Duality and Antithesis in Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is obviously a catastrophe of unwise puppy love and its taking place problems. Nevertheless, Shakespeare manipulates the heedless romance between Romeo and Juliet to entangle 2 feuding families and uses the young lovers’ romance to indicate the paradoxical nature of the play. The conflict in between the Capulets and the Montagues is because of the fact that each concerns their family as completely respectable and the other as completely wicked. The dialogue in between Capulet and Tybalt in Act I. 5 is a remarkable turnaround of expectations and the resulting contraries act as a reminder of the duality of customs and people.
Shakespeare starts Romeo and Juliet with a beginning that firmly insists that the conflict is not between an evil household and a respectable household, however rather between “two homes, both alike in dignity” (I.Prologue.1). The prologue shows the strategy of the play as the “star-crossed fans take their life” (I.Prologue.6), to “bury their moms and dads’ strife” (I.Prologue. 8). The action begins with Romeo desolate over the unreturned love of his cherished, Rosaline, and the immediate dispute that arrises in between members of both houses. The fight in between Sampson and Benvolio is the first of the apparently consistent conflict in between the 2 houses that pesters Verona and is a main part of the play. The dueling is done solely on the basis of kinship and traditional allegiances that pit the two families against each other with no reason besides their names. Both families are equivalent in status and are equivalent in their contempt for the other with their only difference stemming from their name.
Romeo and Benvolio attend the Capulet feast in an effort to compare Rosaline to the rest of “the admired charms of Verona” (I.ii.86). Upon entering the banquet, Romeo is instantly lovestruck by a woman he discovers to be a Capulet. As he is applauding the beauty of Juliet Capulet, Romeo entirely forgets his old love: “Did my heart love til now? Forswear it, sight!/ For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (I.v.53-54). This pronouncement of love is the very first change of numerous regarding the two families’ perception of the other. Unpredictable Romeo sets the precedent of altering one’s ideas of familial ties and requirements to the contrary based upon the context and situational developments. For instance, his understanding of the Capulets is forever changed upon appreciating Juliet’s charm. Tybalt overhears this announcement and states, “This, by his voice, must be a Montague” (I.v. 55). Tybalt’s very first line right away alters the tone of the scene from that of optimism and fondness, to that of conviction. Tybalt justifies his judgement by referring to the “stock and honor of my kin” (I.v. 59), as a basis “To strike him dead I hold it not a sin” (I.v. 60). Tybalt’s hasty response has no basis besides the reality that Romeo is of opposing blood. Which, in itself, is merely a social construct devised by the two households without any grounding besides the self-perpetuating cycle of the feud.
The shifting dialogue between Capulet and Tybalt contrasts hatred with approval and shows Tybalt to be the real villain, not Romeo. After Tybalt’s opening vindictive sextet, Capulet counters Tybalt’s bitterness with a calm and collected set of questions asking regarding why Tybalt is so heated. This remarkable reversal is not anticipated. Prior to this circumstances, the audience is only exposed to discussion and diction that condemns kin of opposing households. Capulet’s candid remarks are the first in the play that begin to connect the chasm in between the two households. Tybalt’s remarks, however, tear at the viewed separation and exacerbates the illusioned dispute. For instance, in addressing Capulet’s inquiries, Tybalt’s diction is swarming with disdainful words: “Uncle, this is a Montague, our enemy,/ A bad guy, that is hither been available in spite/ To scorn at our solemnity this night” (I.v.62-64). Tybalt repeatedly describes Romeo as a bad guy in an effort to make the conflict individual. The word villain, in Elizabethan context, represents one as inferior in social status. Nevertheless, it connotes a sense of condemnation and accusation amongst the audience to more depict the pictured dispute in between the Montagues and the Capulets. Tybalt perceives his household as concretely good and the Montagues as definitively wicked, which is ironic since the 2 households are much alike other than in name. In failing to realize their resemblances, Tybalt in turn becomes the genuine bad guy; “a male of ignoble concepts or impulses.”1
Capulet’s first two parts in the discussion with Tybalt are basic one line concerns that depict his calm attitude towards the scenario. His responses correlate with the increasing brashness of Tybalt’s allegations; as Tybalt ends up being more vehement, Capulet becomes less tersein his counterclaims and more authorizing of Romeo. This dramatic reversal of expectations is paradoxical because old Capulet is the head of the house and is anticipated to implement the allegiance to kinship and the condemnation of the Montagues. His appreciation of Romeo, “a virtuous and well-governed youth”(I.v. 69), is contrasted starkly by his criticism of Tybalt after he refuses to accept Romeo as a guest at the banquet. Capulet finally asserts his dominance as master of the household as he reprimands Tybalt. He straight asserts his position of authority when he rhetorically asks Tybalt, “Am I the master here, or you? Go to!” (I.v. 79). In this exchange, Capulet indirectly shows that Tybalt is indeed the bad guy in this scenario since he is acting out of order, not Romeo. Capulet, unlike Tybalt, realizes that concepts, customizeds, and people are multidimensional which their differences are petty in the more comprehensive scope of Verona.
