‘Romeo and Juliet’ is arguably one of the most powerful love stories written by the great William Shakespeare. It portrays a tale of two doomed lovers embroiled in a world of lies, deceit, and fuelled by violence. The play takes place over three days in a suburban town in Italy known as Verona. The play tells the tale of a love sick, adolescent boy, Romeo and a traditional, upper class girl, Juliet who both fall in love.
However to their distress they shortly discover that they cant be together due to the families who have been sworn enemies of one and another for generations, Romeo being a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. Romeo and Juliet do secretly wed, however, later both loose their lives in tragic circumstances. William Shakespeare shows that the two lovers had to go through so much needless violence and hate just so they could succeed in their love and be free yet so much violence and hatred leads to both of the lover’s deaths.
Romeo goes through much change of emotion throughout the play, and it appears that he is in love with falling in love, as at first he is in love with a woman called Roseline. He is totally in love with this woman as he is constantly mourning the fact that it is unrequited love, as Roseline does not share Romeos feelings. This experience of love unknown to Romeo is not true love, as he has not commenced a relationship with Roseline. Up to this point he has not experienced true love.
As Romeo is persistently mourning Roseline his family and friends attempt to cheer him up, at their best attempt they decide to persuade Romeo to gatecrash Juliet’s engagement party. Romeo decides to attend as he is hopeful of catching sight of Roseline, however, he lays eyes on Juliet and they fall in love instantly. Romeo is only in love with the idea of her, as he has not yet experienced true love. At this point Romeos Character seems to be erratic as he keeps falling in and out of love. Romeos mood changes suddenly and drastically throughout the play, especially in two powerful and famous scenes, Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 3 Scene 3.
When the two lovers realize they are from feuding families they do not know weather they should still love each other or hate each other. This makes the situation extremely tense because if they were not part of the two particular families they could have had a simple relationship. This comes as a big shock to the audience and they will remain interested to see if the two unfortunate lovers pursue their relationship. Romeo at this point is feeling anxious as he is love struck and he still does not no if Juliet will still be interested after realizing their families are sworn enemies.
In Act 2 Scene 2 Romeo arrives at the Capulet’s orchard after meeting Juliet at the party. Romeo very bravely goes to meet Juliet as now he feels he is experiencing true love and can no longer wait. Romeo climbs over the walls of the orchard and is on the ground when Juliet opens the window and appears above as at a window. William Shakespeare uses romantic imagery and metaphors to communicate Romeos mood and to describe how Romeo feels about Juliet as Romeo opens with the metaphor “It is the east and Juliet is the sun” This portrays Romeos mood effectively as it shows how much he loves and adores her and he regards her as a very important person as the sun is important. The language and heavenly imagery is also paralleled by the dramatic device of Romeo looking up at Juliet on her balcony.
Juliet goes on to deliver her soliloquy unaware of Romeos presence, which presents dramatic irony, as the audience is aware of Romeos occurrence. While the lovers exchange vows of love there are signs of them being hesitant, as Juliet fears the suddenness of their love whereas Romeo is afraid it may all be a dream. William Shakespeare has made a big contrast here showing Juliet as being more mature and as a girl fearing her reputation “though mayst prove false”, However, Romeo only fears that it may be a dream “being it night, all this is but a dream”.
Much to the audience and Romeos delight Juliet Is also deeply in love with Romeo regardless of their second names “Romeo doff (cast off) thy name, and for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all myself”. The audience are made to feel sympathetic towards the two lovers so at this point they will be hopeful as they no that they will both endeavour to overcome the situation and finally be together. The overall mood at this point of Romeo is very excited as he realises that Juliet still adores him regardless of their family background, he is also relieved and hopeful when he realises that she is still in love with him.
Shakespeare communicates Romeos mood effectively with the use of metaphors and romantic imagery. He chooses his words very cleverly as at the beginning there is a lot of romance which reflects the language as there is a lot of romantic and passionate words, however towards the middle and the end there are a lot of references of death such as ‘murder’, to hint to the audience that something tragic is not so far away. The constant repetition of words such as love, brightness and light at the beginning, create an obvious plot in the minds of the audience that it is just a love story. However, later the language style changes and there is reiteration of words like ‘night’ and ‘murder’, which suggests to the audience that there is a tragic and sinister twist to the love story.
Baz Luhrmann adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is similar, however, it has been totally transformed in the sense that it has become more modernised, because of the fact that they have cars and guns and they live in the twentieth century world whereas the original was written at a time when there was no such thing as guns and cars. According to me Baz Luhrmann’s version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is an excellent adaptation of the original as I feel it suits the modern era audience, due to this reason, if I was to direct this play I would incorporate Baz Luhrmann’s modern theme. Furthermore the up to date version makes it more relevant to today’s audience.
In Baz Luhrmann’s film version of the play, Romeo delivers the famous balcony scene in a mansion. He is then looking up at Juliet and very passionately delivers the speech. If I were to direct the play I would have Romeo looking up at Juliet at her balcony giving the notion of heaven and Juliet being an angel, furthermore this is also a dramatic device and it makes this scene more memorable for the audience. Although, in the original piece Juliet was not actually at a balcony. I would have Romeo deliver the lines with a very profound and intense facial expression and an exceptionally passionate and loving tone of voice. This would help portray Romeos love sick, infatuated and affectionate mood along with his excited feelings. He would be in the centre of the stage moving swiftly and lovingly, his actions would be very free flowing as he is in love and very blissful.
