GCSE Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) Exam Drafting

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"How does Shakespeare explore Romeo and Juliet's attitudes to love, up to and including Act 2, Scene 2"

Submitted: March 18, 2013

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Submitted: March 18, 2013



During the period when Romeo and Juliet was set, love was often overlooked; since marriages for the daughters were usually arranged by their parents purely to bring wealth and prestige to their family, without any consideration for love or the daughters' feelings.

The fact that "Romeo and Juliet" is a play about secret love and the couple's refusal to follow their parents' orders would shock the audiences of that time because they would know straight away how dishonourable Romeo and Juliet were being, although they would be eager to watch the play and intrigued to discover the consequences of their actions. The prologue , "Star-crossed lovers take their lives.", meaning that they commited suicide,hints to the audience about the dramatic ending of the play and would appeal to their curiosity. This title also shows at the very start that Romeo and Juliet's attitude to love was daring and very sincere which would capture the audience's empathy.

When Romeo first appears in the play he has a negative attitude to love, shown in the line," O brawling love, O loving hate." This line explains that Romeo is confused about love and is associating love with hate, showed by Shakespeare's use of Oxymorons. Also, the use of the word 'brawling' is effective because it means fighting, and when it is paired with love it shows that in this situation love is a fight for Romeo, which would likely make the audience feel sorry for him.

Romeo is described by his father, Montague, as, "adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs." This is an effective line for expressing Romeo's deep sadness by relating it to a powerful force like the weather. This is a technique called Pathetic Fallacy, and this particular line starts a series of comparisons relating Romeo's mood to the weather, emphasising the vastness of his feelings.


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