Romeo and Juliet - Form, Structure and Language

Form

  • Takes the form of a play.
  • Tragedy.
  • Completely made up of dialogue.
  • Shakespearean play.
  • Written mainly in verse rather than prose.
  • Prose is mainly used by the less 'irrelevant' characters - symbolising their status in society.
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Structure

  • Structure of Romeo and Juliet help us keep track of the events within the play.
  • Classical five-part structure.
  • Dialogue in Romeo and Juliet is mainly blank verse.
  • Has a clear pattern of ten syllables in each line which creates a rhythm within the dialogue.
  • Shakespeare uses a soliloquy as a means of presenting a deeper insight into the characters in Romeo and Juliet.
  • Also used to show a character's innermost thoughts and feelings at key moments in the play (e.g when Juliet reveals her torturous thoughts as she is about to drink the poison).
  • Time reveals the chain of events.
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Language

  • Shakespeare uses very distinctive patterns in the way he uses language.
  • Inventiveness is always apparent.
  • Plays with words and uses beautiful poetic language as well as different styles of language to create different characters and changes of mood within the play.
  • Metaphors and similes: "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" (Metaphor of    light, like the break of dawn). "Thou art as glorious to this night, being o'er my head/as is a wingèd messenger of heaven." (Simile in reference to Juliet being compared to an angel). Often uses these techniques to create imagery which helps to paint vivid pictures in your mind.
  • Oxymorons: "O brawling love, O brawling hate" (Used to describe the feud between the two families). Helps the audience see the contrasts at work in the play and recognise the conflicting elements.
  • Voice: Used to highlight the way in which a character might speak, created by the writer to help communicate the type of person that character might be.
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