Romeo and Juliet is one of the plays that has been extensively watched and reenacted across the world. Perhaps it is one of the most adored plays fall time, and much of the attention that the play has received is linked to the impact that it has had on the lives of many audiences. It is imperative that an analysis of this plays evaluates the various elements that influence the relevance of the play in the lives of these audiences. The most vital aspects of the play have a critical role in promoting its usefulness, and as such, it is essential that all these significant elements are evaluated for their roles in the play. Every literary analysis must stand guided by the understanding of the various aspects of the play and the overall impact that they have on the audiences. These elements have been integral in the appreciation of the art behind the play.
Romeo and Juliet is a play that captures the love between two young lovers b the same name. The play revolves around the struggles as each character seems to be fighting against the odds in their love life4. The implication is that this play is a tragic romance and all reenactments of the play have sought to bring out the challenge of love amidst troubles and the sad ending that the characters face in their lives. The play follows the deathlike coma that Juliet puts herself in, and while believing that his Juliet is dead, Romeo also looks for the poison to kills himself. His last moments seem him kills Paris who had mistaken Romeo to be a vandal before Romeo swallows the poison, he dies and almost after, Juliet awakens, and when she realizes that her Romeo is dead, she stabs herself with the aim of uniting with him in death. The story is a depiction of the tragic ending of love between two individuals with such strong feelings for each other.
The play is one of the best representations of the work by Shakespeare who focused on telling the love story through the various approaches that involved tragic romance. Multiple aspects of the play are considered as contributing elements to the beauty and appreciation of the play. Costumes are among the outwards elements that are evident in the play. Ford (164) notes that the implication of the costumes in the play is aimed at communicating given aspects of the play that are essential in promoting the appreciation of the play. The argument on the costumes has often been the need to use costumes to highlight the timing of a play. This play is set in the Elizabethan period, and as such, the costumes must reflect the period in which the play was written. The choice of costumes for every character is vital in communicating their role (Ford 165). For instance, Paris must dress differently from Romeo as a way of communicating the subtle messages about their characters. Romeo is often presented as a suave gentleman with good command of his dressing while his servant Balthasar must also be dressed in a particular manner. Costumes are an integral element in every play, and the Romeo and Juliet play has managed to successfully rely on the costuming as a means of sharing the embodied messages in the play.
One of the central elements in any literary work is the exploration of the themes in the work of art. Romeo and Juliet highlight various themes which are central to the understanding of the text. One of the major themes in this play is love. The entire play is hinged on the expression of love between Romeo and Juliet, and even the expression of this love marks the basis of this play. It is apparent that Romeo and Juliet are in love despite the challenges that they go through (Ford 166). Notably, even the act of drinking poison by Romeo stems from his pain on learning about the death of Juliet. Without confirming t5he news of the possible loss of his loved one, Romeo opts to kill himself (Snider 37). One of the significant expressions of the love between Romeo and Juliet is in the scene when Romeo hears Juliet swear her love for him regardless of the wall of hatred between the two families.
The power of love is inherent in the hopes of Friar who believes that the feuding families could be united by the love between the two lovebirds. According to Prusko (117), the expectations of the young minds is that of a life of bliss which would not be interrupted by the common happenings of life. Love is one of the major themes that has been continuously used to define the story of Romeo and Juliet in the various discourses.
The impact of love is an important subject that is brought out in this play. It is a commonplace that every person behaves in a certain way at given times and Romeo and Juliet is a revelation of the need for seclusion and differentiating between the social and the private. Prusko (119) opines that Romeo and Juliet seem to want to explore physical, psychological and even linguistic spaces in their seclusion. The closeness of these two lovebirds is a reason for their desire for seclusion from everyday experiences and the need for separation from their families into their private space. The implication is that the love between these two make them inseparable and any other element that tries to create a gap between them is treated with contempt. For instance, even Montague seems intrigued that his son has changed a lot (Snider 40). At one point, Romeo’s friends question the place of his thoughts especially from his newfound interaction with Juliet.
