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Two lovers, loving but forbidden, from their two families feuding with each other. The main characters, named Romeo and Juliet face many perils for their star-crossed love. Romeo and Juliet, was created believed to be around 1591-1596 and acted out as a play originally as entertainment for both the rich and poor. Romeo and Juliet was also written by the man named William Shakespeare; contains a literature device called a juxtaposition throughout. An example of a juxtaposition or contradiction in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, is contempt versus greed; will be analyzed how it appears throughout the play.
An example for the juxtaposition, content versus greed in the beginning of Romeo and Juliet is the feud between Romeo and Juliet’s families. Reason being why the feud is an example of contempt versus greed, is because of the Montagues and Capulets were fine with each other both having power, then Romeo and Juliet could have had regular love; not star-crossed love.
“JULIET O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
ROMEO [Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
JULIET ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title.
Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself.
ROMEO I take thee at thy word: Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized; Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
JULIET What man art thou that thus bescreen’d in night So stumblest on my counsel?
ROMEO By a name I know not how to tell thee who I am: My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, Because it is an enemy to thee; Had I it written, I would tear the word.
JULIET My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words Of that tongue’s utterance, yet I know the sound: Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?
ROMEO Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.
JULIET If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
ROMEO Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye Than twenty of their swords: look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity.” (2.2.36-66, 75-78) The evidence from the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet tells the readers how since Romeo is a Montague and Juliet a Capulet, cannot be together because of their families not being content with each other; if they were, then Romeo and Juliet’s love would have never been star-crossed because of the families greed.
Secondly, the event in Romeo and Juliet that shows the juxtaposition of content versus greed is Tybalt’s battle with Mercutio. How this event shows content versus greed is if Tybalt was fine with Romeo and Juliet’s marriage, then he may still have had his life; not cause grief to the Capulets with his death. Also, if Tybalt was content with the marriage, then Mercutio’s life would have also been spared, not leading Romeo to take Tybalt’s life in the beginning. “TYBALT under ROMEO’s arm stabs MERCUTIO, and flies with his followers
MERCUTIO I am hurt. A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped. Is he gone, and hath nothing?
BENVOLIO What, art thou hurt?
MERCUTIO Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ’tis enough. Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
ROMEO Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
MERCUTIO No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but ’tis enough,’twill serve: ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o’ both your houses! ‘Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.
BENVOLIO O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio’s dead! That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds, Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.
ROMEO This day’s black fate on more days doth depend; This but begins the woe, others must end.
BENVOLIO Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
ROMEO Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain! Away to heaven, respective lenity, And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio’s soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.
TYBALT Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here, Shalt with him hence.
ROMEO This shall determine that.
They fight; TYBALT falls
BENVOLIO Romeo, away, be gone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
LADY CAPULET Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother’s child! O prince! O cousin! husband! O, the blood is spilt O my dear kinsman! Prince, as thou art true, For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague. O cousin, cousin!” (3.1.84-133 144-148) The evidence from Romeo and Juliet shows the readers how the greed of Tybalt lead to the death of himself, Mercutio, and also lead to the grief of Lady Capulet when hearing the news of her slain cousin.
The final event to show the juxtaposition of content versus greed in Romeo and Juliet is Romeo’s banishment. The way that Romeo’s banishment plays out the juxtaposition of content versus greed is if Romeo accepted the banishment like Friar Laurence advised to do, because of it being an act of mercy, then Romeo himself along with Juliet would still retain their lives. “PRINCE Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio; Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe?
MONTAGUE Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio’s friend; His fault concludes but what the law should end, The life of Tybalt.
PRINCE And for that offence Immediately we do exile him hence: I have an interest in your hate’s proceeding, My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding; But I’ll amerce you with so strong a fine That you shall all repent the loss of mine: I will be deaf to pleading and excuses; Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses: Therefore use none: let Romeo hence in haste, Else, when he’s found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body and attend our will:
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.
ROMEO There is no world without Verona walls, But purgatory, torture, hell itself. Hence-banished is banish’d from the world, And world’s exile is death: then banished, Is death mis-term’d: calling death banishment, Thou cutt’st my head off with a golden axe, And smilest upon the stroke that murders me.
FRIAR LAURENCE O deadly sin! O rude unthankfulness! Thy fault our law calls death; but the kind prince, Taking thy part, hath rush’d aside the law, And turn’d that black word death to banishment: This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not.
ROMEO ‘Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here, Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog
And little mouse, every unworthy thing, Live here in heaven and may look on her; But Romeo may not: more validity, More honourable state, more courtship lives In carrion-flies than Romeo: they my seize On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand And steal immortal blessing from her lips,Who even in pure and vestal modesty, Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin; But Romeo may not; he is banished: Flies may do this, but I from this must fly: They are free men, but I am banished. And say’st thou yet that exile is not death? Hadst thou no poison mix’d, no sharp-ground knife, No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean, But ‘banished’ to kill me?–‘banished’? O friar, the damned use that word in hell; Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart, Being a divine, a ghostly confessor, A sin-absolver, and my friend profess’d, To mangle me with that word ‘banished’?
…Here’s to my love!
O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.
Exit FRIAR LAURENCE
What’s here? a cup, closed in my true love’s hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end:
O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop To help me after? I will kiss thy lips; Haply some poison yet doth hang on them, To make die with a restorative.
Thy lips are warm.
[Within] Lead, boy: which way?
Yea, noise? then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger!
Snatching ROMEO’s dagger
This is thy sheath;
there rust, and let me die.
Falls on ROMEO’s body, and dies” (3.2.191-207, 3.3.25-51, 5.3.119-170) The evidence tells the readers how Romeo’s greed for wanting to stay in Verona for even if he was shown mercy, and have the love of his fair maiden leads to the deaths of him, Juliet, and their love.
To summarize, William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet gives events of the juxtaposition of content versus greed. With the first event being the feud overall, the Montagues and Capulets were uncontent with each other, leaving Romeo and Juliet’s love star-crossed. The next event from Romeo and Juliet being the battle with Tybalt. Tybalt was not content with Juliet and Romeo’s marriage and wanted Juliet not to be with him since they are enemies, his greed for not wanting them with each other leads to his death. Lastly, Romeo’s banishment is the final event that shows the juxtaposition of content versus greed in Shakespeare’s work, Romeo and Juliet. Romeo wished to stay in fair Verona with his fair maiden Juliet, uncontent with the Prince’s mercy but with Romeo’s selfishness for wanting his own way, he obtained death along with the death of his fair maiden.
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