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Analysis of Romeo and Juliet to Act 1 Scene 5

Analysis of Romeo and Juliet to Act 1 Scene 5



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Published by Ireoluwa Ajayi

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Published by: Ireoluwa Ajayi on Nov 09, 2009
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Analyse how Shakespeare represents the love between Romeo andJuliet as ideal, ending the feud
 Romeo and Juliet 
is a play written by William Shakespeare in the Elizabethan period.It follows the story of two ‘star-cross’d lovers’. It is set in Italy in a city called Veronawhich has been corrupted by a feud between two families that both have equal statusin society. Verona has been turned into a violent society because everybody has become caught up in the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets; there has been a breakdown of divine order which creates a chaotic and corrupt society. TheElizabethans believed in a divine order of people.The play’s main characters are two young people who fall in love with each other;unfortunately their love is unattainable according to their society, as they belong tothe rival families. The play shows us all the different kinds of love which may be possible and how they fail in healing the rift between the two families.According to Shakespeare, only the love that exists between Romeo and Juliet is pureenough to heal the rift between the two families. We could say that only Romeo andJuliet were still pure of any rivalry resulting from the feud and them falling in lovealso symbolises religious love as only clean hearts and souls can heal according toreligion, as was widely believed in the Elizabethan period.The prologue of 
 Romeo and Juliet 
is a sonnet. It gives us a brief overview of whathappens in the play so we are not surprised when the lovers take their lives.Shakespeare keeps us in the loop about what happens. Through the use of dramaticirony, tension is built. Because of the sheer hatred that exists between the two houses,the love that exists between Romeo and Juliet will not be allowed to blossom.
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean…a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life’ 
The quotation above tells us that there has been a civil war in Verona for years now; ithas embroiled all the inhabitants of the city. There are no surprises because from thequotation Shakespeare has told us that both Romeo and Juliet end up dying for love.
The prologue also tells us that both the Montagues and Capulets have the same socialstanding in Verona and nothing so far has succeeded in healing the rift between them;till the deaths of their children. Shakespeare exposes the inadequacy of the other typesof love to overcome the long-standing feud.
‘From ancient grudge break new mutiny’ 
Although the feud has been going on for a long time, the violence has subsided. It wasunfortunately brought up again in Act 1 scene 1; it is during this surge of newviolence that Romeo and Juliet take their lives.In Act 1 we are immediately thrust into an argument between the Capulets and theMontagues. Two servants from the house of Montague, Sampson and Gregoryinstigate the argument by inflaming Abram who is from the house of Capulet.Sampson and Gregory use extremely explicit language to describe what they woulddo to any Capulet woman who may stray into their territory.Their conversation centres around sex and Shakespeare uses crude puns to show howmuch hate exists between both houses. The play starts with sexual violence and lust;this according to society is the lowest form of love that exists. They also speak in prose to express their views on love. Sampson and Gregory also use stichomythia tocommunicate in scene 1.The first reference to the feud was through Sampson, “
a dog of the house of theMontague moves me
”. This is a very degrading sentence and it is full of sexualinnuendo. Sampson is saying that one of the cursed Montagues has sexually arousedhim, probably a maid as he clarifies in his later sentences. Before the Montaguesarrive, the conversation between Sampson and Gregory is centred exclusively aroundsex and what they plan on doing to any Montague women that happen to cross their  paths unescorted. This also shows that the feud has permeated to the lowest levels of society.We meet Romeo who is suffering from false, courtly love. He is posing as a love sicyoung man and his affection is centred on Juliet’s cousin Rosalind. It has become his
morning routine to wander around in the dark and shuts himself in his room when day breaks.
“With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew adding to clouds more clouds withhis deep sighs”
The hyperbole above indicates Romeo’s unhappiness may be exaggerated as he triesto fit into the lovesick role he’s supposed to be playing.Romeo’s parents seem to genuinely care about him unlike Juliet’s parents who seemto just pay her a passing glance. Both of them have had different examples of love andeven though their views on love differ they both connect perfectly when they meeteach other In Act 1 scene 5.In scene 3 of the play, we are introduced to Juliet and we learn that her relationship toher parents is not as easy-flowing as Romeo’s to his parents. She plays the part of atypical daughter who only exists to please her parents, she strives to be the perfectchild. A good example of this is her reply when her mother asks her if she can loveParis, below.
“I’ll look to like, if looking liking move; but no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly”
Juliet is saying that she will not love Paris anymore than her parents tell her to lovehim. This sentence shows us that she strives to please her parents in all ways.An arranged marriage between Juliet and Paris was set up by Juliet’s parents and shedoes not seem to care.
“No more deep will I endart mine eye”
The Elizabethans believed that love entered through the eye and Juliet’s statementsays that she will not look too deeply into his eyes. When Romeo and Juliet met for the first time they looked into each other’s eyes and fell in love. In the Baz Lhurmanversion of the film, their eyes meet while looking into a fish tank. The fish tank is arepresentative of tranquillity in the midst of the chaos they call life, the fish tank was

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