In order to direct how the audience should feel

In the beginning of the play, Shakespeare has written a prologue to let the audience know the forthcoming events during the play. Shakespeare clearly emphasises that “a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life”, which references that Romeo and Juliet will die at the end of the play. This introduces the idea of the fate in Romeo and Juliet. “When civil blood makes civil hands unclean” shows that the fighting between the two rival families have put blood on the hands of civilians. The connotations of the word “civil” might be derived from the word civilized, which means that they are ordinary, courteous or polite. However, it is shown that this is the opposite as they still shed blood. The imagery of “blood makes civil hands unclean” makes the reader visualize a pair of hands stained in blood, which shows the violence between the families.    The prologue is in the form of a chorus, which is derived from Greek tragedy, in order to direct how the audience should feel and set the foreshadowing of Romeo and Juliet’s fate. It is also written in a sonnet form, which has an ABAB rhyme scheme except for the last two rhyming couplets. A sonnet form suggests that the story of the play is straightforward, hence the regular rhyme schemes, which also shows that Romeo and Juliet’s fate was decided from the beginning, from when they meet to when they die. The rhyming couplet at the end of the prologue stands out as it could suggest that if the audience pays attention to the play, everything will become clear.                                                                                                                       Shakespeare’s constant references to the cosmos and light and dark imagery remind the audience of the importance of the theme of fate. In the beginning of Act 2, Scene 2, Romeo describes Juliet as “the sun” and tells her to “kill the envious moon”. Shakespeare has used imagery of the cosmos here in order to emphasise the beauty of Juliet. This scene shows Romeo’s true love for Juliet, instead of the unrequited love for Rosaline. Romeo tells Juliet to kill the “moon” and the “moon” represents Diana, the goddess of the moon, who was known for her extreme beauty. Romeo speaks in an iambic pentameter form to state the rhythm, and uses metaphors to describe Juliet as the sunrise and asks her to appear at her window. He then signifies that even the “envious moon” should be jealous of Juliet for her beauty. Romeo is attempting to flatter Juliet with his words as he has fallen deeply in love with her. Shakespeare describes that the moon is turning white and pale, while the sun, Juliet, is rising and lightens up the sky, this also suggests that Juliet is extinguishing the darkness of light and expelling all the evil. Later on in the play, Romeo also uses a metaphor to say that “her cheek would shame those stars as daylight doth a lamp”, which shows that Juliet is once again associated with brightness. This could relate to religious themes as Romeo portrays Juliet as to being his goddess. During Act 1 Scene 4, Romeo predicts that they will arrive late to the party because he says “too early”, however, this quotation “too early” can also be inferred that Romeo is unwilling to go to the party instead. This is because Shakespeare shows that Romeo says  he senses a foreboding about the party, that he is fated for an untimely death. This foreshadows the following events that will unfold between Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare also references the stars once again, in the quotation “yet hanging in the stars” when Mercutio and Benvolio are trying to convince Romeo to attend the party, which means that Shakespeare is likely to be referring back to the theme of fate, because in the prologue he says that Romeo and Juliet are “star-crossed lovers”. Shakespeare has also used imagery of the cosmos during the prologue of the play, which presents Romeo and Juliet as “star-cross’d lovers”. This description has been used to depict that the pair are thwarted by bad luck, as shown in the play where both families are rivals of each other and they ultimately both end up facing their deaths. This links to fate as Shakespeare tells the audience that they are fated to die. This scene links to fate, as Shakespeare includes the references to the stars just like that in the prologue, which shows that Romeo and Juliet are fated to die. Shakespeare might have wanted the audience to consider whether Romeo would actually go to the party, or instead consider to come home instead. However, he is convinced by Benvolio and Mercutio to attend to the party, which might have had an effect of Romeo and Juliet’s fate, and not have caused them to die. Shakespeare has also included religious and light and dark imagery in order to convey the intense love between them. Juliet