With reference to the play, examine the way in which Shakespeare uses dramatic devices to engage the interest of the audience in the fate of Romeo and Juliet and develops the concept that they are not in control of their own destiny.
The prologue of the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet is written in the form of a sonnet. This means it has 14 lines in one stanza. It is written in pentameter as it has ten syllables for each line. The rhyme scheme for the first 12 lines in the prologue is quatrains, the first set of four lines have the rhyme scheme ABAB, the next set of four lines is CDCD and the last set of four lines has the rhyme scheme EFEF.
The last set of two lines is a rhyming couplet, this change is to show a change of mood.The prologue tells us that the play takes place in Verona and the basic story, two lovers from two feuding families the Capulets and the Montagues, that in the end they both die and the play lasts for two hours. The prologue shows that the families are of equal power and the meaning of their civil war is long forgotten. The phrase in the prologue “A pair of star crossed lovers take their life;” shows us that the two lovers Romeo and Juliet have not got any control of their fate.The stylistic features and dramatic devices in the prologue are, the prologue is like a chorus to the play, it helps us to understand it. The rhythm and rhyme are used in the prologue as a dramatic device to give pace and speed to the play; this keeps the audience interested. Shakespeare uses alliteration and repetition to great affect in the play Romeo and Juliet and because of this it keeps the audience more interested in the fate of the two lovers Romeo and Juliet for example “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes.
” Shakespeare uses many different words in the meaning of violence and death in the play Romeo and Juliet for example grudge rage and mutiny.As soon as the play starts Shakespeare gives you an idea of the fray involved between the families with two servants of the Capulet family and two servants of the Montague family who enter in that order to give a sense of balance. Then Benvolio enters and try’s to break up the fight but in doing this Tybalt enters and challenges Benvolio. Benvolio and Tybalt are direct relations to the two lords, Capulet and Montague, so bringing us up a step in the social ladder. Then a great fray starts out and in the end the Prince comes in, bringing us to the top of the social ladder and stops the fight.
The Prince then starts out on a speech, which tells us of the citizens of Verona’s opinion of the life long fray between the two families, they want it to come to an end and for there to be peace. The speech also shows balance, between the fighting and the people of Verona wanting peace. The speech also shows the power of the prince above the normal people and the lords. “You men, you beasts, that quench the fire of your pernicious rage – stop fighting now if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the price of the peace.” This quote shows Shakespeare’s first use of an oxymoron.
When you first meet Romeo after the fight he is grieving because the person who he loves has rejected him and has said that she will never love a man. This shows many more uses of oxymoron for example “Here’s much to do with hate, but more to do with love: Why them, o brawling love, o loving hate.” Romeo at this point in the play is feeling sad and unloved because of Rosaline and he keeps talking about the balance between love and hate, this is also foreshadowing of the events that will follow. He says that as Rosaline doesn’t love him he’s already dead but we know that he really will be dead in four days because of the Prologue. You are never told how old Romeo is but Juliet is 13.Benvolio tells Romeo to go to the Capulets party and try to find someone who he will love better that Rosaline. He is very sad and talks about death a lot, which is another use of foreshadowing. Romeo thinks that his love for Rosaline is true love.
Juliet goes to the party to see if she can love Paris, who wants to marry Juliet. Juliet is Capulets only living child all his other children have died.On they way to the party Romeo says to his friends that he had a dream that they should not be going to the party and that it could lead to death, then Mercutio say’s that he too has had a dream. This dream is the changing point of the play where the start of the end of Romeo and Juliet begins. The dream shows that we have no control of our own destinies.
Mercutio is shown as a person who is fragile and appears half-mad. Mercutio is neutral in the story as he is related to the prince not Montague or Capulets so when he gets killed he put a curse on both of the houses because its there war that caused his death. People in the modern world need a reason for the madness of Mercutio so in the new film it shows him as someone who regularly takes drugs like Ecstasy. Mercutio is that unstable that he can be fine one minute and the next he seems almost suicidal.His dream draws a fine line between comical and digressive.
For example one minute he is talking about things that are relatively pleasant for example “Is love a tender thing? Is it too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like a thorn”. Then the next minute he is talking about Queen Mab who makes people see what they really are in a dream for example a soldier is someone who deals death.They go to the party anyway and the consequences of this are Mercutio, Romeo’s and Juliet’s death.Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting was a complete accident as Romeo should have not been at the party. They see each other through the fish tank in the bathroom first and they make their way out of the bathroom and meet outside the door.
This meeting triggers the hate between the two families as Tybalt decides to have a duel with Romeo the next morning. Mercutio and Benvolio don’t know about Romeo and Juliet’s meetings so they are concerned about were he is going but they leave him anyway. This is the first appearance of the dramatic device soliloquy, which is when the audience knows more than some of the characters.