Romeo and Juliet: style

Romeo and Juliet: style

Understanding the Structure

  • “Romeo and Juliet” is a tragic play written by William Shakespeare. It employs a combination of poetic and dramatic styles that are characteristic of Shakespeare’s work.
  • The play is written predominantly in blank verse; unrhymed iambic pentameter. However, Shakespeare deviates from this structure occasionally which can be indicative of a character’s social status or emotional state.

Language and Dialogue

  • The language used in the play is highly stylised and lyrical, particularly in the conversation between Romeo and Juliet, indicating their young, passionate love. The extensive use of metaphors, similes, and personifications adds depth to their dialogues and speeches.
  • Shakespeare’s style also includes an abundance of imagery, particularly light and dark imagery which represent the duality of love and hate, life and death, etc.

Dramatic Devices

  • The play employs dramatic irony in various scenes which contributes to the tension of the story. For instance, the audience is aware of the tragic outcome even before the characters, creating a sense of inevitability.
  • The use of soliloquies and asides is prevalent. Soliloquies provide insight into a character’s thoughts and feelings, inviting the audience to empathise and engage. Asides, brief comments to the audience that other characters on stage cannot hear, are typically used for comic effect or to expose a character’s true thoughts.

Use of the Chorus

  • The Chorus, a traditional device in Greek tragedies, is used to provide context and commentary. In “Romeo and Juliet”, the Chorus is used at the beginning in the form of a sonnet, preparing the audience for the tragic tale that is about to unfold.

Genre and Style

  • Sudden shifts between comedy and tragedy are also a stylistic feature. This is typical of Shakespeare’s plays, which often mix elements of both genres to heighten dramatic tension.

Remember to understand not only the content of the play but also how Shakespeare’s style shapes and enhances it. This will allow you to demonstrate a deeper understanding in your analysis.