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Conflict and Violence Are Central to the Play “romeo and Juliet”.Discuss This with Reference to Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 1.

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Essay title: Conflict and Violence Are Central to the Play “romeo and Juliet”.Discuss This with Reference to Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 1.

For this piece of coursework I am going to explore the conflict and violence involved in the play “Romeo and Juliet”. It is known as the greatest love story ever written, this is shown throughout the play and then tragically ending with their deaths.

The central themes in “Romeo and Juliet” are conflict and violence. Shakespeare uses many opposites to emphasise the conflict they are, love and hate, prejudice, free will and fate “A pair of star-cross'd lovers.” The play is so effective as a modern day audience can all relate to at least one of the themes.

Shakespeare was influenced to write “Romeo and Juliet” after reading Arthur Brooke’s narrative poem titled “The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet”. Shakespeare included many themes into his own version and he also changed the age, in order to make the fate of Romeo and Juliet more believable and tragic.

The play is set in the heat of summer in the streets of Verona. “In fair Verona, where we lay our scene/From ancient grudge break to new mutiny.” This creates dramatic irony that such hatred is active in a beautiful city.

Shakespeare uses only five days in the play from when Romeo and Juliet first meet to their deaths. The speed of events keeps the audience continuously involved with the play.

The play opens with a prologue and this is where the violence is first introduced and evidently made clear that it will be a main theme throughout the play. The main form of conflict in the play in the ongoing feud between the two families, “From ancient grudge break to new mutiny.” This is the first reference to any form of conflict within the play.

Romeo and Juliet first meet at the Capulet ball where they instantly fall in love with each other. Later on Romeo visits Juliet at her balcony where they propose to get married the following day; this is a well known romantic scene in the play. This raises the mood in the play and the audience are happy to see them get married.

An hour after the marriage, the violent deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt occur. After their death, Juliet’s father arranges for her to marry Paris, who is a relative of the Prince of Verona. Juliet finds out Romeo has been banished from Verona and she is due to marry Paris.

She goes to Friar Lawrence who gives her a potion which causes her to sleep for forty-two hours. Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead and his rushed response, causes him not to get the message from Friar Lawrence about the potion. Thinking Juliet is dead he takes poison and tragically dies. This is followed by Juliet’s awakening whereupon she finds Romeo dead beside her and kills herself.

The deaths of Romeo and Juliet cause the two families to end the feud. The Prince is relieved by the families actions and he ends the play by saying “For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” Shakespeare uses this violent ending to generate the audiences expectations of conflict and violence.

The two most important scenes in the play are Act 1 Scene 1 where conflict and violence are the main themes and Act 3 Scene 1, with its pivotal scenes and events are believed to be the turning point in the play.

The characters are introduced into the play from the first scene. “Enter Sampson and Gregory, with swords and buckler.” This suggests that the violence has already begun with the servants. They use rude jokes and insult each other. The first bit of verbal violence is also used in this scene, “My naked weapon out quarrel, I back thee.” this is intentional in the play and suggests to the audience that violence is the main theme in the play.

Servants from the Montague house appear and a quarrel starts. Servants from the Capulet house initiate the quarrel, this cause a tense and fragile atmosphere. “I will bite my thumb at them” this is an unpleasant gesture made by Sampson but it also creates comedy in the play. The pun is purposely used in the script to create comedy in the audience.

We find out that all the characters are violent or caught up in violence. But we also find out which character would rather leave the quarrelling to the families. Gregory seems to be the most friendly out the characters that have been introduced up to now, “I will frown as I pass and let them take it as they list.” This makes Gregory character out to be a coward, when really he would rather be at peace with the other servants. However Sampson is the opposite “Draw if you be men”, his threatening behaviour suggests to the audience that he does not want to be thought of as a coward.

Benvolio is introduced into the scene and he breaks up the brawl “Part fools! Put up you swords.” a calm atmosphere is created but it does not last for long. Tybalt enters the scene and the mood changes to an angry and tense atmosphere, this reflects

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"Conflict and Violence Are Central to the Play “romeo and Juliet”.Discuss This with Reference to Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 1.." EssaysForStudent.com. 11, 2009. Accessed 11, 2009. https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Conflict-and-Violence-Are-Central-to-the-Play/13112.html.