Because words are slippery, Juliet worries that Romeo's protestation of love are merely lies. How can we know if love is true? Another important theme is the idea of value and doubleness. Just as language is ambiguous, so are value judgments. Within a flower, for example lies both poison and medicine. Similarly, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet are tragic but also bring new life to Verona.
The Friar's own role in the play contains this ambiguity. Although he tries to help the lovers, his actions lead to their suffering. Shakespeare's message is that nothing is purely good or evil; everything contains elements of both. A final theme to be considered is the meaning of gender. In particular, the play offers a variety of versions of masculinity. One example is Mercutio, the showy male bird, who enjoys quarreling, fencing and joking. Mercutio has definite ideas about what masculinity should look like.
He criticizes Tybalt for being too interested in his clothes and for speaking with a fake accent. Similarly, he suggests that Romeo's love-melancholy is effeminate, while his more sociable self is properly masculine. Therefore, his happiest when Romeo rejoins his witty, crazy group of male friends: Romeo's masculinity is constantly questioned. Following Mercutio's death, for example, Romeo fears that his love of Juliet has effeminized him: In addition, the Friar accuses Romeo of being an "[u]nseemly woman in a seeming man" and says that his tears are "womanish" III.
What is the proper role for a man? Although Romeo and Juliet appears early in the sequence of Shakespeare's tragedies, it represents a considerable improvement over his very first attempts at tragedy, the historical Tragedy of Richard III and Titus Andronicus.
These two works follow in the tradition of a crude, though powerful, form of revenge drama perfected by Marlowe and Kyd in the 's. The content of Romeo and Juliet differs greatly from that of Shakespeare's early revenge tragedies.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is one of his earliest dramatic plays. Most critics believe that it was written in although there is some debate over the exact date. The plot is a simple one which revolves around the story of two families who are engaged in pursuing an ancient and senseless family feud. While the two main characters in the play are clearly Romeo and Juliet, others contribute to the action and are important in bringing out the characters of the other players as well as making a statement in their own right.
Romeo's friend, Mercutio, is one such character. After a brief explanation of the plot which will place the play's events in context, we will examine the character of Mercutio to determine what kind of Romeo and Juliet, the tragic play by William Shakespeare, centers around the love story between Romeo, the young heir of the Montagues, and Juliet, the daughter of the house of Capulet.
Because of an on-going feud between the two families, Romeo and Juliet are forced to keep their love a secret, marry in secret and, due to ill-fated consequences, they die together in the tomb of the Capulets.
As the story unfolds, a great variety of moral assumptions and explanations as to the value of love are explored. Romeo is first presented as a lover creating poetical phrases in honor of his present love, the chaste and unattainable Rosaline. In Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare uses darkness to perform a variety of functions. Darkness sets the tone of the play as the tragedy proceeds with a dark and inexorable determinism. Many of the scenes in the work are set in darkness, with the alternation of day and night serving to propel the drama's narrative line.
Darkness is employed, moreover, as a reflection of mood and character in the figures of Romeo, Juliet and Mercutio. The dark acts as a foil in images in which light represents the illumination of romantic love. Finally, the contrast between light and dark allows Shakespeare to elevate the dimensions of the tragedy to cosmic proportions.
There is a great deal written about the nature of the love relationships involving Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. In analyzing the relationship which opens the play, namely, Romeo and Rosaline, with the one which quickly replaces it, Romeo and Juliet, we see a progression in the characters from innocence to maturity, from love-sickness to the authentic experience of love.
The change from one relationship to another is a forced change from childhood innocence to adult awareness. Hence, Northrop Frye refers to Romeo and Juliet as a play whose theme is love, bound up with and part of, violent death. In Romeo and Juliet we find families at war, their children victims of an argument which is meaningless and irrelevant in the face of a mutual attraction. In Antony and Cleopatra the wars of nations and political intrigue trap the lovers in a net from which death is the only escape.
These ill-considered actions made by Friar Laurence can be attributed to, and blamed for the calamitous result of the play. The family feud forces Romeo and Juliet to make decisions that lead to their death and the tragic outcome of the play.
If the two families were not in disgrace with each other, Romeo and Juliet would not take such extreme actions to be with each other, actions which ultimately attribute to their deaths. Their constant bickering and hatred of each other is one of the factors that drive the lovers to their death. The Friar is saying that heaven chooses to punish the families for their hatred by taking away their joys; Romeo and Juliet. The tragic outcome of Romeo and Juliet can in part be blamed on the feud between the families and its consequences.
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Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a long feud between the Montague and Capulet families disrupts the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo and Juliet. Free Essay: In the tragic romance, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare displays an example of how teenage love can embrace the feelings of the young but.
Romeo and Juliet essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet, the Chorus tells us of an "ancient grudge" between two households of equal dignity that has broken out into a "new mutiny" that will cause blood to flow in the streets of Verona and will ultimately result in the deaths of the "star-cross'd lovers.".