Saturday, March 21, 2020

Discuss the theme of love in Shakespeares Romeo Juliet Essays

Discuss the theme of love in Shakespeares Romeo Juliet Essays Discuss the theme of love in Shakespeares Romeo Juliet Paper Discuss the theme of love in Shakespeares Romeo Juliet Paper Introduction: In the introduction of my essay I am to explain why Romeo and Juliet is seen as the most famous love story ever told, I shall include some of the adaptations that I know of. Romeo and Juliet is the story of two lovers, who were secretly married and tragically separated; and it involves a deadly potion whose effects when taken by a broken hearted Juliet simulate her death. It is the most famous love story ever told because, the power of this love story says something to each and every generation, a story that will never date or die a timeless piece. Its brilliantly theatrical and features some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. The story also contains many different themes, the bitter family rivalries which creates the theme of war, theirs unsympathetic elders whos authority and advice is neglected by the unfortunate lovers. Many of us can reflect some old enough to see the events in perspectives and some of us young enough to understand the conflict that can arise from others trying to live our lives. The chorus is not a significant character of the play, his job is to basically to introduce the restless audience to the manner and mood of the play, The chorus to Shakespeare would of acted as a modern day programme, it helps to give a brief insight into the play and it also leads us into the civil war between the two noble families. The Elizabethan audience would most probably see the chorus as a type of narrator and once he starts to speak it would grab there attention and bring the restless crowd to silence they would then settle into the appropriate mood for the first scene. After the fight scene we are lead to the second part of Act 1 Sc1 here we learn that Romeo is miserable due to his love-sickness. Romeo is a were of some kind of disturbance in the streets, but he is so infatuated with the emotion called love that he is far from concerned his thoughts are preoccupied with Rosaline. Thinking about love makes him happy and at the same time it makes him sad. He tries to express these two very different states in a number of contradicting phrases which seem illogical for instants; (Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health(. Juliet and her Nurse share a very strong relationship, one that surpasses that of a rich girl and her servant. The nurse acts as Juliets closes companion (friend) and mother. Juliet is comfortable and at ease speaking to the Nurse, This allows Juliet to take her into her confidence when she decides to defy the family feud and marry Romeo. The Nurse holds Juliets happiness so high that she betrays her employer and arranges Juliets marriage and last night with Romeo. The Nurse is immersed in Juliets affairs and strives to help with her plans, this is something that Juliets mother (Lady Capulet) would never be able to do! Over all I would say that the Nurse has a better relationship with Juliet than her own mother. The nurse is also instrumental when it comes to Juliets wedding to Romeo she acts as a messenger from Romeo, Juliet, and the friar. Despite the nurses efforts the plans go array because of the arranged marriage between Juliet and Paris. At this time, the nurse shows her love for Juliet once again. She goes to Juliets defence and stands up to Lord Capulet by saying: God in heaven bless her! You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so. (Act III, Scene 5, Line169-170). One is easily able to see the motherly care the nurse shows for Juliet. Once the Nurse has heard of the arranged marriage to Paris she offers no comfort to Juliet, this is usually because she has always been there for Juliet. Because of the grief from the previous day the Nurse is only thinking of the most practical way of getting out of all the difficulties. No one knows about the marriage to Romeo; he is now banished and will never dare to return to Verona and claim Juliet as his wife. It would be so easy if Juliet were to forget about Romeo, and marry Paris who is seen as a lovely gentleman, from now onwards Juliet is all alone. In this part of the essay we are to assess the love between Romeo Juliet. Firstly I shall be comparing his love for rosaline to his love for Juliet. Before Act 1 Sc 5, Romeo was infatuated with his passion for Rosaline, this imaginary emotion was the one that made him feel ill, he worshipped her as a goddess, probably because he had nothing better to do. Once Romeo has met Juliet those feelings are quickly transferred. Personally there doesnt seem to be much difference between this love, and the emotions he pretended to feel for Rosaline. Secondly I shall comment on the poetry in Act 1 Sc 5 which helps Romeo to express his love for