Shakespeare Interpretive Response Essay
William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Romeo and Juliet was written in 1597. The play, set in Verona depicts two lovers that unite under two feuding families. The hatred between the two families is reconciled by the tragedy of the two ‘star-crossed lovers’. Shakespeare conveys the themes of love, fate and conflict through the literary techniques. These techniques include simile, foreshadowing and dialogue. Through Shakespeare’s utilisation of literary devices the audience can understand and visualise the themes presented.
The theme of love is conveyed by the “star-crossed lovers”, Romeo and Juliet; this is explored through Shakespeare’s use of simile. Shakespeare focuses on romantic love, especially the overwhelming passion that arises at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. Their love is a strong connection that suppresses other values, emotion as well as the hatred amongst the two families. Their first meeting is love at first sight where Romeo has “ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (Act 1, Scene 5, L. 53). Shakespeare implements simile in the play to depict their passionate love for each other. Juliet expresses her love to Romeo by comparing it to the sea. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep.” (Act 2, Scene 2, L. 139-140). She explains that the generosity of her love is limitless and vast like the sea and states that her love is as deep. Through this simile, it portrays and highlights Juliet’s ecstatic passion for Romeo. The purpose of this technique allows the audience to understand how strongly they can express their love for each other. Additionally, it will enable the viewer to visualise how deeply they have fallen in love. Shakespeare depicts the idea of love through the literary technique of simile.
Throughout the play, the theme of fate is continuously revealed through Shakespeare’s use of foreshadowing. Romeo and Juliet depend on fate as they cannot escape or change their destiny. Shakespeare foreshadows Romeo and Juliet’s fate at the beginning of the play “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life” (Act 1, Prologue, L. 6). This explains that they are a pair of ill-fated lovers who are destined to die. Through the phrase “star-crossed lovers” it implies that their fate lies between stars that are not aligned. As the stars determined their destiny, Romeo and Juliet were fated to die, to “bury their parents’ strife.” (Act 1, Prologue, L. 8) The foreshadowing...