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Romeo and Juliet is a story of love set in Verona that has an unfortunate tragic ending. At the beginning of the play, the audience is shown the prologue of the play that familiarizes them with the tragic ending to come. In the play the audience sees a lot of contrast between love and hate and contrasts of emotions will become apparent as you continue through the play.
The masked ball is at the very beginning of the play. Dramatic irony is allowed to run throughout the play as from the prologue the audience can tell that Romeo and Juliet are both going to collide and fall in love and this will happen despite the fact that they are from feuding families. As the audience hears in the prologue:
“A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.”
This means that they have met only through fate and chance and that they will both die together. When they meet at the ball they have no idea to whom one another is and after enquiring they soon find out that they are from rivaling families. The prologue was preformed in a sonnet, which consists of 14 lines and 10 syllables in each line. Once Juliet realizes that Romeo is a Montague she immediately tells herself that:
“My only love sprung from my only true hate!”
This denotes that Juliet had just thought she had found the right person who she loves but she cannot love him, as he is her born enemy, a Montague.
Romeo and Juliet are sharing actions. This shows that Romeo and Juliet have quickly become attracted to each other. The audience can see the couples ‘togetherness’; now Romeo and Juliet can also see their togetherness as they both exchange the hand position of prayer. This equates with the religious imagery and connotations within their speech. It is also showing that the relationship between the couple will expand onto a more faithful way. The audience sees that Juliet is reluctant to kiss Romeo when she says:
“If I profane with my unworthiest hand â€¨This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: â€¨My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”
Using a religious metaphor, Romeo remarkably talks Juliet in to allowing Romeo to kiss her. However this metaphor offers more uses.
“O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do! They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.”
A way in which Shakespeare has made this scene dramatically important is as the way that Shakespeare portrays Romeos thoughts when he first meets Juliet in a very poetic and romantic way. This becomes dramatically important as Romeo then links to a dove surrounded by ugly crows:
“Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear, So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows.”
From this the audience can tell that Romeo is completely shocked about Juliet’s appearance and beings to demonstrate her beauty. This is showing ‘love at first sight’ with Juliet and after the first time he lays eyes on her he says:
“Did my heart love till now?”
Romeo’s use of language and speech is a lot more poetic in contrast to Lord Capulet’s jesting language. Capulet’s speech is fun and majestic in comparison to Romeos language being extremely dramatic and said in a serious manor and being very austere about what he is saying. It is almost as if it is too late for Romeo and Juliet as they fall in love before they find out each others identities
The Montague’s and Capulet’s fight takes place in the opening scene of the play. In this the audience can see an indication that the romance between Romeo and Juliet is set to become very complex due to the fighting between the two families and that their relationship could end in tragedy.
This scene is very important as it gives the scene a lot of structure. The themes that the audience can take from this scene are: marriage, love, hate and conflict. Marriage in this scene refers to Paris’ bid to marry Juliet. Love in this scene refers to Romeo and Juliet unexpectedly converging and then instantly falling in love. Hate is found in this scene when Romeo and other close friends of the Montague Family, who are also foes of the Capulet’s, attend the Ball uninvited. And the audience sees conflict in this scene when Tybalt finds out Romeo is attending the Ball and wants him to immediately be removed.
When Tybalt suddenly realizes that Romeo is at the ball the feeling of the atmosphere immediately changes as there is conflict and confrontation between Romeo and Tybalt, the audience knows this as Tybalt proclaims:
“I’ll not endure him. [â€¦] He shall be endured.”
From this you can see that the two phrases are matched and that there is now a lot of anger coming from Tybalt sparking tension between the two characters that the audience immediately will pick up. A lot of thing said in Romeo and Juliet are said in a similar way to a poem, this is called iambic pentameter just as the audience sees when Tybalt exclaims.
“I’ll not endure him, He shall be endured.”
This line is split, but the two different sentences are similar, the audience can tell that this is an argumentative conversation in this part if the play as by the way the sentence is converged. Tybalt utters:
“Fetch me my rapier boy.”
From this the audience can see that Tybalt has longed to fight Romeo and is more than willing to do so. The audience may decide to interpret this as anger and tension being created from the feud between the two rivalling families. And doing so will make the audience excited and ambitious.
The story ends in tragedy and the audience is then left to feel sympathetic for Romeo and Juliet, as it was fait that played a very big are in the story. As just after one died the other died not knowing and reasoning into why one another died, but just assuming it was cause on their behalf. Not only this but Shakespeare’s use of dramatic affect really heightens the feeling that the audience receives from the play.
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