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Shakespeare was an active playwright, actor and later a shareholder in a theatre by the time ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was performed. Shakespeare therefore had a vested interest in its immediate success to help build his emerging career.
Also, Shakespeare’s plays continue to endure, be studied and enjoyed centuries after their publication. This is because of Shakespeare’s ability to tune in to the human condition and explore issues, dilemmas and relationships that still exist in society today. We are still enthralled by the idea of ‘star-cross’d lovers’, love at first sight and the tensions of families pitted against each other with age-old feuds.
‘Romeo and Juliet’ was not an original idea in terms of storyline, but Shakespeare added life and depth to the characters, which has helped them to survive. The play (along with all of his work) has presumably exceeded his original intention to entertain the masses in his lifetime by doing so across the ages.
I think Shakespeare was disgusted with the prevailing social class sytem of the time and illustrated its stupidity, irony, and uselessness in play form so that people could see it for all its ugly and destructive worth. The sad thing is that there are still the haves and the have nots even today.
The general theme of Romeo and Juliet is sad and to me, real life is often sad. She loves him and he loves her back and society gets to decide if they get together or not. We're born into certain social circles and we're expected to behave a certain way and marry within our own. Whether it's right or not I'll leave up to everyone's moral, religious, or racial beliefs.
Romeo and Juliet is a type of literature that is a satire. It pokes fun at and ridicules a prevailing practice, norm, or belief of the time in such a way that the audience laughs at or cries with the actors. They see themselves in such a way that they wouldn't have ordinarily.
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