The Analysis of a Tragedy Romeo and Juliet Essay

Submitted By AnnikaHouse
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The Analysis of a Tragedy

The first documented staging of Romeo and Juliet was in 1662 and since has remained popular throughout the centuries. Good morning class! As you might have guessed already, I will be informing you and help you all understand get some ideas of Romeo and Juliet. Firstly before we begin, what are the themes of this Shakespearian play? Well the answer is that there are many however the two I chose to examine was the overall themes of hate and love. The controversy between love and hate are two of the most evident messages which are shown throughout the famous play of Romeo and Juliet. The play specifically focuses on romantic love in which seems to 'overpower' all other emotions as it can be just as blinding and conflicting as extreme hatred. As the play moves on, the innocent love that Romeo and Juliet share brings out the overlooked hostility in the relationships between families. This begs the question, is love thicker than blood? This is seen from the extreme use of various literary techniques as well as the foundation and complexity of the characters' relationships in the social-cultural context of the play.

There are many passages which embody the invited themes of love and hate however the speech prior to Juliet drinking the potion; Act 4 scene 3, has been chosen as a prime example. This passage is taken just after Romeo has been banished after slaying Tybalt, Juliet’s beloved cousin for revenge after Tybalt ruthlessly killed Romeo’s best friend Mercutio. Juliet is so distraught from the banishment of her secret husband and her cousin’s death that her father decides that marrying her off to Paris that very week would be best; however he has no regard for Juliet’s reluctance. Juliet and Friar Lawrence then come up with the plan of a potion that will make Juliet appear dead so she can avoid marrying the self-absorbed Paris and run off to Romeo. The passage is giving the audience insight to Juliet’s thinking processes as she goes through her worst fears. By believing in her love for Romeo she takes control and overcomes her fears. This is an important section of the storyline as it not only invites the audience to understand her reasons for her actions, but it is also a key turning point in the play as the decisions that Juliet make in her speech influence the following events.
The main themes in the passage is the idea that love conquers all which can be seen in the invited reading as Juliet’s love for her Romeo gives her the courage she needs to overcome her fears and drink the vial. (line 32) “How if, when I am laid into the tomb, I wake before the time that Romeo come to redeem me? There’s a fearful point!” The passage is listing Juliet’s endless fears as she makes many conclusions as to what might go wrong if she drinks the potion including her absolute despise for marrying anything but less than love which relates to the controversy of hatred and love as both of these emotions drive Juliet to drink the vial. In Elizabethan times, many would have related to Juliet’s situation as arranged marriages were very common as it was more important to marry for position and power rather than true love, however It would have been unrealistic for a woman to refuse marrying a man such as Paris. This is because in these times women were inferior to men and the only way of securing a bright future was marrying a man that was at the top of the social hierarchy. For a modern audience, arranged marriages are rare and children are taught to marry for true love and not settle for anything less. Even though this is the opinion of many nowadays, women and men are still encouraged to marry a more successful partner for the same reason of security. Therefore, this section of text shows the transformation of Juliet from a young innocent child to an independent grown woman as her love develops as quickly as she does acting as a driving force for her defiant actions against arranged marriage. Shakespeare has