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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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In the play Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses three soliloquies. A soliloquy is a speech or monologue given by one character alone on the stage during a play. Romeo, Juliet and Friar Laurence all have a soliloquy used to make the audience feel like they are actually part of the play, so they start to feel genuine emotion for the characters.

Playwrights use soliloquies for numerous reasons as they are an effective dramatic device. A soliloquy makes the viewers feel closer to these characters and prepares them for the end of the play. The audience will then feel superior emotion at the end of a play especially a tragedy if they have grown close to the main character. A soliloquy is also used because they make the audience focus on a single character on stage as they help deliberately slow down the pace and calm the mood, particularly used after a heated, violent or passionate scene.

The plot can be forwarded without the use of action by using a soliloquy this saves production time with characters recalling events instead of acting them out. Important ideas are introduced to the viewers at these times whilst the audience are more alert and concentrating, this may include irony, foreshadowing and predictions of what might happen later in the play allowing greater tension using the effectiveness if a soliloquy.

A characters real thoughts and feelings can be seen using a soliloquy as this allows the audience to understand both characters and plot more greatly. This allows the audience to relate to the characters leaving them feeling close and having empathy for these certain characters situations.

In contrast to modern theatres, Elizabethan theatres had a stage which jutted out into the audience, which meant the audience could stand around the stage. The audience could feel both emotionally and physically closer to the character on stage delivering his or her soliloquy. A soliloquy then felt natural as the position of the stage made the audience feel more of a real emotion for the situation and the character.

Friar Laurence has a significant soliloquy as it serves as a worthwhile introduction to this character and gives us an insight into his personality and role. This is more dramatic than just a simple introduction, the audience start to build up a picture of friar Laurence as a good and wise man. His comments and ideas are seemed worthy of sense of true regardless of how extreme plans may become Speech rhymes are used although used in Shakespeare's plays, such as a lengthy soliloquy of rhymed speech suggests the characters important and education status

The friars soliloquy contains examples of foreshadowing there are indirect predictions of the ending as he prepares the audience for later events. The tone and calmness in his voice is different from the rest of the soliloquies so far in the previous scenes to imply that the friar is being neutral, his speech separates him from the boisterous world of violent feuds and this places him in a more religious, serene atmosphere therefore it slows down the pace especially as a solo character on stage to help focus the audience's attention.

' I must up-fill this osier cage of ours with baleful weeds and precious juiced flowers' Friars undisturbed actions are significant and help the audience understand his potential as a calming influence. This acts as a foreshadowing devise as it helps us to realise his very likely role as a neutral character.

'powerful grace that lies in plants, herbs, stones' Friars reference to his ability to make poisons, potions and medicines is also a foreshadowing devise which is preparing the audience for their potential use later in the play. Also friar seems an expert in this so prepares audience for his plan later in the play which builds up the audience's trust.

'In man as well as herbs- grace and rude will; And where the worser is predominant, Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.' The soliloquy ends with friar metaphorically comparing men to plants; his analogy stresses how



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