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Romeo and Juliet - Book Report/Review Example

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The prologue of 'Romeo and Juliet' gives the plot of the play that will unfold. Similar to "Bards" or singing story tellers of old England, they use the plot or brief summary to start their tale. It introduces the audience to the setting and history of the play; and, the omen/fatalistic or prophetic tragedy of lovers as predicted by the stars…
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Download file "Romeo and Juliet Book Report/Review" to see previous pages... Loyalties transcend blood ties such that even servants would readily fight for the honor and dignity of the household where they belong. From this race rises two feuding households that of Lord Montague and Lord Capulet. The audience gets a glimpse of hate and revenge from these rivaling families, a hate that arose from an "ancient grudge" that has been passed on from one generation to the next.
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In the midst of this feeling is a twist and thus begins the tale, "from forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life." The audience knows that the prologue speaks of Romeo, the son of Lord Montague, and Juliet, Lord Capulet's daughter. Their love and life is summed up in the line "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life." The use of the word "star-crossed" means that the stars even before their birth have marked them for love and for death. The 16th century audience who are followers of astrology follows the drama with much curiosity. The audience is left wondering in anticipation of the events that will unfold. Their imagination is further flamed with the words "whose misadventured piteous overthrows" which makes the audience guess further as to what kind of misadventure. In the end the audience is assured with the knowledge that the death of the star-crossed lovers was not in vain, "Doth with their death bury their parents strife." The play begins with petty encounters between family and household members of the feuding families. The audience feels the intensity of the hate existing between the families and the mounting curiosity as to how this will be dealt with by the lovers. The audience awaits their first meeting which will be at a party. At this party, Romeo comes in a mask uninvited to see Rosaline who he appears to be in love with. At this very party Juliet will meet Paris, the man her father wants her to marry.
The intensified hate and anger spawned from the encounters between the feuding families at the beginning of the play is masked by the festivities of the party. The angry, impatient and sword wielding Lord Capulet (Act 1: Scene 1) is transformed into a man of great energy and flamboyance (Shakespeare 1976: p.43). He encourages all to dance and participate in the festivities. Filled with jesting, he teased his gentlemen guests that the "ladies that have their toes unplagu'd with corns will have a bout with you" (Shakespeare 1976: p.43). Even the ladies were not sparred, he blatantly announces that young women who will refuse to dance will be considered as suffering from corn (Shakespeare 1976: p.43). He is seen as a gracious host extending his welcome to people who he does not know, the party of the masked men (Romeo and his men). The audience is made to see that a good man exists behind the sword-wielding man who fights readily to defend his family's honor and dignity.
The atmosphere is jolly and festive but it suddenly becomes serious. Above the noise Romeo speaks. His language is so eloquent. He describes Juliet with words that have a deeper meaning. "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night" means that she appears ethereal, a saint or spirit that hangs in mid-air with light surrounding her. He is awed by her beauty such that he was unaware that he was already speaking out loud. Those who ...Download file "Romeo and Juliet Book Report/Review" to see next pagesRead More
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