Violence and conflict central to Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare in the late 16th century and was likely first performed in the Globe Theatre in London. The drama is set in Verona in northern Italy during the Renaissance, a period get downing in the 14th century. At the clip Shakespeare wrote the drama, Queen Elizabeth I ( the 3rd Tudor sovereign ) ruled England. Elizabeth was extremely educated and she mastered several linguistic communications, wrote poesy and music, and enjoyed the theater. An audience in the 16th century would hold enjoyed Romeo and Juliet because it was humourous and the universe drama used by Shakespeare would hold appealed to a broad audience including both work forces and adult females, groundlings and affluent merchandisers. Above all it involved facets of life which they could associate to and they would hold been familiar with the thoughts of household feuds and the demand to continue household ‘honour ‘ .

Romeo and Juliet is a calamity about two opposing households, the Capulets and the Montagues who are invariably feuding. Romeo and Juliet are two immature lovers but they come from different households, Romeo is a Montague whilst Juliet is a Capulet. Although the most obvious subject in the drama is love, there are several scenes which contain force and struggle. At first Romeo and Juliet is a comedy but after Mercutio ‘s decease in Act III, scene 1 the drama becomes a calamity. The drama opens with force due to the struggle between the two feuding households and it is this struggle that finally consequences in the deceases of Romeo and Juliet. This essay considers some of the ways that force and struggle are cardinal to Romeo and Juliet with peculiar mention to Act III scene 1.

Romeo and Juliet begins with the Prologue, a address made by an histrion ( or ‘chorus ‘ ) before the chief drama begins. The Prologue foreshadows the events in the drama, such as the deceases of Romeo and Juliet and tells the audience what the drama will be approximately. Shakespeare uses the construction of the prologue to show the subject of love and struggle which occurs throughout the drama. It is written in the sonnet signifier and is 14 lines long with Iambic pentameter. The usage of a fixed rime strategy in the Prologue, with stress falling on every 2nd syllable, helps set up the subject of force in the drama and is the closest estimate to speech. From the Prologue, the audience can see that Romeo and Juliet is a drama about force. When the Prologue references how the feud between the two houses ( households ) , ‘From ancient score interruption to new mutiny/Where civil blood makes civil custodies dirty, ‘ Shakespeare shows how force and bloody struggle has affected the whole of Verona. The line, ‘A brace of star-crossed lovers take their life ‘ tells the audience that both Romeo and Juliet ‘s destiny is decease. In add-on, it shows the audience that the drama is a calamity and about force because self-destruction in the 16th century was considered the ultimate force. Furthermore, ‘star-crossed lovers ‘ shows the audience that Romeo and Juliet are doomed and their tragic deceases are a direct effect of a society at war ( which, ironically, they chose non to be portion of ) . Following the statement that Romeo and Juliet will decease subsequently in the drama, the prologue so says how ‘their decease ( s ) ‘ so ‘bury their parents ‘ discord. ‘ The prologue references certain words and phrases such as how Romeo and Juliet ‘s ‘death-marked ‘ love and their parents ‘ ‘rage, ‘ which farther shows how the subjects of force and struggle are of import in the drama.

Act III, scene 1 is a polar scene in Romeo and Juliet transforming the drama from one of Love affair or Comedy into Tragedy. The scene opens on the streets of Verona and begins with talk of force, finally taking to the deceases of two other chief characters in the drama – Tybalt and Mercutio. Benvolio is eager to avoid a battle with the Capulets and he suggests to Mercutio that they should return place: ‘I pray thee, good Mercutio, allow ‘s retire/ The twenty-four hours is hot, the Capels are abroad ‘ ( lines 1-2. ) In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare presents Benvolio as a peaceable adult male and when he says, ‘these hot yearss is the huffy blood stirring ‘ it shows us that he is nervous that a battle will interrupt out and suggests the heat makes people more cranky. Furthermore, Benvolio ‘s name literally means ‘good will ‘ or ‘good purposes, ‘ so when Benvolio looks to avoid confrontation with the Capulets, it supports this thought.

In Act I, scene 5 when Tybalt overhears Romeo speaking with Juliet, he is angered that a Montague should hold gate crashed the ball at the Capulet family and sends for his ‘rapier. ‘ Tybalt informs Capulet of Romeo ‘s presence but Capulet rebukes him, stating Tybalt to go forth him entirely and he explains that Romeo is ‘virtuous and well-governed. ‘ However, Tybalt refuses to go forth and Capulet reprimands him, naming him a ‘saucy male child. ‘ Tybalt ‘s lone pick is to go forth. However, he swears retaliation and says: ‘I will retreat: but this invasion shall/Now looking sweet convert to bitter saddle sore. ‘ This statement has several intensions and can be interpreted in a figure of ways. However, my sentiment is that Tybalt promises future problem and foreshadows Romeo ‘s decease by toxicant ( ‘bitter saddle sore ‘ is anything acrimonious but can besides intend toxicant ) . His barbarous reaction to Romeo ‘s presence and his promise of retaliation farther high spot Tybalt ‘s violent character and shows struggle within the drama. Tybalt feels Romeo has dishonoured his household and swears revenge against him which explains why he subsequently wants to contend Romeo in Act III, scene 1.

