Prince Escalus from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: The Ideal Monarch

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In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare uses Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke as a source, where he changes details, like the role of the Prince, to add more meaning to the play through his showing of an ideal monarch. Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet is the ruler of Verona, which is the setting of the play. He is based on the Prince in Romeus and Juliet. When Shakespeare took his character, he changed his characteristics, slightly but in an important way. The Prince is first mentioned as the ruler of the town of Verona in Romeus and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, the Prince is first seen stopping the street fight between the families and servants. From the beginning, the Prince is seen as being a strict, but fair…show more content…
Both sides cooperate and reach out and agree on peace. Shakespeare here continues his use of the Prince as a model of the ideal leader by being just in his judgements and asking for peace for the good of Verona. This judgement is very different in Romeus and Juliet. The Prince does let Friar Laurence and Balthasar go, but he sentenced the Apothecary to be hanged and banished the Nurse. Friar Laurence was discharged and voluntarily left to go to a hermitage where he died five years later. Shakespeare does change this and makes the last scene less harsh and easier for the reader. He also uses this to make the Prince a kinder and a more just ruler. Shakespeare wrote during the Elizabethan Age. At this time Queen Elizabeth I ruled England and she was admired by the people. The English were coming off the monarchy of Henry VIII and he was not a good king. Shakespeare was showing the idealized monarch in this play through Prince Escalus. In Romeus and Juliet, the Prince was almost a one-dimensional character. Shakespeare took that and made him into a just and reasonable ruler. Prince Escalus is shown caring for his citizens, putting them first in his judgements. He greatly cared for the peace of Verona, doing all he could to ensure that amidst the fighting of the Montagues and Capulets there would be peace. Through the Prince’s efforts, peace did come to Verona,
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