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Contents
I. Introduction
1.1. General characteristics of the work
2.1. General characteristics of the plot
II. The Main Part
1. 2. Critical overview on the play
2. 2. Peculiarities of significant scenes (subjects and themes)
3. 2. “Romeo and Juliet” and their main characters
4. 2. Character relationship of Romeo and Juliet with Mercutio and Nurse
5. 2. The language of the play
6. 2. Peculiarities of stagecraft
7. 2. Contrasting the film and the play
8. 2. Comparing A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet (Lesson Plan)
III. Conclusion
1.3. Studying Romeo and Juliet - criteria for assessment
IV. Bibliography

I. Introduction
1.1 General characteristics of the work
Before making the investigation in our qualification work we should give some notions on its organization structure.
1. Theme of qualification work.
The theme of my qualification work sounds as following: “Romeo and Juliet: the immortal tragedy of William Shakespeare” I have chosen this theme as in my opinion it is this tragedy which is the most famous and of the best educational value among the works of Shakespeare.
2. Actuality of the theme.
Actual character is based on the thesis that "Romeo and Juliet" does not only teach us all the best features of human character but also shows us the worst which we possess. All these, both good and evil, we still have. One more actual character is in linguistic features: more than 500 new English words were introduced by the Avon Bard in this tragedy in their peculiar diverse manner.
3. The tasks and aims of the work.
Before the beginning of writing our qualification work we set the following tasks and aims before ourselves:
1. To investigate the peculiarities of the play and their difference from other works of Shakespeare.
2. To analyze the moral value of the play.
3. To show the ways how the heroes are related to each other by finding out oppositions and correspondences.
4. To analyze some popular scenes in the play.
4. The novelty of the work.
We consider that the novelty of the work is revealed in new materials of the linguists which were published in the Internet. One more novelty is the analysis of modern screen adaptations of the play made by famous directors Franco Zeffirelli and James Cameron.
5. Practical significance of the work.
In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language by classical language of William Shakespeare.
6. Ways of scientific investigation used within the work.
The main method for compiling our work is the method of comparative analysis, translation method and the method of statistical research.
7. Fields of amplification.
The divsent work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:
1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with William Shakespeare
2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching english literature.
3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.
8. Linguists worked with the theme.
As the base for our qualification work we used the works of a distinguished Russian linguists Dmitry Urnov and modern Russian philologist Ilya Gililov[1].
8. Content of the work.
The divsent qualification work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. It also includes the appendix where some interesting Internet materials, tables, schemes and illustrative thematic materials were gathered. Within the introduction part, which includes two items we gave the brief description of our qualification work (the first item) and gave general notion of the theme and the tragedy. The main part of our qualification work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as subject and themes of the play, analysis some peculiar scenes and relations of the main characters. We also compared the language of tragedy with the corresponding language of Shakespearean comedies having performed such comparison as methodic ellaboration for the lesson plan. In the conclusion to our qualification work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the main part of our qualification work. In bibliography part we mentioned more than 20 sources of which were used while compiling the divsent work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources. Appendices to our work include some interesting information on Shakespeare and his works.
2.1 General characteristics of the plot
This play starts with a lovely sonnet, an unusual beginning given that sonnets were meant to be from a lover to his beloved. The sonnet is also a very structured form of prose, lending itself to order. Shakespeare cleverly contrasts this orderly sonnet with the immediate disorder of the first scene. The sonnet degenerates into a bunch of quarreling servants who soon provoke a fight between the houses of Montegue and Capulet.
This scene is wrought with sexual overtones, with the various servants speaking of raping the enemies women. The sexual wordplay will continue throughout the play, becoming extremely bawdy and at times offensive, yet also underlying the love affair between Romeo and Juliet.
The disorder within the play is evidenced by inverted circumstances. Servants start the quarrel, but soon draw the noblemen into the brawl. The young men enter the fight, but soon the old men try to deny their age and fight as well. The fact that this whole scene takes place in broad daylight undermines the security that is supposed to exist during the day. Thus the play deals with conflicting images: servants leading noblemen, old age divtending to be youth, day overtaking night.
The Nurse speaks of Juliet falling as a child when she relates a story to Lady Capulet. This story indirectly pertains to the rise and fall ofthe characters. Since this is a tragedy, the influence of wheel's fortune cannot be overlooked. Indeed, Juliet's role in the play does parallel the wheel of fortune, with her rise to the balcony and her fall to the vault.
