Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. It is a story of two young lovers who are forced to Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. It is a story of two young lovers who are forced to Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous Romeo and Juliet is one of William Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet Romeo and
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.
Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but expanded the plot by developing a number of supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris.
Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. The text of the first quarto version was of poor quality, however, and later editions corrected the text to conform more closely with Shakespeare’s original.
Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical, and opera venues. During the English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick’s 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda’s Romeo und Julie omitted much of the action and added a happy ending.
Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman’s, restored the original text and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud’s 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare’s text and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. Whenever Romeo is shown as an idealistic lover, Juliet as his equal, and their love as perfect, the play is said to be in the Neoclassical mode.
In contrast, when Romeo is presented as a man whose love for Juliet has made him somewhat foolish and immature, Juliet as an active woman who is more interested in Romeo than he is in her, and their love as being flawed and ultimately doomed from the start, then the play is said to be working in the Romantic mode. Romeo and Juliet was one of Shakespeare’s first plays to be performed outside England; it wasmentioned by Richard Baines in his list of popular plays in 1597, and it was performed soon after at Court in Denmark.
As in all of Shakespeare’s works, words and phrases with double meanings, imagery, and poetry are used to create a play that is not only pleasurable to look at, but also enjoyable to hear and think about. Romeo’s following remark in act one scene one is an excellent illustration: “Love is a smoke produced by the fumes of sighs purged; it is a sparkling fire in the eyes of lovers perplexed; it is a sea nourished by tears of devotion.” What else can it be? It’s madness charmingly polite, A choking gallstone, as well as a sweetening preserving (1. 1. 190-193).
Romeo’s words are filled with images of love that Romeo himself is not yet sure he understands. This statement, and others like it throughout the play, present Romeo as a young man who is very much in love with the idea of being in love. Romeo’s infatuation with Rosaline throughout most of the play could be seen as his attempt to turn this idealized concept of love into reality.
While Romeo may be in love with the idea of love, Juliet is very much in love with Romeo. The following lines, spoken by Juliet in act two scene two, show this: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself (Riverside, 2. 2. 41-46).
Here, Juliet is saying that it does not matter what Romeo’s name is, she will love him just as much. She also says that Romeo is not truly Romeo without his name – in other words, he would not be the same person. This shows how deeply Juliet has fallen in love with Romeo; she loves him for who he is, not just for his name.
The imagery and poetry used by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet helps to create a vivid and moving picture of young love. Romeo and Juliet may be star-cross’d lovers, but their love is very real, and very powerful.
Shakespeare’s incorporation of these components is beautiful and allows for a more intimate connection between the reader or viewer and the work. Shakespeare employs imagery in the forms of lightness and darkness, animals, and plants or herbs to enhance the reading or viewing experience in Romeo and Juliet. Lightness and Darkness Imagery Is used extensively throughout Romeo and Juliet to symbolize as well as describe events.
Light is often associated with love and happiness, while darkness is usually equated with hatred and sorrow. For example, Romeo Montague first sees Juliet Capulet at a masquerade ball and is immediately struck by her beauty. He compares her to the light of the sun and the stars:
“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
This quotation not only demonstrates Romeo’s infatuation with Juliet, but also foreshadows the couple’s tragic end. Later in the play, when Romeo is banished for killing Tybalt, he says farewell to Juliet using similar imagery:
“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”
In Romeo and Juliet, light and darkness imagery is often used to contrast the lovers with their parents. Romeo’s mother, Lady Montague, complains that her son has been moping around the house ever since he fell in love with Rosaline. She says:
“Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.”
On the other hand, Romeo’s father is pleased that his son seems to have finally gotten over his infatuation with Rosaline. He tells Romeo:
“But Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”
As these quotations show, the Montagues are associated with lightness and happiness, while the Capulets are linked to darkness and sadness.
Animals Imagery Romeo and Juliet also uses animal imagery to contrast the lovers with their parents. Romeo’s mother is described as a “gentle” doe, while his father is compared to a “rough bear.” Juliet’s mother is like a “scolding” mastiff, while her father is likened to a “prideful tiger.” These comparisons not only emphasize the differences between the two families, but they also suggest that Romeo and Juliet are more like each other than they are like their own parents.
Plants and Herbs In Romeo and Juliet, plants and herbs are often used to symbolize the different emotions that the characters are feeling. For example, when Romeo first meets Juliet, he compares her to a flower:
“Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.”
Later in the play, Romeo compares Juliet to a rose when he says:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
In this quotation, Romeo is trying to say that it doesn’t matter that Juliet is a Capulet because she is still the most beautiful girl in his eyes.
Shakespeare also uses plants and herbs to contrast the Romeo and Juliet with their parents. Lady Montague is associated with the rosemary plant, which is known for its ability to improve memory. This is ironic because Lady Montague can’t remember what Romeo was like before he fell in love with Juliet. On the other hand, Romeo’s father is linked to the cuckoo bird, which is known for being a bad omen. This foreshadows Romeo’s tragic fate.