Romeo & Juliet Essay
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Romeo and Juliet is true story written as a play, by William Shakespeare in the Elizabethan time in the 17th Century. This was the period when young girls which was classed as young women and the roles of women was limited, especially those that were rich was never seen outdoors, when venturing outside it was a lot more limited, had private tutoring, educating them to a very high standard and everything would be brought to them, as Juliet in the play is to confined to protect her virginity.
This was when woman were ‘owned’ by fathers then ‘suitable’ husbands, which were expected to accept.
The tradition was ‘Courtney Love’, when a man, often a knight, had to woo (gently persuade) a lady to be his love. This sometimes meant singing to her beneath her balcony. She was supposed to play it very cool for a while, as Juliet says she ought to in this scene. It was all sort of a game. The play is about a boy and a girl who fall in love, but remains to keep it secret of their family feud. There is a lot of use of imagery language in the play, one of the example is the balcony scene, where Romeo comes to find Juliet after the party and find her in her balcony.
This is at night, where the darkness makes them feel safe, somewhere they can truly be alone. At the balcony scene where Romeo meets Juliet for the second time, he talks about how Juliet is so pretty she is and how she is beautiful than the moon itself ‘the envious moon’, this is a simile because he is saying the moon is jealous as it is a symbol of chastity. By saying that it gives us an image of Juliet more beautiful than the moon, so Juliet must seem to be glowing making the night light and bright.
The balcony scene is when the audience is shown that the live is real and eternal. Another image of light and darkness is ‘Juliet’s sun’, people can’t live without the sun so Romeo can’t live without Juliet , so metaphorically Romeo is saying she lightens up the world for Romeo. I think the two images are very powerful, but to be used after only knowing each other after somewhat of couple hours is rather extreme and exaggeration, so at this point I don’t find this convincing at all towards the idea of the two are in love.
The images of love are as strong as those of light and dark, the first is, ‘Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love And I’ll no longer be a Capulet’ Juliet claims that she will lose her identity if he swears to lobe her, she here gives us an imagery of a big sacrifice because they loves each other, but this to me, I wonder if it is really is that simple…? I think the couple don’t need to worry about the name; it shouldn’t matter if they love each other.
A name would be perfectly insignificant, Juliet denies the reality of the situation which is she will never be allowed to marry Romeo because of the feud of the two families, so Romeo and Juliet love must remain secret, so the imagery she uses shows us that thus live cannot and does not survive on earth, which all turns the situation into somewhat of a fairytale. They do die soon later in the play, so this scene shows the audience that it is a special love. Another imagery of love is when Romeo goes on to claim that love can help him to perform such features as climbing tall walls-‘With love’s light wing did I o’perch these walls, For stony limits cannot hold love out’.
This again is a metaphor, which is very unrealistic, a feeling cannot give you power to fly, but it is aright for the couples in love. Their love goes beyond the earth, almost heavenly. However, Romeo is flirting with her, not giving her direct truthful responses. Later he uses the word ‘love’ four times. He talks of ‘love’ as a actual person. He believes their love to b strong that he personifies it. As if he has brought them together.
When asked how he found the garden, he actually describes the personified love as someone he’s in partnership with. He gives love extra power. ‘With love’s live wings did I o’eroperch these walls, For stony limits cannot hols love out; And what love can do, that dares love attempt; Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me. ‘ Juliet declares in line 133, that her ‘bounty is as boundless as the sea’, this is metaphorical term, saying about her generosity. The love she has to give him is so great, not even the sea can obstruct it, the term giving Juliet’s live somewhat of a infinite quality and eternal.
This is off course is unrealistic, but it is similar to Elizabethan voyage of discovery to the ‘new’ world, to seek out the ‘world’s end’, this is yet not found therefore Juliet’s love is the same, ‘boundless’ Other images are of birds, Shakespeare the, changes mood when Juliet talks of birds and captivity. We now see interesting images, shown by Juliet, ‘Hist, Romeo, hist! O for a falconer’s voice, To lure this tassel-gentle back again. ‘ Juliet trying to get Romeo to come back to her, she uses the language of falconry, which was an extremely popular sport with the Elizabethan nobility.
A tassel was a high-prized male peregrine, this suggest that she feels confident as falconer to her very own, ‘tassel-gentle’, Romeo, it is unusual to see her like this in her age. Juliet is dominating the situation. She changes in two days from a little girl to a women, it shows her strength of character, her determination and her love. So I think this is very successful in making the audience realise the two are in love.
On the other hand , we have an image of a spoilt child possessing a pet-‘And yet no farther than a wanton’s bird, Who lets it hop a little from her hand, Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gives,’ This gives us and image of Juliet holding Romeo by a string, and she has control of him, as she can pluck him back whenever she wishes, and ‘gyves’ are prisoner with ropes and chain, this is the case that Juliet is a controlling female, could be of the high standard of her rich life, who is obsessed with Romeo and enjoys having him, whenever she favours, in a little fantasy of hers.
For conclusion, I think in the balcony scene, many different images were shown although there were few actual images, which was effective in convincing the audience that the two are in love. There were only few realistic images, whereas unrealistic images present us with unlikely ideas such as ‘Juliet’s sun’, where the audience was given the idea that she was the light to the world. The image of angels might have been used to symbolise that the couple is not meant to be in earth, a little hint from Shakespeare, but overall I think there was enough images and idea given to back up the love of Romeo and Juliet.