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Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

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1. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet appeals to his audience in a similar way to writers in today’s society because he uses the same kind of crude humor referring to violence and relationships. He uses the “slang” of that time, considering that it was commoners that went to see his plays. An example of this is “do you bite your thumb at us sir?”, this is a rude gesture, which is similar to rude gestures that are used today. This shows that his audience would be able to refer to what he was relating to.

Another way that Shakespeare entertains his audience in a similar way to today’s films and books is by violence. This is common in films, it makes it more interesting to watch and more intense, this is the same effect that it had on Shakespeare’s plays which is why it is seen frequently in his plays. An example of this point is from Act 1 scene 1, “Turn thee Benvolio, look upon thy death.”

Today’s writers like to add a little twist to their stories that will capture the audience such as the death of a main character. Romeo and Juliet is a classic example of this technique of appealing to an audience. The famous twist of the death of Romeo and Juliet was bound to shock whilst entertain the audience.

2. Examples of witty dialogue; rude gestures and insults.

1. “I do bite my thumb sir.”- this was known as an incredibly offensive gesture during Shakespeare’s time, using the thumb. This is similar to the gestures used with fingers in today’s society.

2. “Here’s goodly gear. A sail, a sail”- this was a comment made by Romeo about Juliet’s nurse. He was comparing her dress to the sail of a ship.

3. The story of Romeo and Juliet is centered on the feud between two families, The Montagues and Capulets. From the play we can see that people from the town are affected by this and some are fed up with the constant fighting over petty issues. Many examples can be found from the rather long speech made the Prince in Act 1, scene 1. This is significant because it shows that the fighting is so frequent and open that even the prince is affected by it and has to warn them about it. By his speech the audience learns of the feud between the two families, “By thee old Capulet and Montague.” His speech also reveals that the neighborhood had been affected by this as well, “If you ever disturb our streets again.” We also learn that the Price was personally affected by the fighting, “hear the sentence of your moved Prince.”

By this speech we come to know that the fighting had been going on for a long time, so much so that they were threatened by the aggravated Prince, “Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.”

4. Another significant theme of Romeo and Juliet is fate, the idea that the events of the play were destined to happen. From how the play is written I believe that this statement id true because throughout the play small statements were made that suggested that it was fate. For example early on in the play Romeo had a dream that predicted “untimely death,” this was before he even meet Juliet. Another example is the fact that it was by pure luck they came to learn of the party the Capulet’s were holding, which as a result led o Romeo and Juliet meeting. Little events in the play like this all add together that led to their destiny.

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