How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?

  1. How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?
  2. Romeo and Juliet Conflict

How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?

Shakespeare has taken this story from a basic tale which can be traced back to the thirteenth century, edited the story a little to make the actions of the characters even more outrageous, for example, Juliet is not even fourteen, and she is already bedding Romeo, whom we must hope is also fourteen, and turned it into one of the most renowned plays of the Elizabethan era, with the theme of conflict.

There are many forms of conflict in the world. The most obvious image is that of a tank blowing apart a group of infantry. There are, however, other forms of conflict, such as parent and child when they can not get their homework done, or parent and teacher, when a child gets an unusually low mark. However, in Romeo and Juliet, the conflicts are familial and very violent.

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Even though this is supposed to be the tale of ‘a pair of star-crossed lovers’, there is a lot of references to death and ill-fates. Shakespeare explores numerous different types of conflict within this play, including parental and child, as Juliet argues with her parents about her arranged marriage to Paris, which is the last thing that she wants, as she is already married to Romeo. Romeo experiences an internal conflict when he discovers Juliet is a Capulet, but still wishes to court her any way.

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Then there is the violent inter-familial conflict, usually started or enhanced by Tybalt. For example, if Tybalt had helped Benvolio to stop the fight in the first scene, instead of attacking him, then there would have been no major fight in that scene, and the Prince would not have told the people to keep the peace on pain of death, a large number of references to which can be found in the prologue. The Prologue is recited at the start of the play to tell the audience what the next two hours has in store for them, rather like a blurb on the back of a book. It would help to remove disruptive elements from the audience, as any who dislike the story would be able to leave the area before the play started. It would also help to draw attention to the stage and the fact that the play is about to start, giving people a chance to settle down before the important opening section of the play. The prologue allows far more irony into the play than would otherwise be possible, as we know that when Juliet says ‘make my bridal bed in…. monument where Tybalt now lies.’ she does end up doing just that. However, if the prologue were removed, we would not be able to appreciate Shakespeare’s sense of irony until after the play had finished. Dramatic irony in this play is used to great effect, as the audience will know what is to happen in the play, before the actors do it, as the actors make remarks that would normally have no impact on the play, which now do, for instance; ‘If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed.’, as Juliet says after first meeting Romeo. This is ironic in that, like most ironic things in this play, it is a prediction of what is to come, that the audience knows will come.Much of this irony would be unatainable if the characters had not developed highly distinctive personalities. Shakespeare uses the appearance of a character for the first time to establish what their personality is. For example, Tybalt’s first lines include the words ‘have at thee coward!’, thus establishing him as the hot headed person who enjoys a fight, whereas Benvolio’s ‘part, fools!’ automatically establishes him as the peace keeper within the Montague family, a role he plays throughout the play , and Romeo’s words leading up to ‘out of her favour where I am in love’ indicates to the audience that he is to be a romantic, while the following ‘Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate, O anything of nothing first create!’ fully realises him as the lovelorn fool of the play, although the lady of his attentions changes early on in the play. Also, certain characters are of a violent disposition towards the opposing family, and so say things that are intended to start or escalate a confrontation between the two. The characters in this play use their words in most places to continue the conflict between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s. The best example of this can be found at the beginning of the play when the servants to the Montague’s start insulting the servants of the Capulet’s,by ‘biting their thumbs’, and the Capulet servants refuse to take the bait and start a fight. Then Benvolio happens along and his family servants provoke a fight by saying that he serves a better man than the other. Benvolio then rushes to end the fight and asks of Tybalt that he ‘Put up thy sword, or manage it to part these men with me.’ whereupon Tybalt’s reply is ‘….Have at thee, coward.’, which shows he is of a violent disposition towards the Montague’s. This belies the entire structure of the play. The structure of the play is designed entirely to add tension to the storyline by being so fast paced. It takes place in five days. This inevitably leads to mistakes being made on the part of the lovers and the secrets that need to be conveyed to each other are not because the play happens so quickly. This helps to increase the tension because it makes the audience want to know how they will make good of all the mistakes that are made. One such mistake is Juliet’s failure to disapprove of Paris when she falls in love with Romeo, as her father is then convinced by Paris to marry them. Another mistake is where Romeo fails to get the message that will tell him that Juliet’s death is staged so she can escape to him. Romeo’s love is expressed in main by the use of oxymoron’s. Shakespeare uses imagery mainly to express Romeos love for Juliet and Rosaline. This he does by using oxymoron’s first, to express his feeling about the fact that Rosaline deigns to ignore him. ‘Feather of lead’, ‘cold fire’ and ‘sick health’ are just some of the oxymoron’s Shakespeares use of these words would have a lasting effect on literature for generations to come. This play, and other Shakespeare plays, have had a lasting impact on culture, as they introduced to the English language over one thousand different words, many of which are still in use today, or at least people are familiar with today. Many people have emulated Shakespeare’s style of writing in the writing of their own plays, and even today, films based on his more popular works are still being made. Lovers today are often likened to Romeo and Juliet. Indeed, possibly the most famous lines of any play, the ones most embedded in the literature aficionado’s psyche, are Juliet’s’ balcony lines ‘ Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?’ and only equalled by, if anything the immortal line ‘ Alas, poor Yoric’ from another of Shakespeare’s plays.

