Violence in 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare.

1683 Words Jan 25th, 2006 7 Pages
"Romeo and Juliet" is one of the most famous plays written by Shakespeare. Under the essential elements, the character, plot, theme, there are a lot of special, unique ideas make the story stand out amongst others. In 'Romeo and Juliet', violence is one of the key ideas that link every incident together. It pushes the story forward and makes things happen. Shakespeare produces visions of violence in nearly every scene, every moment of the play. The violence affects every character, changing their nature and influencing their decisions. It troubles them and brings them difficulty, stress and even death.

Shakespeare writes in the prologue the reasons of the violence and fights in the play. He uses 5 lines to explain the beginning of the
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Mercutio would not have been killed if Romeo didn't want to fight Tybalt. Why didn't Romeo want to fight? Tybalt was insulting him. The reason was that he had love for the Capulet family. He was just married to Juliet and was treating Tybalt as his kinsmen and so didn't want to fight him.

"Till thou shalt know the reason of my love.

And so good Capulet, which name I tender

As dearly as my own, be satisfied."

The death of Tybalt forces Romeo to run away from home, which pushes the play towards the tragedy at the end. Violence is shown to be very powerful in this scene. Romeo was at first the negotiator, trying to stop the fight. But unfortunately it ends with the death of Mercutio. This infuriates Romeo, so instead of rational thinking, Romeo blindly kills Tybalt.

"Away to heaven respective lenity,

And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now."

Violence here blinds Romeo's eyes and interferes with his decisions.

Violence is also portrayed in a speech of the Prince Escalus:

"...You men, you beasts,

That quench the fire of your pernicious rage

With purple fountains issuing from your veins,"

The Prince here portrays anger as the origin of their violent actions. He says that their anger is destructive and affects the whole city. When he said 'beasts', he meant that the violence affected their thinking, and made them mad.

"And made Verona's ancient citizens

Cast by their grave-beseeming ornaments

To wield old partisans, in hands as old,

Cankered with
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