Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Style of Romeo and Juliet By Jessica Barber and McCaul Baggett.

 Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is arguably the greatest tragedy ever written. Using tragic elements such as pride, death, pain, and loss, he creates one of the most dynamic wolds in all of literature. It is the pride of the Montague and Capulet families which leads to the deaths of their children. The inability of the families to put aside their differences, even for true love, is the primary flaw in the tragedy. Ironically, the players of this drama in and of themselves are basic comic characters. As cited in Everybody's Shakespeare by

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is arguably the greatest tragedy
 Maynard Mack: "The characters are individualized, it is true, well beyond the usual comic types; but they show nonetheless some recognizable blood ties with the kinds of people we expect to meet within stage and film comedy: the Beautiful Ingenue, the Convention Ridden Parents including the Irascible Father, the Parent-Approved suitor, the Dashing Romantic Suitor, the Male Confidant and Female
Confidante, the Bumbling Well-Meaning Counselor, and the rest." (Mack 69) Shakespeare juxtaposes the comic characters with their tragic actions to emphasize the severity of the situation. In this world of comic characters and tragic events, the essence of reality is passion; the emotions of the characters are magnified by the lens of their perceptions. The high level of emotion is in stark contradiction to the fact that no emotion lasts through the play's entirety except the immortal love shared by Romeo and Juliet." . . . yet even in death, Paris's love remains but a weak shadow of Romeo's. In . . . contrast to Paris's simple floral token, the items borne by Romeo to Juliette's tomb are poison and a dagger, symbols of a marriage that will be externalized in death.

Romeo himself is no stranger to inconstant emotions as displayed by his false affection for Rosaline. Even he quickly abandons his emotions when he finds them no longer interesting. When Tybalt becomes aware of Romeo's presence at the Capulet party, he threatens violence, but Capulet intervenes. This intervention demonstrates Capulet's willingness to reduce the importance of the feud and place it under the necessity of being a good host. The Nurse shows her own emotional inconsistency when she advises Juliet to marry Paris after previously aiding in Romeo and Juliet's secret meetings. The final and most significant example of shifting emotions occurs in the last few lines of the play. It is here that the feud itself, the source of all conflict in the play is abolished. Through the passion of his character's emotions, Shakespeare clearly defines their motivation. He intended the play to be very clear in production. The message sent to the audience through the actions of the characters portrays a very clear moral statement and simultaneously delivers a very intricate emotional experience.

Shakespeare places these comedic characters and their tragic decisions in the representative place of Verona.

He invites the audience to travel to a world of extremes: powerful emotions that don't last, eternal love blossoming in the middle of a war zone, a lifetime feud that can be cast aside for an evening, comic characters in a tragic setting. Shakespeare utilizes this setting to illustrate the contrast between the relationships of love and hate.
The love shared between Romeo and Juliet is a very private experience and takes place mostly at night in secret.

The hatred between the two families is expressed through scenes that occur mostly in the daytime and in public.

The feud is never hidden. This animosity is reflected in the sweltering summer heat. Another contrast that enables Shakespeare to accentuate certain aspects of the play is the use of prose vs. blank verse. Blank verse is used throughout the entire play except in one short comic scene [this will be a link to a section of text still must check the doc to find the right section but I will get back to you] between the nurse and the musicians.
Shakespeare used this convention in most of his tragedies to represent a transition.

The comic interlude is given a more familiar and informal feeling by this use of prose. For the rest of the play, Shakespeare uses rhyming couplets to emphasize important lines. Blank verse is more fluent than prose.

Another way Shakespeare adds to the dynamism of his story also stems from language. The use of imagery is prevalent in all of Shakespeare's plays. One example of this literary device in Romeo and Juliet is his recurring reference to flowers and herbs:"In a drama of tragic design in which crossed human affairs are analogous to the impartial operation of substance in the natural world some characters' names are linked suggestively to specific herbs and their intrinsic virtues: Romeo with rosemary . . . and either Lady Capulet or the Nurse with angelica .

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