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How does Shakespeare prepare the ground for the meeting of Romeo and Juliet I am going to do an essay on all of act 1, that’s scene’s 1to5 of the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In this play there are two families’s who are worst of enemies. They are the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. Romeo is part of the family Capulet’s and Juliet part of the family Montague’s. Although the two family’s are almost at war Romeo and Juliet fall in love at first sight!

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Shakespeare does this in many ways. The first and probably the most obvious is the prologue. Romeo is Lord Mercutio’s son and Juliet is Lord Capulet’s daughter. Shakespeare uses the prologue to inform the audience the “bare bones” of the story about to be presented. This emphasises the “love and hate” and “Star crossed love” is shown which also includes “death” and the “raising of expectations” the prologue also shows the “lovers as victims of circumstances.”

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The next obvious way Shakespeare sets the ”forbidden love” is he uses the Sunday morning fight scene to show the utter hatred between the Capulets and Montagues which is the start for the meeting of Romeo and Juliet. The audience knows Romeo and Juliet should not be meeting in the first place but although they should not be meeting and that Romeo is a murderer the audience is behind him and want Romeo and Juliet to fall in love and live ”happily ever after”

Shakespeare also uses sexual innuendo to keep the audience entertained e.g. Sampson will ”thrust” Capulets to the wall, he says he will take heads referring to their maidenheads (virginities) and refers to being ”able to stand” (to have an erect penis) this shows how even the servants of the families even hate each other. They do not realise 1 of the people they serve will fall in love with one of the women they are talking about

Shakespeare also uses Sunday morning’s fight scene to set the anger and hatred between the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. I also think he does this to inform the audience about the situation of the two families. E.g., “I will take the wall of any man or maid of the Montague’s.” And “When I have fought with the me, I will be civil with the maids, I will cut off there heads.” Also “Thau villain Capulet, hold me, let me go.” They are all examples informing the audience of the hatred of the Montague’s and Capulet’s.

Shakespeare makes various attitudes to love an marriage shown as a back cloth to the eventual love of Romeo and Juliet, which is so powerful that each is prepared to die than live without the other. Lady Capulet is a materialist. She thinks Paris would make Juliet a Suitable husband he is wealthy and of suitable states. “So shall you share all that he doth posses by having him, making yourself no less.”

Paris is conventional, polite and sticks to all the rules. In act 1 scene 2 seeks Juliet’s fathers approval BEFORE courting Juliet. He say’s to Capulet, “But now, my lord, What say you to my suit?” He does not argue with Capulet when Capulet say’s he must be patient. Benvolio is a sensible and practical person who has the attitude that if Rosaline won’t have you find someone else, towards the end of act 1 scene 1 he tells Romeo to “forget to think of her, examine other beauties he advises.” Capulet is easy going and not wanting to rush things. He is sceptical about early marriage, he wants Juliet to make her own choice. It’s not all up to him as her father. He insists “let two more summers pass before his daughter is ripe to be a bride.

He says he will not consent to her marriage to anyone within her scope of choice. There is a hint that lord Capulet are not particularly happily married. It could be his wife refuse too when he say’s that ; too soon married are those so early made.(brides) After all we know that he married Lady Capulet when she was very upset. Mercutio is very down to earth, for example when Romeo says, “love hurts, it pricks like a thorn,” Mercutio’s advice is, “if love be rough with you be rough with love.”

Shakespeare also uses a lot of Vulgarity and sexual innuendo. For example in act 1 scene 1, Shakespeare uses the servants to talk vulgar and course introducing the theme of sex, e.g. Sampson will ‘thrust’ Capulet’s to the wall, he will ‘take their’ maidenheads and he refers to being ‘able to strand’ (have erect penis). This speech is full of sexual innuendo.

Shakespeare also uses dramatic irony to prepare the ground for meeting of Romeo and Juliet. This entertains and intrigues using the audience’s knowledge of what will happen later in the play. The audience at times knows more than the characters on stage do. E.g. At the end of act 1 scene 1 Romeo say’s “….Thou cans’t not teach me to forget.” This is Ironic because, he will actually forget Rosaline the minute he sees Juliet.”

The audience first impressions of Juliet in act 1 scene 3 are- That she is a dutiful daughter, direct, ready to do as her parents say and very direct in all she says, e.g. “Madam, I am here, what is your will?” and “I look to like, if looking like move, but no more deep will I endart my mine eye, then your consent gives strength to make it fly.” Romeo’s key speech on seeing Juliet, shows he has fallen in love with her, his opening line “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright.” This shows she is falling for him, a shining presence even brighter than the flaming torch which light the reason. The explorative ‘O’ shows sincere amazement. There was quite a lot of tension at the party caused by tybalt, because if Romeo would have been evicted from the party, Romeo and Juliet would never have met.

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Kylie Garcia

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