Act I scene 1 besides starts with both verbal statements and physical force. The scene establishes the characters within the drama and we see that the struggle between the two families has affected all of Verona. From the minute Tybalt enters in Act I, scene 1 the audience see that Tybalt is a violent character: ‘What, art 1000s drawn among these hartless hinds? /Turn thee Benvolio, look upon they decease ‘ ( line 61. ) Tybalt non merely threatens Benvolio and Abraham but he besides signals his abhorrence for all Montagues. Furthermore, by naming Benvolio and Abraham weak and lame, Tybalt is dissing them, which farther shows Tybalt ‘s aggression and hatred for all Montagues. Benvolio does non take offense at Tybalt but alternatively says: ‘I do but maintain the peace ; put up thy blade, Or pull off it to portion these work forces with me ‘ ( line 63. ) From Benvolio ‘s answer, we instantly see that Benvolio is the peace- keeper in Romeo and Juliet and a character who is non easy provoked.

In Act III, scene 1 Tybalt is characterised as being a violent, aggressive and over- confident adult male. For illustration in line 57, Tybalt attempts to arouse Romeo into contending, stating him, ‘thou art a scoundrel ‘ ( Act III, scene 1. ) A ‘villain ‘ in the 16th century was a common individual and therefore this is a great abuse to Romeo who is of baronial birth. Romeo denies this claim and attempts to ground with Tybalt: ‘villain am I none/Therefore farewell. I see thou knowest me non ‘ ( line 60-61. ) Act III, scene 1 is instantly after Romeo has in secret married Juliet in Act II, scene 6. Mercutio, Benvolio and Tybalt do non cognize Romeo is married. Romeo does non desire to contend Tybalt because after his matrimony with Juliet, Tybalt is Romeo ‘s cousin.

Romeo tries to go forth but Tybalt, still enraged that Romeo has attended the Capulet ‘s banquet, challenges Romeo to a affaire d’honneur: ‘Boy, this shall non pardon the injuries/That thou hast done me, Therefore bend and draw ‘ ( line 62-63. ) Tybalt mocks Romeo when he calls him a ‘boy ‘ to arouse Romeo into contending him. Tybalt is farther portrayed as aggressive in Act I, scene 1 when he says, ‘What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word/As I hate snake pit, all Montagues, and thee/Have at thee coward! ‘ The audience can see that Tybalt is violent and unsafe because he instantly threatens Benvolio with decease. Furthermore, from what Tybalt says it is clear that he is looking for a battle and we know from Act I scene 1 that he is a confident and skilled fencer.

In Act III, scene 1, Mercutio attempts to anger Tybalt with several dissing comments such as ‘rat-catcher ‘ ( line71. ) Mercutio mocks the happenstance that ‘Tybalt ‘ was the popular name for a cat in the 16th century and shows Mercutio ‘s intelligent temper. Mercutio ‘s drama on Tybalt ‘s name continues subsequently in Act III, scene 1 when Mercutio says, ‘Good King of Cats, I merely want/one of your nine lives! ‘ However, Shakespeare besides portrays Mercutio as a violent character, such as in Act III, scene 1 when Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a battle: ‘Will you pluck your blade out of his pilcher by the ears? Make hastiness, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out ‘ ( line 75-77. ) Clearly there is struggle between Mercutio and Tybalt and following Mercutio ‘s contemptuous comments and provocative remarks in Act III, scene 1, Tybalt kills Mercutio.

Mercutio serves a cardinal function in Romeo and Juliet. With his intelligent wordplaies and puns he is a popular character but his decease transforms the drama from a comedy into a calamity. He is kinsman to the Prince and a relation of Paris but more significantly he is a close friend of Romeo. In Act III, scene 1 Mercutio battles Tybalt. Shielded by Romeo who attempts to interrupt up the battle, Tybalt wounds Mercutio. Even though Mercutio is deceasing, he still makes a series of gags. At first Mercutio is sarcastic when he says his lesion is non every bit ‘deep as a well ‘ or ‘wide as a church door, ‘ but he so makes a wordplay: ‘you shall happen me a sedate adult male ‘ ( lines 93-95. ) Mercutio ‘s usage of word drama has two significances ; ‘Grave ‘ can intend serious but Mercutio besides suggests that it is his ‘grave ‘ , for when he dies. Mercutio ‘s usage of pun throughout Romeo and Juliet creates a dramatic, amusing consequence which would hold appealed to an Elizabethan audience.

