A Marxist Reading of Romeo and Juliet

1178 WordsOct 8, 19995 Pages
<b>A)</b> Write a critical commentary on key aspects of either Act 2 Scene 2 or Act 3 Scene 5. <br> <br><b>B)</b> Indicate briefly how you would read this extract using one of the approaches studied so far in Peter Barry's Beginning Theory other than the liberal humanist approach. <br> <br><b>ACT 2 SCENE 2</b> <br> <br><b>Part A</b> <br>Act Two, Scene Two of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a romantic and poetically lavish scene. This emotionally abundant section of the play contains the love passages and fanciful imaginings of the young lovers. But while it is eloquent and delightful, it is also essential in detailing certain character developments, drawing attention to recurring themes and setting the tone of the remaining play. <br>…show more content…
He compares her to the moon who is ‘sick and pale with grief' (2.2.5) and implores Juliet not to be the moon's maid. This may be a comparison between Juliet and Rosaline, Rosaline having chosen to be the moon's maid and shun romantic love. It becomes clear during this part of the play that Romeo associates love with light and objects that create it. He likens Juliet's eyes to ‘two of the fairest stars in all the heaven' (2.2.15) and goes on to suggest that had they been placed in the sky they would ‘stream so bright/that birds would sing and think it were not night' (2.2.22). This use of light to reflect Romeo's love is set against the night, or time of darkness. The darkness in this scene causes Romeo to hear Juliet's private thoughts and in turn catapults the lovers into a hasty union. Throughout the play Romeo is constantly fighting darkness, he searches for people to create love and warmth in his life, and eventually finds Juliet. However her warmth does not keep him alive for long and the brooding, angry Verona and its families result in the darkness of death. <br> <br><b>Part B</b> <br>Marxist literary criticism finds its roots in Marxist theory. It pays particular attention to notions of ideology and hegemony, the idea that the ruling classes or those in a position of power use literature as a means of reinforcing social ideology. The result of that is a form of social control,

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