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How language contributes to theme
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Harper Lee uses a variety of language styles to establish the distinct characteristics of the characters she creates. The many forms of diction and dialect used throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird help accentuate the realism of the characters to the reader. The story takes place in a small town in Maycomb county, Alabama, so it's not surprising that siblings, Scout and Jem, and their friend Dill all talk with a southern accent. In a conversation between the three of them in Chapter 1, the southern dialect is quite evident. Jem, who is meeting Dill for the first time...
uses very specific words. He holds a very high place in society with the occupation of a Judge. The reader can sense this when hearing the way he speaks. One would guess that he would have a lot of money, and be looked up to. The reader can make many assumptions of a character just by listening to the way he or she talks.

Dialect and diction help the reader grasp the personalities and traits of the characters. Harper Lee's language usage not only makes the characters come alive, but it makes the characters appear real, and especially believable.

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Who is to Blame for the...Who is to Blame for the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a play that contains much controversy around the issue 'who is to blame for the couple's deaths?' In this world we are always so willing to place the blame with one person but in this play, when you look deeper into the language and meanings, it becomes clear that there are a variety of people, and indeed things, that can be blamed. Why blame an individual when the bigger picture becomes clear? I will be studying the play of Romeo and Juliet and this essay will report on each person or thing that has affected the tragedy. Romeo and Juliet, the core characters, are often blamed for their deaths. For one thing they are physically responsible as they killed themselves, there was no murder of either character, they both committed suicide. It was Romeo's fault as he purchased the poison, which he drank to die, and Juliet's fault as she stabbed herself. However, away from the physical factors there are many views as to why the couple felt they had no other way to be together. As I mentioned earlier, it is impossible to blame one thing. Being young, headstrong and passionate the couple appeared to be emotionally attached and in love. This is one influence in their demise. Had they never fallen in love, the deaths would not have occurred. However, this would also mean that there would be no play so perhaps it would be more suitable to say that they should have been less headstrong and slower in their relationship. After all, the play does take place over a five day period and in that time they meet, fall in love, get married, get separated and kill themselves! We know that they were impulsive due to the haste of their marriage: 'If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,' Bearing in mind that this quote is taken from their second meeting it is clear to see that they were rash. Juliet is unaware of Romeo's fickleness in love but the audience know about his earlier obsession; He was infatuated with Rosaline the day before! This suggests that Juliet is foolish as she rushes into the relationship without getting to know him properly. It is also a good demonstration of how Romeo is both hasty and fickle in love. Another example of when Romeo is rash is when he kills Tybalt because Tybalt slayed Mercutio. 'O, I am fortunes fool' can be looked at in two different ways. Some think that Romeo is being irresponsible and this would show that he could not handle his actions, perhaps hinting at future events. However, others think that Romeo feels as though he was not to blame and that fortune/ fate triggered the murder. Having looked into the blame that Romeo and Juliet can be held accountable for it is now time to investigate some of the other characters and their liability for the tragedy. The Capulet's and Montague's are both to blame for similar general reasons but do both have their individual fault. The first point is that the two families were responsible for the feud; 'From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,' This shows that it is a longstanding conflict that has developed into a new rebellion. Although we are aware of this 'ancient grudge' Shakespeare never tells us what began the feud so it is left to the viewers to decide. Perhaps it was a petty disagreement that grew? If this was the case then the families could be held more responsible as they never really had anything to fight about. The fact that the families agree to end the fight at the end of the play so quickly could be used to support this point: 'O brother Montague, give me thy hand,' However if the feud was really important then the families could be given less accountability for the tragedy. The feud was the reason that Romeo and Juliet's marriage needed to be kept secret. If they could have told their families then they would be able to love freely without the need for discretion or lies. It would have also meant that Juliet would not need to resort to the 'fake death' to stop the marriage to Paris: 'O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris,' Her father, Lord Capulet, can be blamed more than the other senior characters as he forced her into the marriage. Juliet seemed fine before he told her that she was to marry Paris. This knowledge spurred her to drink the poison because she would rather die a faithful wife than live unfaithfully: 'And I will do it without fear or doubt To live an unstained wife to my sweet love.' Juliet could clearly see no other way out and all because of her father: ' I tell thee what: get thee to church a' Thursday, Or never after look me in the face.' Lord Capulet clearly cares more about being in control of his daughter