Romeo & Juliet

Shakespeare, alive in thought

Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo

Story Plot

The story plot for Romeo and Juliet is a compact and dramatic version of our everyday life. We all have fights and we all fall in love or have a crush and we all have things that we disagree with our families about. The reason Romeo and Juliet is so loved is because it seems like it could be possible, it gives people hope that they can find their true one and have an epic love story.


the story begins with an opening scene showing two prestigious families fighting but the prince of the fair town Verona stepping in and warning them that if they have one more fight they would all be executed. The next few scenes are introducing Romeo and his love towards a woman who does not return the affection (Rosaline). His friend Mercutio then convinces him to go to a ball where there will be lots of beautiful women so he can forget about Rosaline. Mercutio and Romeo then sneak into the enemy party because if they got caught another fight would start. Romeo then sees Juliet who is about to be betrothed to a count called Paris who she does not love. They fall in love but they find out they are the two children from the feuding families. They meet in secret then Romeo confides in a priest so that he can ask for poison, he doesn't want to live unless he lives with Juliet.


Mercutio and Romeo then get into a fight with Juliet's cousin Tybalt and both Mercutio and Tybalt are killed. The prince of Verona comes and banishes Romeo. The priest tells Romeo how Juliet and Romeo can be together but he says that he will send a messenger to Romeo with the rest of the plan. Juliet as part of the plan fakes her death and her family puts her in the family tomb. Romeo was meant to be told about her fake death but the messenger never made it so he comes for Juliet and thinks she is dead. He takes poison and kills himself. Juliet then wakes up and finds Romeo dead and stabs herself.

Taylor Swift - Love Story
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Themes

There are two main themes in Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet, love and hate. These themes are still the main emotions that control our society, this is why Shakespeare is still a classic even though he wrote his plays and sonnets, 5 centuries ago.

Each character has their own love or hate relationships e.g Mercutio fights Tybalt so that is his hate relationship, but Mercutio loves Romeo in a friendship way. This is important as all of our relationships are built on the foundations of love and hate so it makes the characters more relatable.

Every person in our society still needs love as much as they did in Shakespeare's time. A man called Maslow stated that there is a hierarchy of needs and in the picture above you can see that love and belonging is on it. Even though we may not have experienced love we still like something to prove love is possible, we like to have hope that it might happen to us one day hence why we love Romeo and Juliet.

Love and Hate represents the characters throughout the play, for example Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, is the epitome of hate and so later in the play when he dies it's to show hate dies. When Romeo and Juliet die together they will forever be together in death, in other terms love will defeat hate and true love is forever while hate is only fleeting. These are Shakespeare's cleverly hidden messages which audiences will subconsciously pick up, again giving them hope that true love will happen to them.

Characters

The characters in Romeo and Juliet resonate with people because they are the kind of people everyone has in their lives. Everyone has the cheeky, funny, friend (Mercutio)

"Farewell ancient Lady, Farewell" (singing) "Lady, Lady, Lady"

Everyone has at least one strict parent (Romeo and Juliet's dads).

"Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday"

And everyone has someone like the Friar to take solace in

"I'll give thee amour to keep off that word:
Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy"

Each character has a different personality and creates different dynamics within the play. You have the two main characters who are passionate and serious then you have the strict dads but gentle mothers, there is also the self righteous cousin and playful friend. Everyone of these characters makes the play more interesting as they all create different emotions and situations that constantly keep they audience engaged.

Language

Shakespeare uses a powerful language full of adjectives and metaphores, he enhances every paragraph with similes and emotive words. Instead of just saying 'I am in love' Shakespeare says:

“Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet."

These days we take shortcuts with our language but shakespeare goes into great detail to help the audience feel like they are the characters. Every word he says gives you that feeling of love or anger or sadness. Shakespeare truly captures the essence of language.

Modern Shakespeare

Even today nearly all our movies have the same story as Romeo and Juliet, a forbidden love and a tragedy, below is an example of the comparisons between Romeo & Juliet and Gnomeo & Juliet. There are many modern adaptations of Romeo and Juliet such as Gnomeo & Juliet, Warm Bodies and West side story and I think there will continue to be, as we will forever base our lives around love and hate. I think Shakespeare's stories will forever be classic and will continue to teach young people about the power of language and emotions. Shakespeare is timeless and no matter how we change or how our language changes, he will continue to be a timeless master of language.
The Balcony Scene - Romeo and Juliet
Gnomeo & Juliet: "Balcony" Clip
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The End

BY SOPHIE DITCHFIELD