Last Updated 30 Mar 2021

Explore the ways that writers present strong feelings to interest the reader or audience

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Various techniques are used by writers to present strong feelings which evoke emotion from the reader or audience. Literary techniques are used in great lengths to both emphasise strong feelings in a literary piece and to also evoke strong feelings from an audience. The techniques embody language, structure and form. The experimentation of structure and poetic techniques used by writers create strong feelings within both the contemporary and present audience, ensuring audiences were and always will be interested in the literary piece.

In the prologue of the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ the audience learn that two dignified households in the city of Verona hold an ‘’ancient grudge’’ towards each other, which remains a source of the violent conflict which is central to the play. It can be suggested that hatred has grown stronger over a long period of time. Similarly, the structure of the poem undermined traditional Elizabethan sonnets which were traditionally love poems. Shakespeare’s, however, changed this form to show hatred, violence, conflict and death to foreshadow the ending of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

An Elizabethan audience would have recognised this, creating a feeling of excitement and curiosity within them. Likewise in ‘sonnet 43’ Browning has also undermined the traditional form of a sonnet to create religious imagery to describe her lover. Browning’s sonnet discusses and compares her strong feelings for her lover and as her description develops she illustrates that she loves him with the emotions of an entire life from childhood right through to death. ‘’I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!

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– And, if God choose, I shall love thee better after death’’. She worships her lover with all her heart and respects him much more than she does her religion. He touches all aspects of her life and gives meaning to her whole existence. The audience would be shocked as during the Victorian era religion was paramount in the lives of the people. However, it is not just love for one person that is described but the feeling of love itself. Similarly, as Romeo and Juliet become innocent victims of an atrocious ‘‘strife’’ between their families when they ‘’take their lives’’.

Considerably, the poet evokes strong feelings towards the emotion of love when Browning is describing the intensity of religion and the link between death and love, as Shakespeare does when he links the idea of love and death in the prologue, allowing both the audience and the reader to openly question the content without profanity. In the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ segregated from society is a dominant feeling and a reoccurring theme. Romeo and Juliet go to extreme lengths to preserve their love together.

They did this as according to Elizabethan society it was nor their ‘Fate’ nor ‘Destiny’ to ever be together. Therefore by choosing to be together consequences to them both mocking society. Juliet was Romeos second love which is ironic and therefore mocks society because Elizabethans believed in fate and destiny and that you could only ever love one person. If you loved again you weren’t really in love or you previous relationship wasn’t love but lust. Romeo’s feelings power his actions contradicting the Elizabethan norm which would undoubtedly evoke strong feelings such as disgust and shock from the audience.

Alternatively in the poem ‘My last duchess’ the writer evokes strong feelings from the reader by focusing on the dominance and control of the Duke towards his wife. The audience in this case is this the ambassador acting on behalf of Ferdinand referred to in the poem as ‘The Count, your master’ but in reality it is the reader. This makes the reader feel rebellious as they are ‘eavesdropping’ on an interesting conversation. This completely contrasts to Romeos relationship with Juliet. They respect and accept each other as equals whereas the Duke doesn’t respect his wife or even acknowledge her.

The duke refers to his wife, not by her name, by ‘she’. A contemporary reader would accept this as men were the dominant spouse. ‘’Half flushed that dies along the throat’’. This is ironic as it is said that the duke killed or had his wife killed, we could interpret that he beheaded or had her beheaded. This would surprise the reader as the duke earlier in the poem he compliments his wife, calling her a ‘wonder’. Although his words and actions are brutal the duke would have been accepted by society as men were believed to be higher than women.

Romeo and Juliet’s love was not accepted by an Elizabethan society but they choose to ignore their friends and family, therefore appalling their audiences and mocking their entire beliefs. In the play Romeo and Juliet confusion, doubt and uncertainty are common emotions. During the balcony scene Juliet is speaking her mind unaware that Romeo had been listening. ‘’Be sworn my love, and I shall no longer be a Capulet’’. She would disown her family to be with Romeo, someone whom she had just met. This would have stunned an Elizabethan audience as she came from a rich, well respected family.

There is more confusion when Juliet’s feelings change, ‘’ it is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden’’. Shakespeare uses the ‘rule of three’ to emphasise on the word ‘too’. He does this to show how strong Juliet’s doubt towards Romeo is. An Elizabethan audience would be confused as to how she could change her mind as they believed in love at first sight and this was going against that belief. Shakespeare mocks his entire society though his characters by showing them that fate and destiny is not written in the stars but is decided by you.

Equally, in the poem ‘The Laboratory’ there is a lot of confusion between the character and the reader. The woman in the poem is searching for the perfect poison to commit a murder. She cannot seem to decide what poison she would like and is distracted by the “exquisite blue” colours of the poisons. ‘’Yonder soft phial... sure to taste sweetly, - is that poison too? ’’. Her actions are very child-like and due to her frequent change of mind the reader will begin to doubt her motive and seriousness.

The reader feels confused at her motives and could assume the poem is comic and not serious. By using a question mark, the poet emphasises the protagonists confused mind. This confusion is further highlighted by the “-“which separates the question from the rest of the stanza and draws it to the attention of the reader. Clearly, Shakespeare and Mr and Mrs Browning all convey strong emotion to the audience and readers whether it is through language, structure or form. This is one of the main reasons why their literature has lasted and is greatly treasured.

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