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    Romeo & Juliet: Language

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    In regards to Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, how does the relationship between desire (and its limitations) developed within and influenced by the language of the period within which the play was written?

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    During the 1600's, courtly love was still going strong. Desire was expressed first only through decrete messages, and in language that could mean more than one thing. When you look at the text of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, you will see many plays on words to express the desires of the two ill fated lovers.

    Romeo and Juliet derives its story from several sources available during the sixteenth century. Shakespeare's primary source for the play is Arthur Brooke's Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562), which is a long, dense poem. This poem in turn was based on a French prose version written by Pierre Boiastuau (1559), who had used an Italian version by Bandello written in 1554. Bandello's poem was further derived from Luigi da Porto's version in 1525 of a story by Masuccio Salernitano (1476). Poetry then, and the use of sonnets, the form of many love poems, also written by Shakespeare were used throughout the play.

    The characters play with the language through overuse of action verbs. It is saturated with the use of oxymorons, puns, paradoxes, and double entendres. Even the use of names is called into question, with Juliet asking what is in the name Romeo that denies her the right to love him.
    Shakespeare uses the poetic form of sonnet to open the first and second acts. The sonnet usually is defined as being written as a form ...

    Solution Summary

    How the relationship between Romeo and Juliet relationship between desire developed within the influenced by the language of the period within which the play was written.