Comparison Of Modernity In William Shakespeare's 'Romeo And Juliet'

1752 Words 8 Pages
Since the beginning of the Enlightenment period and perhaps even prior, the skepticism of the changing world into modernity has been presented by great minds throughout the world. The argument really comes down to a very broad argument of whether rapid change is benefiting the human race or causing its destruction. The argument encompasses many aspects and categories. Poetry and other works of literature have attempted to tackle these questions and also leave their views on which side they fall. William Shakespeare, William Blake and William Wordsworth all fall under the category of praising modernity, and support the push into the new and modern. However, they show this in different ways and specific subcategories. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare …show more content…
The world has changed so much in these last hundreds of years and yet the general discussion on which is better, old or new, still exist actively. Under subcategories of tradition versus modernity, Shakespeare, Blake and Wordsworth all make argument towards modernity and towards the necessity of changing with the times and celebration of new. Despite being a visionary and contemporary in his own life and time, Shakespeare’s writings also supported modernity in the way he showed the value and worth found in the young. Romeo and Juliet has thousands of themes within its pages, which has allowed it to be studied for years and endlessly by scholars and general readers. Although not the most popular, the theme of old versus young presents itself throughout the play. The theme shows up mostly in the ways of parents versus children. Although the children are the ones who die at the end, the play falls in favour of the Romeo and Juliet, and their youthful actions and behaviors. The prologue first addresses this support saying, “The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love. And the continuance of their parents’ rage. Which, …show more content…
The overall theme of the poem is describing the pains of the London citizens. Blake paints London people as victims of the oppression of the Church and Monarchy. The line reads, “And mark in every face I meet. Marks of weakness, marks, of woe” (3-4). This explanation of the woes of the London people continues throughout the entire second stanza, “In every cry of every Man, In every Infant 's cry of fear In every voice: in every ban, The mind-forg’d manacles I hear,” (5-8). The repetition of ‘every’ suggest that the pain and oppression is felt all throughout London and throughout the lower classes especially. There is also specific capitalization throughout the poem that suggest further meaning, such as the capitalization of ‘Man’ alluding that all mankind is victims of sadness and pain. The poem has obvious administrative ties, considering Blake is calling out the Church and Monarchy for oppressing action against their people. Two lines specifically address the Church and Monarch. Firstly, Blake addresses the Church writing, “Every blaken church appeals,” (10). Blake uses ‘blaken’ to illustrate the corruption of the Church. The Monarchy is addressed in the line, “and the hapless Soldier 's sigh. Runs in blood down Palace walls,” (11-12). There is an intentional focus on the young victims. Infants in particular are mentioned twice throughout the poem, both in line six and fifteen. Blake also

Related Documents