O brawling love! O loving hate!: Oppositions in Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet s tragic deaths are a result of tensions in the world of

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1 Pablo Lonckez Lonckez 1 Mr. Loncke ENG2D (01) October 25, 2016 O brawling love! O loving hate!: Oppositions in Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet s tragic deaths are a result of tensions in the world of Verona: the quarrels between parents and children, between men and women, and Montague s bloody feud with Capulet. Romeo and Juliet is a play of contrasts. In it, Shakespeare consistently puts opposites next to each other to emphasize the conflict between families that leads to the deaths of the main characters. Firstly, oxymorons flood the language of the play. Both Romeo and Juliet have speeches that are filled with oppositions. When Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet s reaction is to call him a Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!/ Dove-feathered raven! Wolvish ravening lamb! ( ). In a parallel situation, Romeo learns of the first bloody brawl. He says: Here's much to do with hate, but more with love. Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! ( ) Shakespeare uses the tension between oxymorons in his sentences to make the audience feel the tension that the characters feel. Another set of opposites is day and night. Romeo and Juliet are frequently seen at dusk and dawn. When we first meet Romeo, Benvolio tells us

2 Lonckez 2 that he saw Romeo that morning, an hour before the worshipp d sun / peer d forth the golden window of the east ( ). Similarly, the lovers first declare their love for each other on Juliet s balcony on the cusp between night and morning. Friar Lawrence observes that The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night/ Check ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light ( ). Morning is a recurring symbol a motif representing youth; Juliet and Romeo are in the morning of their lives, and the morning of their love. The tension between night and day is another pairing of opposites in the play. Finally, the two households of Montague and Capulet are equal and opposite forces clashing against each other. The Prologue tells us that the ancient grudge between the houses is solved only with the deaths of their children. (Prologue 3). The audience is told that the continuance of their parents rage but their children s end, nought could remove (Prologue 10-11). Shakespeare creates balance by having both households contain characters who correspond to one another. Each side contains a young person, two parents, one caring adult, and two peers. Moreover, each household loses three members: Tybalt, Paris and Juliet for Capulet, and Mercutio, Romeo and Lady Montague for Montague. The opposition of these two families is the central conflict of the play. The conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets is echoed by the opposition of language, and the distinction between day and night. One striking feature of Romeo and Juliet is the contrast between the innocent love of the young, and the violent and hateful society bred by long-time enemies. Shakespeare builds this conflict into the plot and language of his play, and his play trembles with the tension.

3 Work Cited Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. 2 nd ed. Boston: Houghton:

4 Critical Essay Outline Fill in the Lonckez In point form, write out what Pablo, Lonckez s essay outline must have looked like. Thesis: Romeo and Juliet is a play of contrasts. Shakespeare consistently puts opposites next to each other to emphasize the conflicts that lead to the demises of the main characters. Supporting point #1: Include evidence, and references to the play. Write in Act, line and scene numbers. E.g.: ( ) Supporting point #2: Include evidence, and references to the play. Write in Act, line and scene numbers. E.g.: ( ) Supporting point #3: Include evidence, and references to the play. Write in Act, line and scene numbers. E.g.: ( ) Conclusion:

5 Looking At a Thesis Erik Simpson A thesis says something a little strange. Consider the following examples: A. By telling a powerful story of failed love, Romeo and Juliet demonstrates the destructive effects of family pride. B. Although we are told from the beginning that it is a tale of "star-crossed lovers," Romeo and Juliet produces its tragedy by calling attention to a series of near-misses, places where the protagonists' downfall could be avoided. C. Mercutio might seem like a minor character in Romeo and Juliet, but his language actually tells us something important about how the play works. I would argue that all of these statements are perfectly correct, but they are not all strange. The first one says something obvious about the play; it is more of a moral than a thesis. Since the play tells us repeatedly about "the destructive effects of family pride," your reader does not need a paper to point that fact out. The other two say something, well, weird. Weird is good. When you start to construct a thesis, think about what an easy one-sentence summary of the text would look like. Then try to come up with something more specific than that, something with a specific twist on the standard interpretation.