says that “For saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss”. The image that Shakespeare that Shakespeare creates of two palms pressing against each other is that like in a prayer motion, which suggests it is “holy”. A rhyming couplet has been used during Act 1 Scene 5 where Juliet says that “Saints do not move, through grant for prayers’ sake.”, then Romeo says “Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take”, Shakespeare has used this to show that they are fated to join as one and be complete with each other as their love for each other is inevitable till the end. The religious use of imagery also shows that Shakespeare is conveying the idea that Romeo and Juliet both worship or idolize each other, but there are both light and dark sides, like in religion. During Act 2 Scene 2, Juliet says that “if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, which is the god of my idolatry”, Shakespeare has used religious imagery in order to show that Juliet is talking to Romeo about swearing their love for each other and that she looks up to Romeo as her idol. However, Shakespeare could have included this to convey the idea that worshipping a god may lead to dangerous outcomes. In the same scene, Romeo tells Juliet to call him “love”, which shows that Romeo is willing to give up his entire identity just to be with her. Shakespeare uses this religious imagery to show the fate that Romeo and Juliet’s love will lead to. Juliet also says “that all the world will be in love with night”, she compares Romeo to the night to emphasise her love for Romeo and that everyone will forget about the sun and fall in love with Romeo, who is portrayed as the “night”. In Act 2 Scene 3, the theme of fate is very prominent as in this scene, Romeo pressures Friar Lawrence into marrying him to Juliet. Friar Lawrence says that “Women may fall when there’s no strength in men”, this means why should men expect women to be so faithful, when men are so unreliable. This refers to Romeo’s love for Rosaline, which However, after the second alternating sonnet between Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse interrupts them mid-way. Shakespeare has used this in order to foreshadow that their relationship will be interrupted by their families like their conversation. The theme of fate is shown to be prominent here as fate has ultimately made them both fall in love with each other. The use of structure conveys the idea that fate is in full control of both Romeo and Juliet’s lives, and that they will both meet death. Shakespeare uses structure in order to portray the love between Romeo and Juliet, as they speak in a sonnet form, which has a rhyme scheme where they both answer each other. The sonnets also draws the audience’s attention using the imagery, this sonnet portrays Romeo as a Petrarchan lovers as he was rejected by Rosaline. Shakespeare also uses the sonnet form during the prologue in order to show the prominent themes of fate and love during the play, it consists of 14 lines and a final rhyming couplet. The prologue shows that Romeo and Juliet have to fight from the “fatal loins” of both their parents, and they are fated to die, as shown they are “misadventured”, which suggests that Romeo and Juliet are controlled by fate. In Act 3 Scene 1 ,Tybalt and Mercutio get into a fight, which eventually leads to Mercutio’s death due to Romeo intervening. It could be considered that fate causes Mercutio’s death in this part of the play as the marriage has ultimately lead to  Mercutio fighting for Romeo and dying. Romeo shouts, “Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio!”, so Tybalt thrusts his sword under Romeo and stabs Mercutio. Romeo exclaims that “But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love”, which shows that Romeo feels that he cannot reveal his marriage to Tybalt. The love between Romeo and Juliet has lead up to this moment, as Romeo is related to Tybalt and initially thinks that  to fight him would be an inappropriate thing to do. The fight also leads to the death of Tybalt, as Romeo is enraged that Mercutio, his friend, has been killed because of his own actions. Fate also plays an important role when Romeo cries out that he is “fortune’s fool”, in the play he claims that fate has caused the death of Mercutio, and leads him to kill Tybalt to avenge Mercutio. Romeo predicts that “day’s black fate on more days doth depend”, which suggests that he is not in control of his own fate and his words will foreshadow what is to come. Shakespeare is portraying Romeo that even though he wanted to avoid to fight Tybalt, ultimately, fate is in complete control of the events that unfold. Romeo says that he is “fortune’s fool”, which suggests the idea that Romeo has been taken control by fate, as he is described as a “fool”.


I'm Kara!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out