Look at the Way Conflict Is Investigated in Romeo and Juliet and in Poems Chosen from the Selection. Essay

2984 WordsNov 4, 201212 Pages
Throughout Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet', one of the main themes is conflict and conflict gradually escalates as the play reaches its tragic climax. From the start of the play, in the prologue, we are told of the futility of conflict as suggested by ‘ancient grudge’. The word 'ancient' suggests that the 'grudge' started long ago, meaning the real reason for it is long since forgotten, and therefore, the 'grudge' is petty though the resulting conflict is not. Additionally, the word 'grudge' suggests the consequences of the conflict are long lasting. We are also told how contagious conflict and the 'ancient grudge' can be, ‘civil blood makes civil hands unclean’. The choice of the word 'civil' shows that the 'grudge' has gone beyond private and spread into society, highlighting how infectious it can be. Moreover, the word 'blood' implies death, proving the dangerous consequences of conflict both physically and mentally. Furthermore, the word ‘unclean’ reminds the audience of blood stains which yet again remind us of the deadly consequences of conflict, and also the long term effects of conflict, like the scars and the lingering guilt. The prologue inevitably ends with a Shakespearean rhyming couplet just as the tragedy will always end in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, 'Death-marks of love'. The juxtaposition of the words 'death' and 'love', shows Shakespeare's beliefs that love isn't just a sweet thing, but also a deadly one. At the start of Act 3 scene 1, we are informed that it's set in a public place and are immediately reminded of the Prince's warning, 'if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace'. This immediately creates a tense atmosphere as the audience anticipate conflict. Throughout the play, the Prince is used as a voice of reason. The first character to speak is Benvolio. His name is

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