than he does of her feelings. This is the point in the play where it becomes most apparent. The next character due for examination is Friar Lawrence. He was responsible for marrying the couple although he had his doubts right from the beginning. In the end he only agreed to it in the hope that it would end the feud between the two families: 'For this alliance may so happy prove To turn your households' rancour to pure love.' The Friar is also guilty of assisting Juliet in her 'fake death'. In my opinion there are two possible reasons for this aid. The first is simply that he was trying to help Juliet as he felt obliged to/ felt attached to her. The second, and more likely in my view, is that he was covering his own back. Friar Lawrence could have been worried about the consequences if anyone found out that he married Juliet to Romeo without her father's permission. This could have led to his readiness to help. The reason that I think the second reason is more probable is that the plan is full of holes where failure could occur. The Friar is normally a very level- headed man, which is what leads me to rest upon this decision. The Nurse is another contributing factor to the deaths of the pair. The first point is that she knew about Romeo and Juliet yet did not tell her employers, the Capulets. On top of this she assists in helping the couple by passing messages between them. One example of this is: 'Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence' cell, There stays a husband to make you a wife.' Here the Nurse has passed on the message of when the wedding will be to Juliet. She has spoken to Romeo in order to gain the knowledge. It is often puzzling as to why Juliet chose to confide in the Nurse. The Nurse is a chatterbox and often will talk about nothing for a long time until someone tells her to be quiet, as we can be shown from the following quote: 'Even or odd, of all days in the year"¦ And, pretty fool, it stinted, and said 'Ay'.'Nurse 'Enough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace.' Lady Capulet Despite the obvious quality of the Nurse being so talkative, Juliet tells her everything about the relationship and the Nurse manages to keep it a secret. Once again there are two possible reasons for this. The first is that she genuinely cared about not hurting Juliet and therefore kept the secret and the second is that the Nurse just enjoyed having something to chatter to Juliet about and she also liked being trusted. I feel that it is the second view more but at the same time I do believe that she cares for Juliet. However, her character appears to be a busybody and a real gossip, which suggests that her thoughts would be more in relation to the second opinion expressed above. One major point of blame that has been briefly mentioned earlier is fate. This is a large area to cover and I am now going to write about the contribution of fortune into the deaths of the tragic couple. There are several instances of fate throughout the play. The first notable mentions are in the very first scene, the prologue, where many comments are made referring to chance: 'Star-crossed lovers' ill-fated lovers 'Misadventured piteous overthrows' unlucky tragic accidents 'Death-marked love' doomed for problems/ death 'Fatal loins' ill-fated from birth As you can see there are many mentions of fate simply in the first passage and this continues throughout the play. One incidence of fate is when Romeo talks to Juliet after their wedding night: 'Come, death, and welcome!' This could be seen as tempting fate as he is welcoming death into his life. In that same scene Juliet tempts ill- fortune when she says: 'Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low, As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.' She is referring to the fact that Romeo is below her and it could be argued that this is a simple metaphor. However most people think that Shakespeare has added parts such as this into the play as hints of what is to come although you often do not recognise them at the time. The final example of fate that I am going to talk about is when Romeo discovers that Juliet is 'dead'. He believes Balthasar and immediately says: 'I defy you, stars!' This is a good example of fortune, he is saying that the star/fate have killed Juliet and now he is going to take his own life before the stars have a chance to. However he does not realise that fortune can be fickle and that fate knows more than him. Although there are many other examples of chance throughout the tragedy I feel these are some of the best examples and I do not need to list every single one. The examples I have given are sufficient in showing points where fate is to blame for the deaths. There are other characters that play small parts in the catastrophe. For example, Friar John did not deliver the letter to Romeo therefore jeopardising the plan. Another person is Tybalt who, had he not slain Mercutio, could have avoided being killed by Romeo and henceforth-causing Romeo to be banished. One more example would be the Apothecary who sells Romeo the poison. Had he refused, Romeo could not have killed himself and then Juliet would also not committed suicide. It is smaller characters like these that people often miss when considering who is to blame. In conclusion I feel that it is a blend of every spice in the play that leads to the downfall of Romeo and Juliet. The Capulets and Montagues, the Nurse and the Friar, Fate and Fortune, Tybalt and the Apothecary, Romeo and Juliet. Every single person or thing that was featured in the play turned out to aid the suicides. It is on this note that I ask you, my reader, who do you think is to blame for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet?   

Who is to Blame for the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a play that contains much controversy around the issue 'who is to blame for the couple's deaths?' In this world we are always so willing to place the blame with one person but...

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