Romeo and Juliet, Setting Effectiveness

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While a good majority of stories and plays concentrate on setting as the environment or location of their story, the setting of Romeo and Juliet shows important ideas and ways of life in Elizabethan times, while also backing up all of the most important ideas in the play. When analysing setting, the cultural environment is just important as the actual time and place. Shakespeare uses a number of Elizabethan beliefs in Romeo and Juliet. This is to help the audience relate to the storyline so they understand what is going on. For instance, fate is one of the most important cultural beliefs in Romeo and Juliet and to show this, the prologue tells the audience that Romeo and Juliet will take their own lives. Because fate was such a major cultural belief and used as one of the key components in the play, the audience’s main interest was finding out how the two lovers were going to end up meeting that fate. While Romeo and Juliet was a play set a very long time ago, Shakespeare incorporated Elizabethan cultural beliefs to emphasise key points of his story and make it much more interesting for his audience. Another very important part of setting in text is the time and place (physical setting). Romeo and Juliet is set in the city of Verona and the smaller township of Mantura over four days. For example, the majority of the play is set in Verona to emphasise a lot of attributes to do with the city, such as the cultural and social qualities; where as Mantura is described as a sort of poor town to enhance the idea of Romeo being banished from, “the big city (Verona) to the little town (Mantura)”. These themes are very important to the text as they show character attributes and themes in the play; for instance, showing Mantura as the isolated slum town, to show how Romeo feels without his beloved Juliet; where as Verona is described as the big city (like New York

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