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What are some examples of caricature in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? If possible,...

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jo-andrea | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 13, 2013 at 11:03 PM via web

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What are some examples of caricature in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? If possible, please provide Act and Scene.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM (Answer #1)

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The word caricature is defined as something ludicrously exaggerated. Much of the drama that is enacted in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet can be considered hyperbolic in nature if not completely over-dramatic. But isn't that how teenagers perceive life to be? And a play about teenagers would not be credible without a little exaggeration! But the best character from the play who seems to be a bit over the top when it comes to exaggeration is Juliet. If Juliet can't have Romeo, she threatens death at least twice. The first time is when Juliet asks the Nurse who Romeo is: "Go, ask his name. --If he be married,/ My grave is like to be my wedding-bed" (I.v.140-141). The second time is when she goes to Friar Lawrence for help because Romeo has been banished after they were secretly married and she must now face marrying Paris in a couple of days: "Be not long to speak; I long to die/ If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy" (IV.i.68-69). It seems as if Juliet's solution to a troublesome situation is death, which indeed is an over-dramatic way to deal with it.


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