ENGLISH LANGUAGE GCSE PRACTISE…

~Comparing Conflict in Romeo and Juliet.


NOTE: This is NOT my actual essay that will be sent to the exam boards, because that cannot leave school grounds. This is just a small sample of my practices, also re-writing this on the computer helps it to get 'drilled' into my head for the exam. Feel free to leave a review with any thoughts or musings… This is also not my full essay, because the entire exam consists of analyzing a couple more conflicting scenes in the play, aswell as poems 'Charge of the Light Brigade', and 'Ducle Et Decorum Est.' This is generally just to help my revision! x

By the way, this is the first English Language Essay I've done for GCSE, I'm fourteen and new to all this. Although I am predicted an 'A' for this

Here we are then, a sample of my revision! Hahaha….


Prologue:

Throughout the play, "Romeo and Juliet" one constant theme is conflict. At the opening of the play, a Prologue is performed before Scene One begins; this is to imply to the audience the general idea of the play, because in Elizabethan times it would have been harder to follow because of lack of scenery and sometimes use of language. In this prologue, death, conflict, and grudges are all mentioned. In this prologue, the term "Ancient grudge", tells the audience that this initial conflict has been going on for generations beforehand. As Shakespeare loathed violence and wished to spread this message to the audience, the play states almost immediately "civil blood makes civil hands unclean" this in my view is more of a strong opinion then a line of speech because he's saying that using violence or committing murders makes a person tainted; in the 1600's, being 'tainted' could result in the specified person going to hell, rather than heaven. When this was the case the person involved would lose all dignity and could be thrown onto the street; this is mentioned in the duration of the play as a threat, and for those reasons it is seen as an awful fate to receive. In contrast, the hero's of the play, Romeo and Juliet who in this prologue are mentioned metaphorically, are presented to be "star crossed", "fearful", and "misadventured". These phrases portray both characters to be innocent to the story's conflict: simply victims. However, they are also presented to be unintelligent, following their hearts rather than their heads on such a scale it results in major problems, this is probably because of their innocence more than anything else. Overall, this gives me the impression that all the conflict is conducted through stupidity, and this ancient grudge; without questioning the reasons, and not thinking before they act.


Act One, Scene One:

After the prologue the play opens up on a fairly casual setting: A general public place; this it to show the audience that all major conflicts do not have to be started through a battle, or something on a similar scale. It is deemed to be a fairly normal day too, which only exaggerates the point that this conflict was not serious when it starts. Shakespeare portrays the actions in the play to be without thought, a small act of quarreling turns into a riot in this scene only to glorify this point. Sampson, a Capulet is the cause of this conflict. The character appears to be full of himself as he claims he can back any Montague to the wall; this being a common action in fighting in the era. He quotes himself to be "a tyrant" meaning a strong, noble and unbeatable warrior and swordsman. His gloating also includes double meaning to imply comedy. This is mainly shown when he refers to the Montague's' ladies and maids, he quotes them to be weaker than men which was the common thought back in those days. Sampson claims he will "Push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall," this although he is talking about battle has sexual implications and using terms such as 'push' and 'thrust' is to represent how strongly he feels of his actions, as they are violent verbs. This was outwardly outrageous to an Elizabethan audience and they will have found this upmost entertaining. Showing of this prestige, he considers it appropriate to show off his acclaimed attire when Montague Abram approaches. Sampson bites his thumb at the Capulet; this is the key action in which the initiation of conflict takes place. This also represents Shakespeare's view on how something simply trivial revolts into a mass situation of violence. When asked about Sampson's implied swearing at Abram, the character takes it as the opportunity to aggravate the Montague. "No sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir." This is portrayed in a manner which is suggesting the obvious lie provoking Abram to conflict. Before long the fight between the two is started; this leads into the introduction of Tybalt and Benvolio, two contrasting characters. Both of their opening dialogues show this. Benvolio separates the fighting between Abram and Sampson. He states, "Part, fools! Put up your swords, you know not what you do." Benvolio here is strait away shown not to support the conflict and predicts instantaneously it's without proper reason. Throughout the plat, he seems the most intelligent character and in the right mind. Tybalt however, is presented with a feisty exterior; he loves to hate and promotes any conflict he can. This results in bring Benvolio against his will into the brawl. His first line of speech immediately personifies, this, "What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds. Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death. Using the term "Heartless hind" is a direct insult to Benvolio. A 'hind' is a low-class animal, one that would be hunted and not considered important because of its low intelligence, such as a pig, or a cow. Aswell as the word "Heartless", telling Benvolio he isn't worthy of love because he has no heart; implying that he is stupid and without a soul. Tybalt's use of "death" also immediately shows the contrast between both characters. This is only to provoke Benvolio further and it works. Now involved in this conflict, it escalates. The small quarrel quickly develops into a dispute between both houses in Verona.