The impact of love seems to be a significant part of this play, and it serves to address the issue by this play. It is critical to visualize the possible struggles that the love between Romeo and Juliet raises. They have to struggle with their friends and families in their bid to experience their love for each other. Ford (166) argues that the reflections highlighted in the experiences of Romeo and Juliet are the building blocks that facilitate the understanding of the play and its message.
The representation of adolescence is also an important subject that is highlighted in this play. The play explores the everyday experiences of the young minds in society as well as the challenges that they have in their lives. Prusko (115) discusses that the play highlights the search for individualism as well as the inherent desire of the youths to assert themselves. The question of individuality is highlighted in the decisions that Romeo and Juliet make in their love life. Both individuals come from families that are at war and as such, any such relationship, leave alone marriage, cannot be contemplated.
The vibrancy and recklessness of adolescence is, therefore, an important subject that is inherent in the love relationship between Romeo and Juliet. Prusko (115) notes that Romeo and Juliet are a reflection of the need for privacy and social expectations. These two individuals seek to assert themselves, and their need for privacy without outside interference and the experiences of Juliet are enough evidence of the extent of societal expectations. Juliet is supposed to be married off to a spouse of the family’s choosing despite her love for Romeo, and as such, she opts to take the poison provided by the Friar to stop herself from being married off. The struggle for independence in this play is brought out in the choices that these two individuals make in as far as their love is concerned.
Further exposition of the play highlights the infusion of tragedy in the plot of the play and the impact that it has on the characters and the plot development. The play is a tragic romance that is marked by the death of the various characters. The central tragedy is the death of Romeo and Juliet. However, the deaths of Tybalt and Paris are also definitive deaths that are found in this play. Lindell (167) posits that while the brawl involving Tybalt and Mercutio may have been intentional, the stabbing was not expected as an outcome of the brawl.
The infusion of death in the plot of the play further serves to promote the development of the plot regarding revealing the experiences of the characters in the play. Eventually, Tybalt also gets killed by Romeo who accidentally stabs him as he tried to stop the fight. The element of death has also been a major discourse in the depiction of the ‘false death’ of Juliet and the impact that it adds to the play. As a result of the comma, Juliet is thought as dead, and Romeo kills himself on this account. Lindell (168) points out that while it has sometimes been thought as a representation in bad taste, this scene adds to the plot development of this play and it facilitates the exploration of the themes in this play.
The thematic issues that have been fronted in this play have played a significant role in highlighting various elements in the play. However, some styles have also been explored in the play, and they have also been central to the understanding g of the various aspects of his play. One of the elements is foreshadowing which is commonplace in this play. At the onset of the play, the bar brawl is potential flash-forward to the outcomes in this play. Lindell (167) notes that elements of foreboding are also inherent in the lingering questions that Romeo has as he is on his way to the feast held by the Capulets. The impact of such stylistics approaches is in preparing the audience for the final parts of the play. There is a quick succession of deaths in the play towards the end perhaps as a fulfillment of the foreshadowing — the stabbing of Mercutio, Romeo killing Tybalt, Romeo killing Paris and eventually killing himself. These are essential parts of the play that highlights the importance of the play and promote its usefulness as a work of art.
Situational irony has also been adopted as a style and ion this case; it communicates the theme of love that is shared between Romeo and Juliet. Notably, only Romeo is not aware that Juliet is not dead but in a self-imposed comma to avert the possible marriage to another suitor. At the point that he is made aware of her death, even Paris is grief-stricken for this loss. The audience, however, understands the happenings in this scene (Ford 163). The implication is that such situational irony makes for good comedy in a play although it also contributes to the mimesis that is experienced in a work of art. Lindell (167) notes that the audience is easily made to drive with Romeo upon the “loss” of his lover. This state of common experience is one of the elements that has often made this play success with many audiences.
Symbolism is also a significant element that facilitates the appreciation of this play. Ford (168) discusses that the communicative value of every work of art must be hinged on certain factors and in this case, symbolism has been widely used. Light and darkness provide one of the most significant comparisons in the play, for instance; each lover views the other as their light. The night also symbolizes the moment of freedom for the characters and most of the secrets are realized in the night (Snider 61). Symbolism is a significant feature that runs across the longevity of this play, and it requires a closer observation for one to appreciate its usefulness and relevance fully.
