- Created by: jordanbh2018
- Created on: 27-08-17 10:28
ACT 1 PROLOGUE: BUILDING ANTICIPATION IN THE AUDIE
The audience are told of a quarrel between two families in Verona.
The families are the Montagues and the Capulets.
The quarrel has become increasingly violent.
We learn that the bitterness and fighting will only be ended through the death of the Montague son and the Capulet daughter who were lovers.
KEY THEME : FATE
The Prologue uses the theme of fate in that it allows the audience an overview of the actions of Romeo and Juliet before they happen, as if everything that happens to them has been preplanned or preordainted by fate. It suggests their destiny is fixed from the moment of their births as it refers to the "fatal loins " of their parents.
KEY THEME : FATE (CONTINUED)
The Prologue also refers to Romeo and Juliet as the "star-crossed lovers" again suggesting their destiny has somehow been written in the stars and that their ruling planets are at odds with each other- just like their families are at odds with one another. The prologue suggests their deaths will be the only way their "parents rage" will end.
KEY QOUTATION: TRAGIC SUICIDE
The Chorus offers a summary of the forthcoming action when we are told, "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/ A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life". This establishes the dramatic tension for the audience as they are pre-warned of a tragic suicide and can only helplessly witness the tale unfold.
ACT 1 SCENE 1: TROUBLE ON THE STREETS OF VERONA
Capulet's servants meet servants from the Montague household and provoke them. Benvolio, a montague, aims to keep the peace, but fiery Tybalt, cousin to the Capulets arrives and there is a fight on the streets of Verona. The fight is stopped by the Prince, who is not pleased about the disturbance. Benvolio recounts the events to the Montagues, who ask where their son Romeo is - he has been keeping himself to himself and Benvolio vows to find out why. Romeo reveals to Benvolio that he is in love with a girl (Rosaline) who will not return his feelings. Benvolio advises him to find someone new.
KEY CHARACTERS: BENVOLIO AND TYBALT
Tybalt's first appearance establishes him as one who enjoys a fight : "Have at thee, coward!". He challenges Benvolio and immediately adds to the seriousness and intensity of the brawl. His language is bitter and vicious. Benvolio, however, has just been trying to break up the fight, and tries to encourage Tybalt to do the same: "I do but keep the peace. Put up your sword, Or manage it to part these men with me." Benvolio seems more measured and more thoughtful. It is to him that Montague looks for an honest appraisal of the fight and for help in discovering what is troubling his son. Benvolio listens to Romeo and offers him consolation and advice, showing his pragmatic character.
KEY CONTEXT 1
Petrarch was an Italien poet, who wrote many complex love sonnets and was very influential for poets writing during Queen Elizabeth I's reign. The poetry that sprang from this was known as courtly love poetry and presented the poet as the male lover who views his lady as unattainable and affects to be lovesick, while the object of his love adopts a cool and disdainful attitude towards him.
ACT 1 SCENE 2: JULIET'S FUTURE IN THE BALANCE
- Paris has come to Juliet's parents to seek her hand in marriage
- Capulet suggests she is too young as she is still only thirteen, but will consent to the marriage if Juliet agrees
- Capulet reveals that he is to hold a feast that night, to which Paris is invited
- A servant is sent out with the invitations
- Benvolio and Romeo come across the servant and Romeo sees the name of the woman he loves-Rosaline- on the guest list
- Romeo decides to go to the ball to catch a glimpse of Rosaline, although Benvolio suggests he will see other, more beautiful, women there
KEY THEME: MARRIAGE
Paris discusses his proposal to marry Juliet with her father. It seems that Lord Capulet is reluctant to agree to an early marriage. Juliet's age would not,in those days,have ruled out her marrying, but Capulet feels his daughter is still a "stranger in the world" and would prefer her to marry when she is a couple of years older. Paris's suggestion that there are younger mothers in Verona is echoed later by Lady Capulet, who reveals that she was married at a similarly early age herself.
ACT 1 SCENE 3: MOTHERS AND MARRIAGE
- Lady Capulet is looking for Juliet and meets the Nurse
- The Nurse talks about her longstanding relationship with Juliet and recalls some memories of her childhood
- Juliet arrives and her mother blunty begins to talk to Juliet of marriage, suggesting that Paris would make a good match for her
- Juliet agrees to consider Paris, but only if her parents approve.
