English Coursework Romeo And Juliet Essay

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Shakespeare Controlled Assessment - Draft
Despite fate’s grasp on Romeo and Juliet being clear from the beginning, their choices in the play cause fate to build momentum and accelerate their lives to their inevitable end. Shakespeare’s original presentation of fate is of an inescapable event, but how the characters get there is less certain and more chance. Whereas Luhrmann’s fate is cruller and more controlling, but both interpretations of fate have the result of uniting the feuding families.
Fate commands the lives of the characters from birth, with their deaths predetermined by generations of feuding and violence. In the prologue Shakespeare reveals the traumatic ending, that “a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” before…show more content…

Luhrmann choses to have a close up of Prince’s face, showing the seriousness of the threat, followed by the two families separated with a door between them signifying a possible peaceful reconciliation. The families’ separation is not permanent and fate will ultimately end the feud. The door is Luhrmann representing Shakespeare’s teaser of a nonviolent end to the feud. However violence is apparent throughout the families and it is this violence which will allow fate to succeed. In the script Gregory, a Capulet servant, says “The quarrel is between our masters and us their men” The inclusive pronouns give the impression of union and pride within the families, that leads to the willingness to engage in violence, which must inevitably end in death. It is this foolishness that forces their fate upon Romeo and Juliet. This scene is changed in the film so that the line is split between two Montagues, and instead used to show not everyone wants to fight, presenting fate as more chance.
Due to recklessness, chance, and ill-fated choices, fate is allowed to succeed. When we first meet Romeo, he is madly in love with Rosaline “oh brawling love, oh loving hate” the oxymoronic language suggests Romeo’s recklessness, meaning he will fall victim to fate and not be able to prevent it. In the script he speaks this line to Benvolio, in the film adaptation Romeo writes this in a diary, with his non-diegetic voice reading it for the audience. The secrecy created here


Romeo and Juliet English Coursework

…and doesn’t seem to be able to talk to her daughter, other than through the nurseor in her presence…

‘This is the matter:--Nurse, give leave awhile,We must talk in secret:--nurse, come back again; I have remember'd me, thou's hear our counsel.Thou know'st my daughter's of a pretty age..’ 

However, she does appear to have some consideration for her daughter’s feelingsand wishes, as she asks her what she thinks of marrying the nobleman, and to startthinking about marriage; she also makes her speech a little more personal by puttingin some of her own experience (that she was a mother at the age her daughter nowis):

‘Well, think of marriage now; younger than you, Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, Are made already mothers: by my count, I was your mother much upon these years’ 

Whereas Juliet seems to respect her mother (first referring to her as ‘Madam’ rather than, perhaps, mum or Mother), she seems to be more at ease talking to her nurse.It would appear that Juliet and her nurse have always been close… even to the pointof the nurse taking over the traditional mother’s job of breastfeeding her child. Shemakes a reference to this in the same scene:

‘And she was wean'd,--I never shall forget it,--Of all the days of the year, upon that day: For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,’…‘When it did taste the wormwood on the nippleOf my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!’ 

Above, the nurse talks of breastfeeding Juliet. This is, of course, very unusual in thisday and age, but not quite unheard of in Elizabethan times. The fond fashion inwhich the nurse remembers this, however, seem to indicate that Juliet and the nursehave a strong relationship. The fact that she was breast-fed by her nurse rather thanher biological mother hints that perhaps the nurse was (and is?) more of a mother toher than Lady Capulet.The nurse also seems friendlier than Lady Capulet – by saying things such as ‘Aman, young lady! Lady, such a man as all the world - why, he's a man of wax’ and‘Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days’, she seems to be more excited aboutParis’s proposition than Lady Capulet.Act 3, scene 5 in some ways seems a distorted reflection of Act 1, scenes 2 and 3.Capulet has arranged to marry Juliet off to Paris, and once again it is Lady Capuletthat has the job of telling her. However, the Capulets’ stances on Juliet regardingmarriage have changed. Instead of wanting to protect his daughter from an earlymarriage, Capulet is now the one trying to rush her into it. Likewise, her mother,rather than asking Juliet for her thoughts on the matter, is telling her what


going tohappen.Juliet has just spent her wedding night with her beloved and now husband, Romeo.He has been banished to the city of Mantua for avenging the murder of his friendMercutio. The scene starts on quite tense grounds, as Juliet has almost been caughtwith her lover, who is a sworn enemy of her family and faces execution if found inVerona. Simply Romeo being in the house is enough to create some tension - thatJuliet is crying heightens this tension.

Candidate NumberDan FoyLandau Forte College02145223329

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