In Act III, scene 1, Mercutio uses pun in his response to Tybalt ‘s statement that Mercutio ‘Consortest ‘ with Romeo ( line 41. ) Mercutio uses a series of wordplaies about music, such as ‘minstrels ‘ ( a group of instrumentalists ) and ‘discord ‘ ( a group of notes. ) The usage of pun and wordplaies throughout Romeo and Juliet contrasts the subject of force and struggle. Shakespeare uses a assortment of linguistic communication each for a different consequence. In line 44, Shakespeare cleverly utilizations both nonliteral linguistic communication and word drama when Mercutio says: ‘Here ‘s my violin bow, here ‘s that shall do you dance. ‘ In the 16th century the significance of ‘fiddlestick ‘ was the bow of a violin. Therefore Mercutio ‘s pick of the word ‘fiddlestick ‘ is a cagey drama on words, as he jokes that his sword/fiddlestick will do Tybalt dance. A 16th century audience would understand these wordplaies and it would appeal to a 16th century audience but a modern audience would possibly non understand all of these gags.

In Act III, scene 1, when Mercutio is deceasing, he curses the feuding households three times: ‘A pestilence o’both your houses. ‘ A ‘plague ‘ in Verona was a powerful expletive and a 16th century audience would understand this but it would non be really effectual to a modern audience. Mercutio ‘s concluding expletive on the two families and his last words have the greatest impact on us: ‘A pestilence O ‘ both your houses/They have made worms meat of me/I have it, and soundly excessively. Your houses! ‘ Mercutio is angered at how the struggle in Verona and at the feud which has taken so many lives has eventually taken his life excessively and he is neither a Montague nor a Capulet. This shows how the struggle between the two households has spread to impact everyone in Verona.

In Act III, scene 1, Romeo says that Juliet ‘s beauty has made him ‘effeminate ‘ intending soft but when he sees that his friend Mercutio is deceasing, his temper alterations and he becomes aggressive: ‘And fire-eyed rage be my behavior now! ‘ ( Line 120. ) It is clear that Mercutio ‘s decease has angered Romeo and it is this heartache, coupled with his desire for retaliation which moves Romeo to contend Tybalt. As a consequence of his barbarous choler at Mercutio ‘s decease, Romeo is ferocious and slayings Tybalt in this scene. After hearing Benvolio ‘s history, the Prince decides that adequate blood has been shed and alternatively expatriates Romeo on hurting of decease: ‘And for that offence/ Immediately we do exile him hence ‘ ( Act III, scene 1 lines 183-183. )

After Prince Escalus arrives, Benvolio gives a elaborate history to the Prince of the combat that took topographic point earlier in the scene. Benvolio tells the Prince that Tybalt was slain by ‘Romeo ‘s manus ‘ and explains how Romeo attempted to maintain the peace and ground with Tybalt ( line 148. ) Benvolio so goes on to explicate the fortunes, explicating that Tybalt was ‘deaf to peace. ‘ In lines 164 and 165, Benvolio describes Mercutio ‘s decease in the combat and says that it was an ‘envious push ‘ from Tybalt, which ‘hit the life ‘ out of the ‘stout Mercutio. ‘ Finally, Benvolio says that after Romeo killed Tybalt, he turned and fled: ‘stout Tybalt slain, And as he fell did Romeo bend and fly/ This is the truth, or allow Benvolio decease ‘ ( Act III, scene 1 ) From his history, the audience can see that Benvolio is an honest and true adult male but his history is somewhat biased by his affinity to Romeo. However, it does assist the Prince to make the determination that there has been adequate force and decease already, so he decides non to put to death Romeo but to expatriate him alternatively. As a effect of the struggle and force earlier in the drama, coupled with Mercutio ‘s decease and the expletive which he places on the two households in Act III, scene 1, there are the beginnings of darker yearss in Romeo and Juliet.

It is clear through close analysis of Act III, scene 1, that force and struggle are cardinal to Romeo and Juliet. The drama begins with the Prologue which foreshadows the struggle between the two feuding households and tells the audience about the tragic deceases of Romeo and Juliet. This instantly establishes the subject of force and struggle within the drama and many of the scenes portray both verbal and physical force. In Act III, scene 1 both Mercutio and Tybalt dice and this begins a darker side to the drama, transforming it from a Romance or Comedy into a Tragedy. Act III, scene 1 is hence a cardinal turning point in the drama, finally taking to the deceases of several chief characters, most notably the two immature lovers, Romeo and Juliet in Act 5 scene 3. Numerous characters within the drama, peculiarly Tybalt and Mercutio are presented as aggressive and hostile through both verbal maltreatment and physical force. Furthermore, the graphic descriptions of force that Shakespeare uses in many of the scenes add to the strength of the play environing the struggle. Therefore, it is clear from Act III scene 1 ( and other scenes in the drama ) that force and struggle are cardinal subjects of Romeo and Juliet.

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