Juliet. Romeo starts with a sincere religious statement: If I profane with my unworthiness hand, This holy shrine. He then further develops the religious image with the following four lines which rhyme alternately (ABAB), then Juliet picks up the same image, speaking the next four lines in the same pattern (with rhyme CBCB). A final couplet is spoken by both of them, the first line by Juliet, the second by Romeo, who takes advantage to kiss his new love. Then moves not, while my prayers effect I take. These fourteen lines are in fact a sonnet. Thirdly, I shall comment on the balcony scene in Act 2 Sc 2 and their plans to marry. The balcony scene is the most valuable scene illustrating the language of love, Throughout the second scene of Act II, Romeo uses beautiful metaphors and similes to express his affection for Juliet: O, speak again bright angel, for thou art as glorious to this night, being oer my head as is a winged messenger of heaven. (II. II, 28-30. ) This passage is used to compare Juliet to an angel, something that is universally held as sacred and lovely. Elsewhere in the scene there are lines that describe their love for one another, and add to the romantic theme of the scene: And but thou love me, let them find me here. My life better ended by their hate the death prorogued, wanting of thy love (II. II, 76-78. ) In the concluding part of the essay we are to discuss all the evidence of love within the play. Love obviously plays an important role throughout the play, one can analyse the different types of love that Shakespeare explores. The first mention of love in the play is contained within the first act between the first two characters that the audience is introduced to, Sampson and Gregory. They are vulgar and crude, making a number of sexual references. They do not see love as involving emotions or desires, but as a purely physical thing, sexual not emotional. Sampson refers to women as weaker vessels and tells of how he will rape the maids of the Montague household; Women being the weaker vessels are ever thrust to the wall, I will push Montagues men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall. Both Sampson and Gregory have petty and narrow perceptions of love. Neither of them appears to have ever experienced true love. They talk in a crude and coarse manner, brag about their own attributes and see women as objects not people. They are typical of yobs in society today, the type of people who fight because they think they should because society expects them to or because of feuding that spans generations. Paris is the man whom Capulet wants Juliet to marry. Paris explains his feelings for Juliet to Capulet. It seems that Paris does love Juliet because when Romeo kills him he asks to be put in her tomb, If thou be merciful, Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet. He has genuine emotions for Juliet and is devastated when she dies, Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain! Most detestable Death, by thee beguiled, by cruel, cruel thee quite overthrown! O love! O life! Not life, but love in death! Paris is a good man who would be kind to Juliet but she does not love him. These sum up all the themes of love within the play.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

A Rhetorical Analysis of Claude McKays Africa

A Rhetorical Analysis of Claude McKay's Africa In this critical essay, student Heather Glover offers a concise rhetorical analysis of the sonnet Africa by Jamaican-American writer Claude McKay. McKays poem originally appeared in the collection Harlem Shadows (1922). Heather Glover composed her essay in April 2005 for a course in rhetoric at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. For definitions and additional examples of the rhetorical terms mentioned in this essay, follow the links to our Glossary of Grammatical Rhetorical Terms. Africas Loss of Grace by Heather L. Glover Africa1 The sun sought thy dim bed and brought forth light,2 The sciences were sucklings at thy breast;3 When all the world was young in pregnant night4 Thy slaves toiled at thy monumental best.5 Thou ancient treasure-land, thou modern prize,6 New peoples marvel at thy pyramids!7 The years roll on, thy sphinx of riddle eyes8 Watches the mad world with immobile lids.9 The Hebrews humbled them at Pharaohs name.10 Cradle of Power! Yet all things were in vain!11 Honor and Glory, Arrogance and Fame!12 They went. The darkness swallowed thee again.13 Thou art the harlot, now thy time is done,14 Of all the mighty nations of the sun. Keeping with Shakespearean literary tradition, Claude McKay’s â€Å"Africa† is an English sonnet relating the short but tragic life of a fallen heroine. The poem opens with a lengthy sentence of paratactically arranged clauses, the first of which states, â€Å"The sun sought thy dim bed and brought forth light† (line 1). Referencing scientific and historical discourses on humanity’s African origins, the line alludes to