The Nurse also foreshadows, "An I might live to see thee married once" (1.3.63). Naturally she does not expect this to be realized in so short a time, but indeed she does live to only see Juliet married once.
Romeo compares Juliet to, "a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear" (1.5.43) when he first sees her. This play on the comparison of dark and light shows up frequently in subsequent scenes. It is a central part of their love that important love scenes take place in the dark, away from the disorder of the day. Thus Romeo loves Juliet at night, but kills Tybalt during the day. It especially shows up in the first act in the way Romeo shuts out the daylight while he is pining for Rosaline.
In the fifth scene the lover's share a sonnet which uses imagery of saints and pilgrims. This relates to the fact that Romeo means Pilgrim in Italian. It is also a sacriligeous sonnet, for Juliet becomes a saint to be kissed and Romeo a holy traveler.
The foreshadowing so common in all of Shakespeare's plays comes from Juliet near the end of the first act. She states,
Juliet: If he be married,
My grave is like to be my wedding bed[2].
(1.5.132).
This will be related over and over again, from her Nurse and later even from Lady Capulet.
One of the remarkable aspects of the play is the transformation of both Romeo and Juliet after they fall in love. Juliet first comes across as a young, innocent girl who obeys her parents commands. However, by the last scene she is devious and highly focused. Thus, she asks her nurse about three separate men at the party, saving Romeo for last so as not to arouse suspicion. Romeo will undergo a similar transformation in the second act, resulting in Mercutio commenting that he has become sociable.
There is a strange biblical reference which comes from Benvolio in the very first scene, when he attempts to halt the fight. He remarks,
Benvolio: Put up your swords.
You know not what you do"
(1.1.56).
This is the same phrase used by Jesus when he stops his apostles from fighting the Roman guards during his arrest. It seems to divordain Juliet's demise, namely her three day "death" followed by a resurrection which still ultimately ends in death.
The interaction and conflict of night and day is raised to new levels within the second act. Benvolio in reference to Romeo's passion. states that:
Benvolio: Blind is his love,
and best befits the dark"
(2.1.32)
And when Romeo finally sees Juliet again, he wonders,
Benvolio: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon"
(2.1.44-46).
Romeo then invokes the darkness as a form of protection from harm,
Romeo: I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes" (2.1.117).
This conflict will not end until the disorder of the day eventually overcomes the passionate nights and destroys the lives of both lovers. It is worthwhile to note the difference between Juliet and Rosaline. Juliet is compared to the sun, and is one of the most giving characters in the play.
Juliet: My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give thee
The more I have, for both are infinite"
(2.1.175-177).
Rosaline, by contrast, is said to be keeping all her beauty to herself, to die with her. This comparison is made even more evident when Romeo describes Rosaline as a Diana (the goddess of the moon) and says to Juliet,
Romeo: Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon" (2.1.46).
The balcony scene is more than a great lovers' meeting place. It is in fact the same as if Romeo had entered into a private Eden. He has climbed over a large wall to enter the garden, which can be viewed as a sanctuary of virginity. Thus he has invaded the only place which Juliet deems private, seeing as her room is constantly watched by the Nurse or her mother. One of the interesting things which Shakespeare frequently has his characters do is swear to themselves. For instance, when Romeo tries to swear by the moon, Juliet remarks that the moon waxes and wanes, and is too variable. Instead, she says,
Juliet:Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self (2.1.155).
Shakespeare often has characters encouraged to be true to themselves first, as a sign that only then can they be true to others..
Again, note the change in Juliet's behavior. Whereas she used to obey the authority of her nurse, she now disappears twice, and twice defies authority and reappears. This is a sure sign of her emerging independence, and is a crucial factor in understanding her decision to marry Romeo and defy her parents.
There is a strong conflict between the uses of silver and gold throughout the action.
Juliet: How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night" (2.1.210)
…"Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops"
(2.1.149-50).
