Romeo and Juliet: Effects of Censorship

2175 WordsJul 13, 20189 Pages
Romeo and Juliet has always been one of Shakespeare's most popular plays (Bryant xxiii) "This play, like Shakespeare's other works, is a tribute to his discernment of the human soul" (Lipson and Lipson 1). The Elizabethan people of that time saw in the drama a reflection of their own life and experience. It’s appearance, then, was human rather than analytical or educational. "Romeo and Juliet is one of the world's greatest plays because Romeo and Juliet are what Shakespeare has made them" Lipson and Lipson 11). Shakespeare's works depend on language. One of the most important dimensions of Shakespeare's language is imagery. Through the use of metaphors, similes, symbols, passages of heightened natural description, Shakespeare's writing,…show more content…
Presenting a certain age group with an abridged version "protects" that age group (and even the teacher) from "morally objectionable material," however, it seems that this not only distorts what the writer (in this case, Shakespeare) originally intended, but it also treats what once existed as nonexistent. "Shakespeare knew the human mind, and its most minute and intimate workings, and he never introduces a word, or a thought, in vain or out of place...He never wrote at random, or hit upon points of character and conduct by chance; and the smallest fragment of his mind not unfrequently gives a clue to the most perfect, regular, and consistent whole" (Coleridge 183). In many respects, the imagery or dramatic irony aspects, the graphic, figurative, rich language that Shakespeare is so noted for is lost. The preciousness of youth remains untouched by the hands of a genius. Fundamental writing principles of contrasting characters such as Mercutio's wit to Romeo's can never be explored or examined and are sacrificed for the sake of innocence. Perhaps one might think that the above examples are trivial in tampering with the true meaning Shakespeare had in mind. Another example will bring us to Act One, Scene 3. This scene (according to the abridged version), introduces us to Juliet, her mother, and the nurse: NURSE: Of all the days of the

More about Romeo and Juliet: Effects of Censorship

Open Document