the contrasting themes of love and hate as it starts of with a fight and ends with Romeo and Juliet falling in love. It also shows that the play will be unstable as the balance of the love and hate will not last.
In act 2 the extent of Romeo and Juliet’s love is strongly expressed. In scene 1, Juliet shows the audience that she does not care that Romeo is a Montague as it is only a name and is not valuable: “Whats Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, Nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man” Juliet strongly empresses her feelings by showing that there is nothing to a name as it is a worthless object and will not affect her love for Romeo. If Romeo was to have a different name then he would still be the same person as a name is not a physical “part belonging to a man”.
The repetition of “nor” also helps emphasis Juliet’s argument as it shows that she feels strongly about this and there is no way she will change her mind. The theme of good fortune is shown in this act as Romeo and Juliet marry the day after they have just met as Juliet tells Romeo, “Thy purpose marriage”. This is the highest point of luck in the play as everything after this point seems to go wrong as Friar Laurence foreshows that something is going to go wrong: “These violent delights have violent ends”.
The Friar says this just before he marries Romeo and Juliet as he is predicting that something is going to go terribly wrong as they shouldn’t be marrying each other. This is ironic since later in the play he plays a part in Romeo and Juliet’s tragic death. Its almost like Romeo and Juliet are breaking a curse by falling in love despite their families’ hatred for each other but instead of good luck they just bring themselves doom. The audience can clearly see that this is going to be the highest point of the play as nothing much more can happen that is positive because by them marrying each other they are just bringing on bad luck.
Act 3, scene 1 is the most important scene of the play as it is the turning point. Once again the Montague and Capulet men battle. Tybalt accidently kills Mercutio and Romeo is left feeling devastated and deeply angered. Romeo makes a fatal decision and decides to take revenge on Tybalt by killing him. “O, I am fortune’s fool! ” It is quite clear that Romeo had forgotten his love for Juliet as his hate took over. This is the point of peripitea as Romeo has realised he has done a terrible thing and as a result he has reversed his fortune with Juliet.
The killing of Tybalt is Romeo’s harmatia as it is his fatal flaw and nothing will be the same again. From this point in the play everything that happens is extremely unlucky for the couple. Romeo repeats that he is “fortunes fool” twice emphasising that this is the turning point for him and Juliet. Misfortune is shown throughout out this act as Romeo is later banished from Verona. At the start of the act bad luck is also shown as Mercutio is killed under Romeo arm which shows the extent of Romeos misfortune: “I was hurt under your arm.
” By Romeo trying to help protect Mercutio, he caused his death which is devastating for Romeo as he was trying to do the right thing but instead his misfortune got in the way. At this point in the play, the audience can clearly see that things are going wrong for the couple as there has been a sudden reversal in their fortune. Act 4 reflects the reversal of fortune as Juliet is forced to marry Paris- the man her father wants her to wed. The extent to which Juliet loves Romeo is shown as she was willing to commit suicide rather than marry another man: “Then it is likely thou will undertake, A thing like death to chide away the shame.
” To stop Juliet from committing suicide friar Lawrence creates a potion which will fake people into thinking she is dead to prevent her from marrying Paris. However due to their bad luck the plan obviously goes wrong as friar Lawrence sends Romeo a letter to inform him on the plan but Romeo doest receive this and instead is informed of her “death”. This is another example of misfortune caused by the point of peripitea in act 3. As a result of Romeo not receiving this vital piece of information he plans to kill himself showing how much her truly loves Juliet: “ Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night.
” The audience clearly sees that the ending isn’t going to be happy. As a result of the point of peripitea in act3, nothing seems to be going rite and instead there are serious consequences. The final act ends with Romeo and Juliet’s tragic and unfortunate death. As Romeo discovers Juliet lying in a tomb supposedly dead Romeo then kills himself to be with her however, tragically Juliet wakes up just as Romeo has taken poison to kill himself. As a result she takes his dagger and kills herself: “ O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; [Stabs herself]there rust and let me die. [falls on Romeos body, and dies]” This is the final point of their misfortune, resulting in them tragically dying. When Juliet describes the dagger as being “happy” it is because the dagger will grant her final wish to die and finally be with Romeo. As it shows in the stage directions, she falls on Romeos body symbolising that there finally together at peace. However it is ironic in the fact that they will never be at peace as they both committed suicide which is seen as a crime at that time so they will both have went to hell.
The unfortunate timing of their deaths is extremely tragic and the audience can see they were only within minutes of seeing each other. This is the final result of the point of peripitea in act 3. The climax of the play is at the very end when the parents of Romeo and Juliet come together and realise that their families’ fighting has caused their own children’s deaths. When Capulet says “ As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s life; poor sacrifices of our enmity! ” This shows the realisation of the parents discovering their foolish faults.
The audience is left to wonder if the deaths of Romeo and Juliet was the price to pay for the families to unite. The two families uniting at the end over their children’s death is symbolism for the fact that love is born from hate as if their children did not die then they would never have noticed the extent of their wars! In conclusion, Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” shows a clear turning point in act 3 scne1 which dramatically changes the outcome of the play and results in the young couple tragically dying at the end. The play used symbolism to show that Romeo and Juliet had to die because love is stronger then hate.
Even though Romeos harmartia badly affected Romeos and Juliet’s future it did not deteriorate their love showing just how powerful love can be. Throughout the play celestial imagery was used through Romeo to describe the true beauty of his relationship with Juliet. The audience was left with a satisfying ending as the parents managed to see past the years of fighting and make up and also Romeo and Juliet managed to die together in peace. This tragic play has a tragic ending but ends on beautiful note: “For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. ”