Romeo and Juliet Conflict

Shakespeare has taken this story from a basic tale which can be traced back to the thirteenth century, edited the story a little to make the actions of the characters even more outrageous, for example, Juliet is not even fourteen, and she is already bedding Romeo, whom we must hope is also fourteen, and turned it into one of the most renowned plays of the Elizabethan era, with the theme of conflict. There are many forms of conflict in the world. The most obvious image is that of a tank blowing apart a group of infantry. There are, however, other forms of conflict, such as parent and child when they can not get their homework done, or parent and teacher, when a child gets an unusually low mark. However, in Romeo and Juliet, the conflicts are familial and very violent. Even though this is supposed to be the tale of ‘a pair of star-crossed lovers’, there is a lot of references to death and ill-fates. Shakespeare explores numerous different types of conflict within this play, including parental and child, as Juliet argues with her parents about her arranged marriage to Paris, which is the last thing that she wants, as she is already married to Romeo. Romeo experiences an internal conflict when he discovers Juliet is a Capulet, but still wishes to court her any way. Then there is the violent inter-familial conflict, usually started or enhanced by Tybalt. For example, if Tybalt had helped Benvolio to stop the fight in the first scene, instead of attacking him, then there would have been no major fight in that scene, and the Prince would not have told the people to keep the peace on pain of death, a large number of references to which can be found in the prologue. The Prologue is recited at the start of the play to tell the audience what the next two hours has in store for them, rather like a blurb on the back of a book. It would help to remove disruptive elements from the audience, as any who dislike the story would be able to leave the area before the play started. It would also help to draw attention to the stage and the fact that the play is about to start, giving people a chance to settle down before the important opening section of the play. The prologue allows far more irony into the play than would otherwise be possible, as we know that when Juliet says ‘make my bridal bed in…. monument where Tybalt now lies.’ she does end up doing just that. However, if the prologue were removed, we would not be able to appreciate Shakespeare’s sense of irony until after the play had finished. Dramatic irony in this play is used to great effect, as the audience will know what is to happen in the play, before the actors do it, as the actors make remarks that would normally have no impact on the play, which now do, for instance; ‘If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed.’, as Juliet says after first meeting Romeo. This is ironic in that, like most ironic things in this play, it is a prediction of what is to come, that the audience knows will come.Much of this irony would be unatainable if the characters had not developed highly distinctive personalities. Shakespeare uses the appearance of a character for the first time to establish what their personality is. For example, Tybalt’s first lines include the words ‘have at thee coward!’, thus establishing him as the hot headed person who enjoys a fight, whereas Benvolio’s ‘part, fools!’ automatically establishes him as the peace keeper within the Montague family, a role he plays throughout the play , and Romeo’s words leading up to ‘out of her favour where I am in love’ indicates to the audience that he is to be a romantic, while the following ‘Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate, O anything of nothing first create!’ fully realises him as the lovelorn fool of the play, although the lady of his attentions changes early on in the play. Also, certain characters are of a violent disposition towards the opposing family, and so say things that are intended to start or escalate a confrontation between the two. The characters in this play use their words in most places to continue the conflict between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s. The best example of this can be found at the beginning of the play when the servants to the Montague’s start insulting the servants of the Capulet’s,by ‘biting their thumbs’, and the Capulet servants refuse to take the bait and start a fight. Then Benvolio happens along and his family servants provoke a fight by saying that he serves a better man than the other. Benvolio then rushes to end the fight and asks of Tybalt that he ‘Put up thy sword, or manage it to part these men with me.’ whereupon Tybalt’s reply is ‘….Have at thee, coward.’, which shows he is of a violent disposition towards the Montague’s. This belies the entire structure of the play. The structure of the play is designed entirely to add tension to the storyline by being so fast paced. It takes place in five days. This inevitably leads to mistakes being made on the part of the lovers and the secrets that need to be conveyed to each other are not because the play happens so quickly. This helps to increase the tension because it makes the audience want to know how they will make good of all the mistakes that are made. One such mistake is Juliet’s failure to disapprove of Paris when she falls in love with Romeo, as her father is then convinced by Paris to marry them. Another mistake is where Romeo fails to get the message that will tell him that Juliet’s death is staged so she can escape to him. Romeo’s love is expressed in main by the use of oxymoron’s. Shakespeare uses imagery mainly to express Romeos love for Juliet and Rosaline. This he does by using oxymoron’s first, to express his feeling about the fact that Rosaline deigns to ignore him. ‘Feather of lead’, ‘cold fire’ and ‘sick health’ are just some of the oxymoron’s Shakespeares use of these words would have a lasting effect on literature for generations to come. This play, and other Shakespeare plays, have had a lasting impact on culture, as they introduced to the English language over one thousand different words, many of which are still in use today, or at least people are familiar with today. Many people have emulated Shakespeare’s style of writing in the writing of their own plays, and even today, films based on his more popular works are still being made. Lovers today are often likened to Romeo and Juliet. Indeed, possibly the most famous lines of any play, the ones most embedded in the literature aficionado’s psyche, are Juliet’s’ balcony lines ‘ Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?’ and only equalled by, if anything the immortal line ‘ Alas, poor Yoric’ from another of Shakespeare’s plays.

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How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/shakespeare-portray-theme-conflict-romeo-juliet-new-essay

How Does Shakespeare Portray The Theme Of Conflict In Romeo And Juliet?

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