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Romance and danger in Romeo and Juliet

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 786 words Published: 3rd May 2017

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Act 1, scene 5 of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is essential in unfolding to us the paramount importance of the peak and nadir of love and danger. Act 1, scene 5 is an important scene in the play because it highlights the significance of the introduction of true love for the first time. In addition this scene also introduces the theme of romance through Romeo and Juliet falling in love instantly, this is an Elizabethan idea of love at first sight and also the idea of Courtly Love. From the first time Romeo set his eyes on Juliet at the Capulet Party even before they have spoken he instantly falls in love, we know this because he describes to us ‘for earth too dear!’ conveying to us she is an angel. Romeo also says ‘So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows’ this tells us that she can bring peace down to earth because she is so pure indicating she is a virgin. Romeo’s love is so passionate for her so if he touches her he will become more pure as if he is unworthy we know this because he says ‘and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand’. The audience could foretell he was going to be the dominant partner in their relationship as it was a patriarchal society at the time, however so Juliet was young but not at all foolish even though she was lured in by his great skills of seduction. Romeo uses respectful religious language to introduce his love to her and speaks to her like he worships her, we know this because he says ‘If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle fine is this’. After their conversation Juliet was intrigued and deeply attracted to Romeo she allows him to compose his first moves by letting him kiss her first. Romeo kisses her again and again in order to take back the sin that he has placed on to her lips. Throughout this scene Shakespeare jumps from love and hate, he shows this by already making this love which is introduced lead up to consequences because Romeo says after he finds out she is a Capulet ‘O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt’ this heightens the danger between their love. Also the structure of this particular Shakespeare’s Act 1, scene 5 is like a sonnet which increases the romance of the scene because sonnets are strongly linked with love. This specific scene invites the theme of hate and anger through Tybalts character, we first see this when Romeo gatecrashes the party because Tybalt wants to start a fight as he is enraged by Romeo unwelcome presence so he goes to tell Sir Capulet but Sir Capulet does not want to create a scene in his own home but still Tybalts dares to question his decision so he puts him in place by saying ‘you’ll not endure him! God shall mend my soul! You’ll not make a mutiny among my guests! You will set a cock-a-hoop! You’ll be the man!’ this shows his power struggle between the two so he makes sure that Tybalt understands that it his house and he follows his rules. This reaction by Sir Capulet fuels Tybalt’s hatred for Romeo and has intensified his anger, Tybalt will never forget this and will never let this go off Romeo; we know this because Tybalt says ‘Why, uncle, tis a shame’. Furthermore this scene heightens the danger as it shows Tybalts fiery nature, and as he vows revenge it gives us an insight to what will happen next. At the time Verona was a patriarchal society and this constraint Juliet’s place in society because it was a male dominated place and we knew girls did not really leave there fathers house for anything and we see this in Juliet’s life as she had only left her house on her own just to go to confession and specifically this was the only way she could lie to get out the house to see Romeo. This really restrained her contribution to the tragedy of Romeo because her place in society and rights weren’t at all significant, so she couldn’t do anything because of her limitations and the only way she could be together with Romeo is if everyone thought she was dead that’s how extreme she had to go just to have a free life away from her father with Romeo this really shows how women’s right did not really matter in a male dominated world. The feud between the Capulet’s and Montague’s was just a power struggle between the younger generations which contributed to the lover’s death because honour and loyalty was more important than a couple’s true love and lives. This tragedy is different to Shakespeare’s other tragedies because this is an ordinary story which doesn’t include any political figures and which is personal to Shakespeare.


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