KEY CHARACTER: LADY CAPULET
Lady Capulet seems far more keen than her husband for their daughter to marry. She herself was married young, so does not see Juliet's youth as a problem. She seems to percieve it as normal for Juliet to marry before she is fourteen and reminds her that other girls have had children of their own by this time.
KEY CHARACTER: LADY CAPULET (CONTINUED)
Lady Capulet is impatient with the Nurse because she wishes to impress on her daughter that Paris's offer is a very attractive one. She is likely to be well aware that the offer of a good marriage means future security for her influence for the Capulet family. The desire for Juliet to marry comes across plainly in the blunt question "How stands your dispositions to be married?".
ACT 1 SCENE 4: DREAMS AND MISGIVINGS
- Romeo, Mercutio and the Montagues make their way to the Capulet's feast, with masks and torches
- Mercutio tries to cheer up Romeo and encourage him to join in and dance
- Romeo speaks of a dream he has had, which encourages Mercutio to talk of Queen Mab, a fairy who gallops through the night hours
KEY CHARACTER: MERCUTIO
Mercutio's "Queen Mab" is part of his tactic to persuade Romeo to enter into the fun of the evening. He weaves a fairy tale description, showing his quick-witted, imaginitive side. He describes the effect that Queen Mab has upon sleepers: "And in this state she gallops night by night/ Throguh lover's brains, and then they dream of love", suggesting it is Mab who awakens a young girl's sexual desire.Mercutio enables the audience to see that Romeo's attitude to his present love is nothing more than a dream itself , a fantacy:this maters, since Romeo is to fall truly in love with Juliet as a result of this visit.
KEY CONTEXT 2
Juliet lives in a patriarchal society. That is, one where men have absolute power and fathers may view their wife and daughters as their possessions. By making a different choice from the one her father has made for her, a girl like Juliet would be likely to cause deep offence to her father. Alongside this, the younger men make crude refrences to women and seem to have little real understanding of women or love.
ACT 1 SCENE 5: ROMEO AND JULIET MEET
- The scene opens with great activity as the final preparations are being made for the feast and we see Capulet give a warm welcome to the guests.
- Romeo sees Juliet for the first time
- Tybalt notices Romeo and immediately wants a fight. Capulet is angry with Tybalt and tells him to behave himself
- Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love,later discovering that they belong to the rival families
KEY FORM: THE SONNET
The meeting of the lovers has to be a sensation, and it is presented in a most unusual way as their opening lines to each other are written as a sonnet. (This poetic form has also been used in the Prologue to the play.) The sonnet has a beauty and formality that perfectly capture the awkwardness and power of the moment.
KEY FORM: THE SONNET (CONTINUED)
The central image- of a pilgrim worshipping at a shrine-underlines the depth and purity of their love. Much of the language of their love sonnet uses religious imagery and the idea of worship. However this idea of worship is very different from the Petrarchan version we have seen in Act 1 Scene 1.
KEY QUOTATION : A GRIM PREDICTION
When Romeo and Juliet learn that they are from rival families , they each have a sense of foreboding their future. Juliet's assertion that "My grave is like to be my wedding bed" is this most serious prediction we have had so far. On the surface, Juliet is refering to the fact that if she cannot marry her true love, she is likely to go to her grave unmarried. However, on a more sinister note, it acts as a way of connecting her marriage to her early and tragic death.
KEY FORM: THE SONNET (CONTINUED) 1
We might admire Shakespeare's cleverness in presenting this meeting in the form of a shared sonnet. The young couple are completely in step with each other from the very start. This is not an idealised love,nor one that has anything fake about it. This meeting and the fact they share the lines of the sonnet, seem to suggest a meeting of minds and a genuine attraction. For example,note how, in the final couplet of the sonnet, they take one line each , ,completing each other's rhyme.
KEY THEME: MARRIAGE (CONTINUED)
However, Capulet himself points out the risks of childbirth at an early age, " too soon marred are those so early made" and seems to suggest that he would not want to risk Juliet's life in any way. It seems that Juliet is to be permitted a free choice of husband.
KEY THEME:MARRIAGE (CONTINUED) 1
Capulet is naturally keen that his daughter should find a considerate husband and agrees to Paris's proposal, provided that it meets with Juliet's approval. Later in the play his attitude changes and he forces Juliet into the marriage, a decision which, ironically, leads to her taking her own life at a tender, young age.