6 A thesis creates an argument that builds from one point to the next, giving the paper a direction that your reader can follow as it develops. This point often separates the best theses from the pack. If your thesis leads to a paper that simply follows the plot of a text as it goes along, it probably needs to provide a stronger statement of the paper's logic. Example A, for example, invites a plot summary of the play. Examples B and C say something more interesting and specific, but you could revise them to indicate more strongly how each paper will build its case. A thesis fits comfortably into the Magic Thesis Sentence (MTS). The MTS: By looking at, we can see, which most readers don't see; this is important because. Try it out with the above examples. Notice that the MTS adds a new dimension to point number one above. The first part of the MTS asks you to find something strange ("which most readers don't see"), and the second part asks you to think about the importance of the strangeness. Thesis A would not work at all in the MTS. Theses B and C would work only partially; both of them would require some additional information to work better. A thesis makes a lot of information irrelevant. If your thesis is specific enough, it will make a point that focuses on only a small part of the text you are analyzing. You can and should ultimately apply that point to the work as a whole, but a thesis will call attention to specific parts of it. Look at those examples again. One way of spotting the problem with example A is to note that a simple plot summary would support its point. That is not true of the others: example B points to the "near-misses" it mentions, and example C will concentrate on Mercutio's speeches.

7 Night Thesis Examples Use these examples to spark ideas for your own thesis. If you re stuck, you can use one of these. In Night, Elie Wiesel s character changes as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. (Follow with your three supporting arguments of how he changes physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, intellectually etc.) Dehumanization is the process by which the Nazis gradually reduce the Jews to little more than "things" which are a nuisance to them. (Follow with your three supporting arguments, specific examples of events that occur which dehumanize Eliezer, his father, or his fellow Jews.) Elie Wiesel's view of God changes over the memoir and it affects his identity. (Follow with your three supporting arguments, specific examples of this transformation from Elie s experience beginning in Sighet to his liberation at Buchenwald.) The symbol of night is significant in the memoir. (Follow with your three supporting arguments, specific examples of night in the memoir, and what it means.) Moishe the Beadle says in the beginning, "there is a certain power in a question that is lost in the answer." The memoir raises difficult questions, which it does not provide answers for. (Follow with your three questions raised by the novel.) One of the most tragic themes in Night is Eliezer s discovery of the way that atrocities and cruel treatment can make good people into brutes. He himself does not escape this fate. (Follow with your three supporting arguments, specific examples of Elie s brutish behaviour from the memoir.) One of the most tragic themes in Night is Eliezer s discovery of the way that atrocities and cruel treatment can make good people into brutes. He himself does escape this fate. (Follow with your three supporting arguments, specific examples of Elie s good character from the memoir.)

8 Critical Essay Outline Night Paragraph 1 Introduce the memoir and your topic. End your first paragraph by stating your thesis. Supporting point #1: Include evidence, and references to the memoir. Supporting point #2: Include evidence, and references to the memoir. Supporting point #3: Include evidence, and references to the memoir. Of course, you may have more than three points in your essay Conclusion: Discuss the implications of your findings, draw a conclusion, or ask another question. Ask yourself, why is this important?

9 Please hand in: Outline Criteria Rough draft Works cited page Analysis and Insight into memoir Tone Organization and clarity Quotes and references, MLA Format Spelling and grammar Presentation and formatting Night Essay 1. Final draft 2. Works Cited page 3. This sheet of paper (for marking) 4. Outline 5. Edited and revised rough draft A (80-100%) Filled out in great detail, incl. page references. Complete. Shows evidence of extensive revision and attention to detail Perfect In-depth, argument-based analysis. A profound and detailed understanding of the memoir is shown Formal, befitting a scholarly essay, sophisticated syntax Flow of ideas is extremely clear and logical. Perfect Zero errors Professionally presented and carefully formatted B (70 to 79%) Filled out in detail, incl. page references. Shows evidence of revision and attention to detail One or more items do not follow MLA format Essay Proper Argument-based analysis. A solid understanding of the memoir is shown Formal, befitting a scholarly essay Flow of ideas is clear and logical One or more items do not follow MLA format One or more errors Well presented and formatted C (60 to 69%) Completely filled out Shows some revision Some items do not follow MLA format Some plot summary. Some understanding of the memoir is shown Few colloquial or informal terms Ideas are somewhat clear and follow some logic Some items do not follow MLA format Few errors Presented with some care and effort D (50 to 59%) Partially filled out Shows little revision Many items do not follow MLA format Largely plot summary. Little understanding of the memoir is shown Some colloquial or informal terms Not very clear or logical Many items do not follow MLA format Some errors Presented without great care or effort

10 Critical Essay Checklist Self Peer Format The essay is divided into paragraphs, which are indented The thesis is clearly stated The points support the thesis The paragraphs follow the structure found in the outline Self Peer Content The meaning is clear The flow of ideas is logical The argument is persuasive The analysis is deep and substantial Follows MLA format Quotations follow the proper format. E.g. Romeo believes that She doth teach the torches to burn bright. ( ) Literary terms have been applied to the analysis Writing is clear Uses present tense Tone is scholarly and formal No personal pronouns are used The spelling has been checked The grammar has been checked The punctuation has been checked The Works Cited page follows the proper format

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