Why do you think Shakespeare chose to have aristocratic characters speak in blank verse instead of oridinary prose in Romeo and Juliet?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To Shakespeare, language is not just a way to communicate between characters; language represents mood, characterization, social status, royalty and/or power. Rhymed poetry is the language of love and used with conversations between lovers as they express their feelings and desires. Blank verse does not have any rhyme scheme, but it still maintains the balanced rhythm of iambic pentameter. This meter is the type which most typifies common English language; therefore, it is easy to listen to, to read, and to understand. When an aristocratic figure or royal speaks, blank verse is used to show that he is serious, powerful, and should be heard and possibly obeyed. If a king rose up to give a speech and spoke in rhymes, he would be taken as seriously as the fool sitting next to him. For example, if the president of the United States got up to give a speech and rhymed all of his lines, he would sound as if he were reading from Dr. Seuss and not be taken seriously. With blank verse, the nobleman has the ease and flow of the language on his side without losing the importance of the points he wishes to make.

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Romeo and Juliet

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