Romeo and juliet ; techniques used to show change

Romeo and Juliet Analyze a technique used to show changes in a character, and why these changes were important to the text as a whole. Comparable to little, Shakespeare’s work has stood the test of time, and not due to luck. It is the technical aspects applied to plot and character that drives the unique form of narrative which holds the interest of the audience. An interesting aspect of Shakespeare’s work is the depth given to characters, and the significant changes that are made to these characters under certain circumstances. Shakespeare was able to use techniques to highlight these changes, and thus make them more effective and apparent to the audience, whilst letting the continually drive the plot forward. This is particularly relevant to the changes the character Romeo undergoes in Romeo and Juliet. In modern day films, mood and atmosphere is created through various techniques, one that is more predominant is lighting. Now instead of using lighting in its physical form, Shakespeare used written techniques to create light and dark imagery to highlight change in characters. It is important to look at the significance of this technique, and the symbolism associated with it. Light and darkness usually have very definitive meanings in human psychology. Traditionally, light is considered ” good” because it allows us to perceive the world around us and to work within it. Conversely, dark is usually viewed as ” evil” due to our inability to see and the fear that such a state brings. Thus day and night, which are distinguished by the amount of light available, have similar connotations. At the beginning of the play Romeo is creating himself an artificial night, in which to hide from the world, and drown in his sorrow ” Many a morning hath he there been seen / With tears augmenting the fresh morning’s dew, / Adding to clouds and more clouds with his deep sighs; / But all so soon as the all- cheering sun / Should in the farthest east began to draw / The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed, / Away from light steals home my heavy son / And private in his chamber pens himself, / Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, / And makes himself an artificial night” The technique is used to convey the child like manner in which Romeo chooses to deal with his sadness, that he is shutting love (light) out of his life, and dwelling on a romance that never was. The use of ” artificial night” can also be linked to his emotions; they are artificial, not real. He is in a state of mind of wanting to be love sick, ergo he believes he is. This is in contrast to the light imagery seen when he meets Juliet. The first instances of Romeo changing are at the Montague party, where he is able to experience true love for the first time. There is already the ability to link events in the texts and see small contrasts in the character in this scene alone. For instance when he arrives he is in a dark ” heavy” mood, and will not lighten up by dancing, so he will only carry the light as the ” torch bearer”, sitting and watching ” Give me a torch: I am not for this ambling; / Being but heavy, I will bear the light”. But then later in the evening when Romeo comes across Juliet the first stages of change and to the growing up of the character becomes apparent. As said before, the symbolic light he is carrying (as the torch bearer) is not bright enough to light up his dark mood, until he meets Juliet ” O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows. The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” Now in order for one to truly understand the evolution of Romeos character throughout the story, direct comparisons must be drawn between the beginning and the end in order to achieve a viable contrast. We are able to see the use of light as apposed to dark imagery at Romeo’s tragic ending. When Romeo falls out with Rosaline, darkness is used to represent his emotions, and the character feelings towards the relationship. But Juliet causes Romeo to grow, to become complete. She allows him to become his own person, and not be swayed by the opinions of others. It is a change that only true, requited love can bring, and after his death this is made apparent to his mourning family. They realize he is a changed man and thus look upon the relation ship with respect. Using light imagery to describe in comparison to the son, which is a referral to an earlier event in the play in which Romeo describes Juliet as brighter than the sun. ” A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished: For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” The play ends on a light rather than a dark image, in order to show the change both the characters and the setting has taken. The change of character of Romeo is vital from a plot sense, and a cathartic point of view. There would be no story if these changes did not happen to Romeo, there would be no motivation for plot. It is the changes in Romeo that create the conflict, and in the end, the resolution. It was vital to ending the conflict between the Montague’s and the Capulets. Shakespeare’s use of the technique of light and dark imagery to illustrate the changes to the character Romeo is fundamental to the text as a whole. From, loving to fighting, life to death, conflict to resolution, none could be so effective without Shakespeare’s mastery of this technique. By Damien Rabaud