The discussion between Capulet and Tybalt is filled with dialogue that foreshadows the supreme death and death of Tybalt. Act I. 5 is a precursor to the murder scenes in Act III.1 that leave Mercutio and Tybalt dead. As Capulet is chastising Tybalt, he declares, in referral to Tybalt’s hoity-toity actions, “This technique may chance to scathe you”(I.v. 85). This is a direct caution that Tybalt does not heed. Instead, he continues his disdainful temperament as he specifies:
“Perseverance perforce with willful choler conference
Makes my flesh tremble in their various welcoming.
I will withdraw; however this invasion shall,
Now seeming sweet, transform to bitt’rest gall” (I.v.90-94).
This foreshadowing quatrain functions to curse Tybalt and portrays his inability to reason and view the wholeness and relative insignificance of the two households’ differences.
Act III.1 highlights Romeo’s killing of Tybalt, an act that separates Romeo and Juliet simply as they are ending up being united. The significant turnaround of expectations, in hindsight, is apparent. Romeo and Juliet wed in Act II, far prematurely in the period of the play for it to end as anything however a disaster. The terrible ending to the play is likewise alluded to by Mercutio’s repeated remarks of “An afflict a both your houses!” (III.i.90), after he has been stabbed by Tybalt in the quarrel. Mercutio is not a member of either house, but rather is a friend to Romeo and is a kinsman to the Prince. Hence, it is important to keep in mind that Mercutio dies because he consciously includes himself in the dispute between the 2 households. Mercutio’s last words, “Your houses!”(III.i.107), are a reference to menstruation that he bestows upon both the Montagues and the Capulets. Shortly after Mercutio’s death, Romeo kills Tybalt and is gotten rid of. Earlier in the scene, Romeo implores both guys to “forbear this outrage!” (III.i.86), in an effort to stop the battling. However, Romeo is the wrongdoer of this outrage. He recommended something and commits its opposite. This contrary functions in the very same framework of a bigger set of revers, including the unexpected approval of Romeo on the part of Capulet at his banquet.
The audience is constantly familiar with the duality of the rising action and resolution. As Capulet grieves over the death of his daughter, he laments:
“All things that we ordained festival
Turn from their office to black funeral service-
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding event cheer to a sad burial feast,
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corpse,
And all things alter them to the contrary” (IV.v.84-90).
Capulet’s elegy is an expression that encompasses a broader theme that runs deep throughout all of Romeo and Juliet. The entire play is a paradoxical expression of people, expectations, and traditions transforming to their revers. Feuding families become good friends and the death of the two lovers gives birth to harmony by ending civil dispute.
Romeo and Juliet is best comprehended if the audience sees the characters’ strife and realizations of self-constructed distinctions as development towards a more relative and adjustable view of human nature. As the sacrificial deaths of the two lovers reverse the family feud, it becomes apparent that customs and people are vibrant and modification according to the context of their presence.