Silver is often invoked as a symbol of love and beauty. Gold, on the other hand, is often used ironically and as a sign of greed or desire. Rosaline is thus described as being immune to showers of gold, which almost seem to be a bribe. When Romeo is banished, he comments that banishment is a "golden axe," meaning that death would have been better and that banishment is merely a euphemism for the same thing. And finally, the erection of the statues of gold at the end is even more a sign of the fact that neither Capulet nor Montegue has really learned anything from the loss of their children. One of the central issues is the difference between youth and old age. Friar Laurence acts as Romeo's confidant, and the Nurse advises for Juliet. However, both have advice that seems strangely out of place given the circumstances of the play. For instance, Friar Laurence says to Romeo, "Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast" (2.2.94). He also advises Romeo to "Therefore love moderately" (2.5.9). The insanity of this plea to love "moderately" is made (5.1.6). The use of dreams is meant to foreshadow, but also heightens the dramatic elements of the tragedy by irrevocably sealing the character's fate.
When Romeo goes to the Apothecary to buy his poison, it is as if he were buying the poison from Death himself. Note the description of the Apothecary,
Romeo: Meagre were his looks.
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones
(5.1.40-1).
He is clearly an image of Death. Romeo pays him in gold, saying, "There is thy gold - worse poison to men's souls" (5.1.79). This description of gold ties into the conflict between gold and silver. It is gold that underlies the family feuding, even after the death of both Romeo and Juliet when Capulet and Montegue try to outbid each other in the size of their golden statues. Thus for Romeo gold really is a form of poison, since it has helped to kill him.
The analysis of the first act pointed out some of the numberous sexual references throughout the play. In the final death scene there is even the full force of the erotic element. Romeo drinks from a chalise, a cup with a shape that is often compared to the torso of a woman. Meanwhile Juliet says,
Juliet: O happy dagger,
This is thy sheath!
There rust, and let me die" (5.3.169).
The dagger is of course Romeo's, and the sexual overtones are starkly clear. In addition to this, there is ambiguity about the use of the word "die." To die actually had two meanings when Shakespeare was writing, meaning either real death or sexual intercourse. Thus, even at the very end of the play, we cannot be sure from the words alone whether Juliet is committing suicide or engaging in sexual relations with Romeo.
A final comment concerns Friar Laurence. His actions at the end of the play are remarkable for a holy man because he attempts to play God. Friar Laurence gets Juliet to drink a potion which puts her to sleep, faking death, and then he tries to resurrect her. In his attempt to play God, Friar Laurence is condemned to fail by the simple arrogance of his act. This tie-in with the death of Christ would not have escaped the Christian audiences watching the play.

II. The Main Part
1.2 Critical overview on the play
The central pair of lovers are the only characters in "Romeo and Juliet" featured as changing, against all the others who are static. The critical opinion on Romeo and Juliet is practically unanimous. The inseparability of their names reflects the very nature of love: people seeking "their other halves", completeness in a union with the other. So all the critics agree that Romeo and Juliet are the ideal pair of lovers. The tradition of psychological analysis of Shakespeare's characters was founded by S.T.Coleridge in his Shakespearean lectures (1811-1812)[3]. In the seventh lecture he described Shakespeare's unparalleled understanding of love: "Shakespeare has described this passion in various states and stages, beginning, as was most natural, with love in the young. Does he open his play making Romeo and Juliet in love at first sight — at the first glimpse, as any ordinary thinker would do? Certainly not: he knew what he was about: he was to develop the whole passion, and he commences with the first elements - that sense of imperfection, that yearning to combine itself with something lovely. Romeo became enamoured of the idea he had formed in his own mind, and then, as it were, christened the first real being of the contrary sex as endowed with the perfections he desired. He appears to be in love with Rosaline; but, in truth, he is in love only with his own idea. He felt that necessity of being beloved which no noble mind can be without. Then our poet, our poet who so well knew human nature, introduces Romeo to Juliet, and makes it not only a violent, but a permanent love. Romeo is first redivsented in a state most susceptible of love, and then, seeing Juliet, he took and retained the infection." The typical Continental point of view is redivsented by the words of the most influential Russian critic of the XlXth century V.G.Belinsky. In 15th installment of his "Alexander Pushkin's Works" (1844) he wrote: "The idea of love makes the pathos of "Romeo and Juliet", and the lovers' enthusiastic dialogues are like ocean waves shining in the stars' bright light. Their lyrical monologues are full not only of mutual admiration, but of the proud assertion of Love's divine nature[4]". Dmitrii Urnov considers "Romeo and Juliet”'s place among Shakespeare's early plays, because it ludicrous by the rapid events which follow. In fact, by the end of the play we even see Friar Laurence rejecting his own advice and stumbling to reach Juliet's grave before Romeo can find her. "How oft tonight have my old feet stumbled at graves?" (5.3.123).
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