William Shakespeare was without a doubt the best poet of all time and his play “Romeo and Juliet” was one of the most famous plays written. Most of the themes or central issues explored throughout the two lover’s journey are relevant to contemporary audiences as they have experiences most of them. Everyone will go through the process of love whether it is extreme as Romeo and Juliet’s relationship or a simple crush. Hate is a key factor during many time periods as it is a feeling that is uncontrollable but it does vary on how everyone handles it. One of the last themes explored is the issue of first thinking it is fate but later finding out that it is a misfortune to meet them. These issue will be investigated in more depth and how the relationship between “Romeo and Juliet” and today. The animosity between two high powered families in the late 1500’s is apparent during the first scenes in the play “Romeo and Juliet” written by William Shakespeare which relates to issues in contemporary society. Hatred and hostility amongst groups and families is becoming more apparent due to money issues and domestic violence. This is partially mirrored in “Romeo and Juliet” when the two servants from different families see each other in the street. “Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them, which is disgrace to them if they bear it” (Act 1 Scene 1 line 35-36).
By Sampson directly giving an ignorant gesture to Abram shows great diversity between the families. This is shown in the film as a fight scene and the way the gesture is portrayed shows enormous amounts of hate as well as showing the reaction from the Montague’s is serve which signals the depth of the action. The relationship between families was an issue in Shakespeare’s era however it still remains in contemporary society. Although “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare was written over 400 years ago however the theme of love is still relevant to existing issues. Many people struggle with diversity and change when they deal with love which is shown in this play, Act 2 Scene 2 lines 33-36 “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny they Father and refuse thy name; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” When Juliet is calling to her lover Romeo saying that even though he is a Montague she still loves him. The Baz Lurhmann film has this set at Juliet’s house with her saying the lines to herself asking questions and being practical about their love. In the play people from Montague where forbidden to communicate to any person relevant to the Capulet family especially fall in love which is still shown in the present day where different cultures are not allowed to marry other due to their background. A strong Muslim family is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim family because it is a belief they follow. The theme of love is still an issue that people of today must face even though it was an issue in Shakespeare’s period. The theme of fate and misfortune is evident through the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare however it is also apparent to contemporary audiences. During Act 1 Romeo set eyes on Juliet for the first time and knew that it must be fate that he meets her at the party. Later to realise that she is a Capulet, the enemy of his family, “Is she a Capulet? O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.” Act 1 Scene 5 Line 117-118. Romeo learnt a large part of Juliet which is coherent with first appearances is not everything.
This part of the play is only slightly said in the Lurhmann film as Romeo only asks himself if she is a Capulet until he is taken away by friends at the party. In modern society people do not look beyond first impression or they only like their looks without knowing them. People today are finding that attractive people they originally thought was fate ends up being a misfortune because of their background or there morals. For example Rihanna, the singer, did not know that Chris Brown’s morals were wrong when it came to the treatment of women. One of the relationships between the audience in William Shakespeare’s era and today’s community is the theme of fate but later a misfortune. Many issues arise through the play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare that relate to concerns in the contemporary society that people feel are relevant to the modern era. Issues such as love hate and fate leading to misfortune are known in the play however the audience can recount the same issue from past experiences. Therefore Shakespeare’s knowledge written in his play is still used relevant even though it was written 400 years ago.
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