Additional elements in the analysis of this play include the evaluation of the characterization as adopted in the play. Ford (169) argues that the composition of a play must be designed in such a way that it pormote4s the understanding of the play. In this play, each character has been developed to facilitate the inherent messages and themes in the play. Romeo’s character is depicted as a man who has hot always been lucky on matters love. His advances have not always been appreciated by the objects of his affections. Prusko (122) discusses that the element of privacy that is enhanced in the play is built based on the previous experiences of each character.
Further, Romeo is depicted as a person who struggles with speech perhaps a sign of his inexperience on matters to do with love. Juliet is depicted as an individual who is obedient to the parents but with a stronger innate sense of perseverance and independence. The strong will is among the factors that make Prusko (127) perceive the play as a demonstration of young adolescent love. Other characters are also given various traits which facilitate the roles that they have. However, the development of Romeo and Juliet is an essential part of this play, and Snider (46) notes that much of the play revolves around the accuracy in the creation of these two characters.
Language is also a central factor that has been adopted in this play. The balance that is highlighted in the use of language throughout the play and Prusko (121) notes that the conversations between Romeo and Juliet are way different from the discourses among the other characters. The implication that the conversations between Romeo and Juliet are filled with the longing that can only be seen in lovers and there is a sense of privacy that their conversation builds around them (Snider 61). The language that is adopted points to the Elizabethan era which also had its expectations of love and as such, every depiction of this play must be seen to address these expectations.
Romeo and Juliet is a significant play that has impacted various societies. Issues such as themes, styles and the use of language are integral factors that contribute to the understanding and relevance of this play to multiple audiences. It is necessary that every analysis of this play must define the impact of these given elements and the impact that they have on communicating the experience of this play. The quality of the play must be defined by the consideration of the potential impact of these elements in influencing the meaning and appreciation of the play. The various thematic areas are central in the interpretation of the text as far as its relevance to the society as a whole. The necessity of such analysis is embedded in exploring the subtle aspects of the play that have defined its plot and artistry. Romeo and Juliet remain’s one of the most significant plays in the world of literary art and its appreciation requires an understanding of the aspects discussed in this analysis.
- Ford, Elizabeth. Will Kemp, Shakespeare, and the composition of Romeo and Juliet. Early Theater. Pg. 162-175. Accessed 31 Dec 2018. http://libproxy.warren.edu:2426/eds/detail/detail?vid=7&sid=f80873b9-efee-48ad-81c2-340831563361%40sessionmgr4009&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=edsgcl.281461668&db=edsglr.
- Lindell, Kiki. Putting the Fun Back in Funerals: Dealing/Dallying with Death in Romeo and Juliet. Pg. I65-181. Accessed 31 Dec 2018.http://libproxy.warren.edu:2426/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=fbbea914-c449-4b2c-b867-1476a1c1b382%40sessionmgr4007.
- Prusko, Rachel. Youth and Privacy in Romeo and Juliet. Early Theatre. (2016). Vol. 19. Issue 1. Pg. 113-136. Retrieved From: http://libproxy.warren.edu:2154/ps/i.do?ty=as&v=2.1&u=warrencc&it=DIourl&s=RELEVANCE&p=LitRC&qt=TI~%22Youth+and+Privacy+in+Romeo+and+Juliet%22~~AU~Prusko%2C+Rachel~~IU~1~~PU~%22Early+Theatre%22~~VO~19&lm=&sw=w .
- Snider, J. Denton. Romeo and Juliet. The Shakespearian drama, a commentary: The Tragedies. Sigma Publishing Co. 1887. P36-78. Accessed 31 Dec 2018.http://libproxy.warren.edu:2154/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T001&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=3&docId=GALE%7CH1420019261&docType=Critical+essay&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=LitRC&contentSet=GALE%7CH1420019261&searchId=R2&userGroupName=warrencc&inPS=true.