Genesis, in which God brings forth light with one command. The adjective dim demonstrates Africa’s unlighted knowledge prior to God’s intervention and also connotes the dark complexions of Africa’s descendants, unspoken figures whose plight is a recurrent subject in McKay’s work. The next line, â€Å"The sciences were sucklings at thy breasts,† establishes the poem’s female personification of Africa and lends further support to the cradle of civilization metaphor introduced in the first line. Mother Africa, a nurturer, raises and encourages the â€Å"sciences,† actions that foreshadow another brightening of the world to come in the Enlightenment. Lines 3 and 4 also evoke a maternal image with the word pregnant, but return to an indirect expression of the African and African-American experience: â€Å"When all the world was young in pregnant night / Thy slaves toiled at thy monumental best.† A subtle nod to the difference between African servitude and American slavery, the lines complete an encomium of Africa’s success before the advent of â€Å"new peoples† (6). While McKay’s next quatrain does not take the drastic turn reserved for the final couplet in Shakespearean sonnets, it clearly indicates a shift in the poem. The lines transform Africa from enterprise’s champion to its object, thereby placing the Mother of Civilization into an antithetically lower position. Opening with an isocolon that stresses Africa’s changing positionâ€Å"Thou ancient treasure-land, thou modern prize†the quatrain continues to demote Africa, placing agency in the hands of â€Å"new peoples† who â€Å"marvel at thy pyramids† (5-6). As the cliched expression of rolling time suggests the permanency of Africa’s new condition, the quatrain concludes, â€Å"thy sphinx of riddle eyes / Watches the mad world with immobile lids† (7-8). The sphinx, a mythical creature often used in caricatures of Egyptian Africa, kills anyone who fails to answer its difficult riddles. The image of a physically and intellectually challenging monster risks undermining the gradual degradation of Africa that is the poem’s theme. But, if unpacked, McKay’s words reveal his sphinx’s lack of power. In a demonstration of anthimeria, the word riddle acts not as a noun or verb, but as an adjective that invokes the sense of perplexity usually associated with riddles or to riddle. The sphinx, then, does not invent a riddle; a riddle makes a confused sphinx. The â€Å"immobile lids† of the dazed sphinx frame eyes that do not detect the mission of the â€Å"new people; the eyes do not move back and forth to keep the strangers in constant sight. Blinded by the activity of the â€Å"mad world,† a world both busy and crazed with expansion, the sphinx, Africa’s representative, fails to see its imminent destru ction. The third quatrain, like the first, begins by retelling a moment of Biblical history: â€Å"The Hebrews humbled them at Pharaoh’s name† (9). These â€Å"humbled people† differ from the slaves mentioned in line 4, proud slaves that â€Å"toiled at thy monumental best† to construct an African heritage. Africa, now without the spirit of her youth, succumbs to a lowly existence. After a tricolonic list of attributes linked with conjunctions to convey the magnitude of her former excellenceâ€Å"Cradle of Power! [†¦] / Honor and Glory, Arrogance and Fame!†Africa is undone with one short, plain phrase: â€Å"They went† (10-12). Lacking the elaborate style and obvious devices contained throughout the poem, â€Å"They went† powerfully understates Africa’s demise. Following the pronouncement is another declarationâ€Å"The darkness swallowed thee again†that connotes discrimination of Africans based upon their skin color and th e failure of their â€Å"dark† souls to reflect the light offered by the Christian God in line 1. In a final blow to Africa’s once shining image, the couplet offers a scathing description of her present state: â€Å"Thou art a harlot, now thy time is done, / Of all the mighty nations of the sun† (13-14). Africa thus seems to fall on the wrong side of the virgin mother/tainted whore dichotomy, and the personification formerly used to sing her praises now condemns her. Her reputation, however, is saved by the couplet’s inverted syntax. If the lines read â€Å"Of all the mighty nations of the sun, / Thou art the harlot, now thy time is done,† Africa would be rendered a wayward woman worthy of scorn because of her licentiousness. Instead, the lines state, â€Å"Thou art the harlot, [†¦] / Of all the mighty nations of the sun.† The couplet suggests that Europe and America, nations enjoying the Son and the â€Å"sun† because they are predominantly Christian and scientifically advanced, pimped Africa in their quests to own her. In a clever positioning of words, then, McKay’s Africa does not fall from grace; grace is snatched from Africa. Work Cited McKay, Claude. Africa.† Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay. Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922. 35.