Gcse English/English literature Shakespeare coursework essay
Analyse the ways in which the prologue and act 1 , scene 1 lines 1 to 94 prepare the audience for the rest of the play. How might a director interpret these opening lines to prepare the audience for what follows?
The prologue offers the audience an insight into events which will take place in the play. It tells you of the rivalry between the families and Romeo and Juliet's relationship. The opening scene starts to introduce the ideas of love and violence where Sampson's and Gregory's chauvinistic attitude to the Montague women will deeply contrast with Romeo's and Juliet's loving relationship. On stage the prologue needs to be performed with the mood of sadness when telling of the lovers deaths, while the opening scene should highlight the atmosphere of violence between the two families , even their servants and contrast with the prologue.
The prologue prepares the audience for certain issues. It tells the audience the main facts of the feud between the families and how the play ends with the lover's deaths. It reveals the ending so the audience can see how trivial and pointless servants' squabbles are. It also intensifies the final tragedy creating dramatic irony as the early love scenes almost seem pointless as they are doomed to die from the start. The phrase " star-crossed lovers" means that the lovers were doomed by fate and was used in the prologue. This phrase emphasizes the role fate plays for the characters it also creates more sadness for the lovers. The prologue makes the audience expect tragedy and love but the opening scene contrasts completely as it contains violence and comedy which is quite a surprise for the audience. On stage the director needs to be able to create a sober mood, he could do this by using soft lighting with the chorus sitting on the gravestones of the lovers with a red light highlighting the graves as red is the colour of blood and blood is...