Romeo And Juliet Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is about two star crossed lovers dreadful fate. Each act of Romeo and Juliet is carefully crafted to provide the audience or reader with dramatic tension, mainly by foreshadowing and creating a suspenseful sensation. In the play, the theme -- some things aren’t meant to be -- has a major role in the development of the plot, and is represented in each act with foreshadowing. Shakespeare does this by making symbolic references, displaying the characters thoughts, and his use of tone. These together provide suspense and a deeper understanding of the plot as a whole.
Act I incorporates foreshadowing early on to suggest that the love of Romeo and Juliet will have terrible consequences. Shakespeare's use of symbolism and tone in this act further suggest that Romeo and Juliet were never supposed to fall in love. Romeo wasn’t even supposed to be at the Capulet’s masquerade ball. Romeo first sees that “this night's revels” (I.iv.109), the night he meets Juliet, will “expire the term/ of a despised life” (I.iv.110), yet he still goes to the party with those risks. This decision sealed the fate of Romeo and Juliet. Tybalt, upon seeing Romeo at the party, promises that his confrontation, “now seeming sweet” (I.v.89), will “convert to bitter gall” (I.v.90). The curse Tybalt issues will later come true, upsetting the joy that Romeo has, bringing him and his love farther apart. Juliet was pulled from her dance as well, having been “interrupted by Juliet’s[her] mother” (Bloom 44), who had seen her flirting with another man; she talks to Juliet about marrying Paris. Juliet’s absolute refusal to do so foreshadows that the issue will come up again later, and Juliet would be forced to marry Paris. However, the reason Romeo went to the masquerade ball was because of Benvolio’s influence. Benvolio wanted to find Romeo a lover and he would “pay that doctrine, or else die in debt” (I.i.231). This creates suspense at the end of the scene, and foreshadows that Romeo would find a lover, but at the cost of someone’s life. This connects to the theme; Romeo wasn’t supposed to be at the ball in the first place, and his decision caused the bad things he saw in his mind to come true.
Romeo and Juliet’s love caused them to propose marriage, which in turn heightens the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, even if they are not informed of the marriage. Shakespeare’s use of tone as a foreshadowing device plays a major role in creating dramatic tension. In Act II, Tybalt plans to carry out his curse, by sending a letter to his[Romeo’s] father’s house”(II.iv.8) issuing a “challenge, on my life” (II.iv.8). This challenge is a duel, and it bought Romeo’s happiness to a halt. Mercutio says “Alas...he is already dead”(II.iv.13) and that he has been weakened by the arrows of Cupid and “shot through the ear with a love song”(II.iv.14). Mercutio points out that Romeo might be too heart-broken to fight...

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