In between Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 3 Scene 3 there are major events, which take place one of them being the marriage of Romeo and Juliet. With the help of Friar Lawrence secretly weds Romeo and Juliet. They both meet up in a remotely secluded area were they both marry without knowledge of either Romeos or Juliet’s parents. Friar Lawrence went ahead with this in an attempt to stop the feuding between both of the families. He predicted that when the families saw that the two were deeply in love maybe they could resolve their dyer situation.
Romeo feels excited about his marriage and decides to share the news with his friend Mercutio. When he arrives and greets Mercutio, he also runs into tybalt. Tybalt was a notorious Capulet who despised the Montague’s. Tybalt started to squabble with Mercutio as Mercutio retaliated, Romeo attempted to intervene as Mercutio was his best friend and Tybalt was know his cousin. Romeo bitterly failed; as the quarrel escalated Tybalt reached for his knife and stabbes it straight through poor Mercutio’s helpless body. Tybalt fled.
Romeo cannot quite believe what has happened to his closest friend as he crouches down beside Mercutio, and then he decides to go and seek revenge from Tybalt. After a short chase he then kills Tybalt his recent new cousin. He later realises that he not only has killed his own cousin which his love may never forgive him of, however, he has committed murder which meant he faced banishment which will prevent him from staying in Verona, therefore, preventing him from seeing Juliet.
At Romeos distress he arrives Later in Act 3, Scene 3, at the Friar Lawrence’s cell. Romeo recieves the bad news from Friar Lawrence about his banishment. Friar Lawrence opens his speech with “Romeo, come forth, come forth, thou fear ful man”, this shows that Romeo is frightened and knows that he didn’t mean to kill Tybalt. As Romeo enters the scene he is shocked and scared, as he opens his speech he uses the word “sorrow”, which shows that he is sorry for what he did and he realises he should not have done it. Friar Lawrence uses the quote, “Not body’s death, but body’s banishment”. This shows the audience that Romeo has not been sentenced death, however, it has been reduced to exile. This should make Romeo more contented and relieved that he will not be killed however he would rather be dead, “Be merciful say death…much more than death”.
Romeo is angry at hearing that he will not be killed because he realises that if he is banished he will not be eligible to see his love Juliet. Friar Lawrence then moves on as Romeo’s anger rises and he goes on to say, “Be patient, for the world is broad and wide”. This sows that the world is a large place and he is able to live somewhere else instead of ending his life. Romeo’s anger is still rising as he thinks about Juliet, “There is no world without Verona walls”; this is where Juliet hides in the streets of Verona. Romeo continues, intensely and furiously and soon Friar Lawrence gets frustrated and say’s, “O deadly sin! O rude unthankful ness”, here Friar is getting extremely angry as he is trying to calm Romeo down and he has no respect for Friar, as Romeo selfish and unthankful that his sentenced has been reduced. However, Romeo still talks about the “heavens” which is Juliet as he thinks what life would be without Juliet in his life. Here the audience will have a shock in that Romeo will lose Juliet and also that he will be banished. Romeo’s mood here is high tempered as he is already suffering the effects of banishment. Romeo refuses to be comforted as he is going through to much pain and anger.
However, Shakespeare uses the nurse as a dramatic device and dramatically Romeo’s mood changes “Nurse!” Romeo feels comforted as the nurse tells Romeo how Juliet is feeling “O she says nothing, sir, but weeps and weeps….and then Romeo cries, and then down falls again”. Romeo feels the pain that Juliet is going through and tries to stab himself, “Tell me, that I may sack the hateful mansion (destroy my body)”. However, the nurse snatches the dagger away, as he feels guilty of killing Tybalt and doesn’t want Juliet to hate him and not to see him as a murderer. “Shot from the deadly level of gun, did murder her, as that name’s cursed hand murdered her kinsman.” However, the audience feel the same way as Romeo does; angry and feeling sympathetic of what Romeo has done to be hated by Juliet. Romeo’s mood is comforted when the nurse gives Romeo the ring from Juliet, “Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, sir.” Romeo reply’s “How well my comfort is revived by this”. This shows that his mood is changing time to time and now he is being relaxed instead of highly tempered as he was in the beginning of the scene.
Friar Lawrence rebukes Romeo for his lack of manliness, love and intelligence. He reminds Romeo of his good fortune and plans how he can eventually be recalled from exile. Friar Lawrence delivers his long speech, first rebuking Romeo, then seeking to cheer him, then setting out a plan of action this keeps the audience interested in the scene. Romeo is trying to seek hope as he is anxious of meeting Juliet and afraid of losing her. Friar Lawrence sends Romeo to Juliet, warning him to leave early for the Mantua and await news. “Sojourn (stay, wait) in Mantua: I’ll find out your man, and he shall signify from time to time every good hap to you that chances here.” Romeo is calm as Friar settles him down with his plan and sends him to enjoy the rest of his wedding day with his loving wife Juliet. He ends the scene with some hope for the future.
Romeo’s mood changes radically throughout the course of the play. He is portrayed as being an extremely mercurial character as his mood is constantly changing from a positive one to a negative one. In the first speech he is very positive and in an extremely up-beat mood as he is fanatically in love, while in the second speech, he is absolutely devastated as all of this sudden happiness has all took a drastic turn for the worse which drops his mood severely. Through Shakespeare’s choice of language and imagery, Romeo comes across as being a very mercurial character as his moods change from joyful to distressing, constantly throughout the play. Among many other things, one thing, which you can derive from ‘Romeo and Juliet’, is that Romeos deep love for Juliet remained constant showing that Romeos and Juliet’s love was absolutely true.
Cite this essay
How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to communicate Romeos mood at different points in the play?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/shakespeare-use-language-dramatic-devices-communicate-romeos-mood-different-points-play-new-essay