How does Shakespeare use plot to explore an issue that still has meaning today?
This is for the tragedy Romeo & Juliet.
You need to discuss the relationship between tragedy, purpose and plot development.
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Most people would tell you that the play, Romeo and Juliet, is a tragic love story and I would agree. It is also a microcosm of hatred and the violent result of teaching hatred. We are given no reason for the feud. Do any of the people involved in this feud know the reason? All of Verona is affected one way or another by the insanity of the feud.
Several years ago in Jerusalem there was production of Romeo and Juliet. The Montagues were played by Palestinians and the Capulets by Israelis. What better way to demonstrate the results of groups of people fighting and killing each for reasons of religion or nationality or any number of things we as human beings find to fight about.
For both of these young people, their world is so intolerable that they commit suicide to escape the hatred and violence.
Shakespeare is a master of exploring and analyzing the human condition. In his tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, for instance, the impulsiveness of youth is yet a universal condition. So, in the analysis of this condition, the writer can trace the causes and effects of both Romeo's and Juliet's hasty actions and their unrealistic attributions of their situations to fate. Of course, their early impulsive decisions bring about tragic circumstances, circumstances that could be avoided if they would listen to friends and adults who caution them, such as Friar Laurence in his famous passage of Act II, Scene 6, in which he tells Romeo "These violent delights have violent ends." Certainly, there are numerous cases in contemporary times in which young people have made hasty judgments that have had disastrous results.
There can be many different ways to approach this topic. Perhaps, one way would be for you to examine the nature of the conflict in the play. The presence of intense rivalries where one side seeks to obliterate the other in the form of domination is something that is present today. It is what opens the play through the Prologue. I think that you can find the same type of examples in situations such as the disputed territories in the West Bank and Israel, in different parts of the world with the intensity of dislike between Hindus and Muslims, as well as other realms where there are age old enmities that preclude any chance of "stepping across this line" of zealous hatred. The exploration of the plot of the play is done with this rivalry constantly present. Romeo and Juliet have to operate under such a strong cloak of secrecy because their families have nothing but disdain for one another. The resolution of this coming at the cost of both families might be able to be connected that there comes a point where bloodshed causes people to reevaluate the rivalry and seek a solution where some level of peace can be reached.
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