Act 3, Scene 1:

Similar to Act 1, scene 1, Act 3 opens up on the Verona streets. This scene revolves primarily on the conflict between houses and is a vital part of the play. This is because both Tybalt and Mercutio die resulting in Romeo's exilement, and more rivalry between the families. The conflict commences because Tybalt heads into town seeking out Romeo. Romeo, in the previous night in the play's timeline 'gate crashed' into the Capulet's masked ball and Tybalt was outwardly humiliated by his uncle because of it. But unbeknownst to Tybalt, that morning Romeo got married to his cousin, Juliet; making Romeo part of both the Capulet and Montague families. Romeo is 'overly nice' to Tybalt because of this. This result in Tybalt assuming Romeo is trying to tease him, so he threatens Romeo. Romeo, knowing better disallows any fighting, but Mercutio, Romeo's friend assumes he's just backing away in fright so steps in to protect his friend. "You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, and you will give me occasion." In this quote Tybalt is attempting to provoke Mercutio similarly to how he had done Benvolio. His speech implies that Tybalt will fight simply because he reckons he can because of his reason which is not mentioned out loud. He is saying that the conflict is inevitable. Again, this scene shows that in the era, fighting was a natural instinct and it can't be rectifies. This once more personifies Shakespeare's view that conflict is not the thing to do because it will always end with bad consequences. In this scene the consequence is the death of the two principle roles. After Tybalt stabs Mercutio and then flees, Romeo goes to try and help his friend. Mercutio insists he is okay but after the realization that he is going to die he takes it upon himself to tell Romeo how it is. "A plague a' both your houses! They have made worms meat of me. I have it. And soundly too. Your houses!" Mercutio is saying to Romeo that this is everyone's fault and that the Capulet's and Montague's are as bad as each other. Using the term, "plague" describes it as a disease that has spread to cause the death of Mercutio, aswell as others. Also "worms' meat" is calling him bait; this also implies that this was completely against his will and that he didn't deserve it, and by that him dying both families can thrive and then move on to use others that will fall under the same trap. After Mercutio has died, Romeo gets angry and blames Tybalt, because it was Tybalt her slew Mercutio. Mercutio had stood up for him so Romeo feels it his duty to stand for his friend even in death. In this anger, although not standing for it, murders Tybalt. Romeo's character though is not meant to be a killer and cold hearted like the others, so the guilt hits him and he flees the scene, instantly regretting what he's done, and feeling like he is going to lose Juliet because of it. Later, Romeo is banished from Verona because of his actions by the Prince. Lady Capulet, who is mourning over Tybalt states directly to the Prince, "Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live." Lady Capulet in this quote displays that her mourn has turned into pure hatred. As a result I get the impression that that her character in the play is 'darker' than first thought and is as much against the Montague's as the rest of the family. Using the words, "slew", and "must" present her demonizing the situation a little. Lady Capulet is saying there is no other way to go about the drama. Although she wasn't there and probably doesn't understand the situation fully; she just sees this as an act of man slaughter. Both of the words are one syllable, which in my view makes them appear much more strongly dictated and once again presents her as being direct. She seems to do not want a fuss, just want to get the deed done so she can continue living the way she wants. This technique would also have a much greater impact on the audience. Overall, this tells the audience that anything casual can turn into a riot and cause more people than intended, pain, and also disorientating people's views, which leads to more trouble.


So… that is three sections evaluated. If you managed to get through it all, I know it must drag a little :L please leave a review, maybe you have some advice to help? I don't know, just please let me know what you thought!

wow... this looks so much shorter on here than it actually is... it takes up 4 and a bit pages of A4 in my Literacy book... :O haha! xx

Thanks a bunch! :)

Emily xx