How Does Shakespeare Make Act 2 of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Effective?

May 2010

How does Shakespeare make Act 2 of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ effective?

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and baptized in the parish church of Stratford-upon-Avon on the 26th of April. John Shakespeare and Mary Arden were the parents of Shakespeare, both his parents were illiterate. His father, begun as a glove maker and then went on later in life to become Mayor. His mother, like most women of her day, was never taught to read or write. William was the third of eight children and he attended the Grammar school at Stratford-upon-Avon until he was about 14 years old. In 1582, when he was 18 he married Anne Hathaway. William left Stratford-upon-Avon and his young family to go to London.

He joined the London theatre scene - and history was born. He became part owner of the Globe theatre and wrote plays and poems. He was a first-rate actor, but it is as a writer of plays that he has achieved lasting world-wide fame.

The play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was written in the 1598, the time Elizabeth the 1st was in power.

In those days things were very different. The role of women was different as they had to obey their parents and got married for money and politics instead of love just like Juliet who was told to marry Paris. It was more like a business deal which their Fathers would arrange. Women were not allowed to act on stage therefore, men and young boys also played the women. Young boys whose voices had not broken had more chance of playing women’s roles as it sounded more realistic.

Women were made to marry at an early age as the life span was uncommon to reach over an estimate of 50. Entertainment normally took the form of Bear baiting or cock fighting, but for a less gory pleasure there was the theatre. Theatre was popular entertainment but the audience normally went to listen to one, rather than see one and because the absence of special effects, the spoken word was highly important. Theatre was also used as a chance to socialise.

Before act two...