Essay by loo27 February 2008

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To begin, there were many events leading to the tragic end of Shakespeare's "star cross'd" lovers Romeo and Juliet. There are many characters involved in the play and the problematic events. The play is a tragedy set in Elizabethan times where two families bear an "Ancient Grudge"- The Montagues and The Capulets. Shakespeare does not make it clear why the families are feuding but history tells us that many feuds in the Elizabethan era were due to religion or politics. Shakespeare's complex, brilliant and skilful use of blank verse, rhymed verses and prose produces a play that has been largely appreciated since its creation. It can be argued that its popularity has grown over the years and therefore many different guises of the play have been reproduced i.e. Baz Lehrmann's 1996 version. Although one becomes accustomed to the storyline one never becomes tired of the carefully devised plot that Shakespeare subtly created that manages to theatrically and dramatically incorporate key themes such as death, fate, feuding and love that fit in with the Elizabethan period as well as modern day issues.

Shakespeare makes it clear that the " third civil brawl" caused uproar in the community which angered Prince Escalus and Verona and it is clear to the audience that his threat " If you ever disturb these streets again your lives shall pay the forfeit of peace" is now the predominant theme throughout the play. From here Shakespeare invents a series of events that will lead to a down hill spiral eventually resulting in the untimely deaths of the young couple. Ultimately, the complicity of these events is unravelled by prince Escalus when he seeks counsel in Friar Lawrence after the deaths. Consequently, Friar Lawrence confesses his sins, therefore admitting his culpability in the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.