How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops

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4 March 2016

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Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play, written by William Shakespeare. Trailing the catastrophic events occurring in the lives to two teenage “star-cross’d lovers” whose premature deaths unite their quarrelling families. The Machine Stops however, is a futuristic novella written by E.M Forster following a mother and son in an attempt to keep their relationship in a society run by a machine which controls the humans. Prince Escalus of Romeo and Juliet is the authority of Verona; he controls everybody in his city. We can see this from the first time we see him; in act I scene I. “rebellious subjects, enemies to peace/profaners of this neighbour- stained steel,” . “subjects”- instead of referring to them as the people of the city, making them seem worthless, portraying a higher power, since ‘subject’ suggests someone being discussed or dealt with, the gentry would be thinking about the princes language and recognise the depth in his language whereas the groundlings would be entertained by the previous brawl which provided them with action, the audience then recognise that he is on higher social status than the other characters. “steel”-speaking of their swords, the prince is fustraghted because these swords are meant for the purpose of protecting and defending the city, but they are being used to spill the blood of its residents; ”stained”-meaning blood, the audience would then look forward to the punishments that the prince will provide.

Shakespeare portrays the prince as majestic and royal through his language, he speaks very formally, much more than the other characters. “but I’ll amerce you with a strong fine/that you shall all repent the loss of mine:”. The prince speaks using rhyming couplets making him seem more superior and authorative. The audience, especially the gentry, will realise how he is very imperious and lordly. In the Machine stops, the machine controls the underground dystopian society; it is relatively like the prince in the sense that it holds control over inhibitors. Since the Machine doesn’t literally speak, we have the words of the humans which know the characteristics of the Machine. When Kuno is persuading Vashti to visit the surface of the earth, she replies “it is contrary to the spirit of the age” Kuno exclaims “do you mean by that, contrary to the machine?”Vashti cautiously replies “in a sense, but…” she is acting as if the machine has developed feelings or a sense of betrayal.

The reader would find this a perqullia society because the humans are worshiping a machine, made by men. The machine and prince Escalus are presented in a similar way, this is unusual since the machine stops is set in the future and Romeo and Juliet was written in 1500’s yet they possess similar qualities, it is also intriguing how E.M Forster came up with this idea since he wrote this in early 1900’s in England, a democratic society, in a time of great inventions but thinks of a society which is almost like a dictatorship, and having to respect a ruler. But this was orthodox in the Shakespeare’s age to respect the authority to your town.

Hate relationships are strong and frequent in romeo and juliet, romeo and tybalt have a hate relationship.however, as much as tybalts vulgur, impulsive, violent attitude riles romeo, he attempts to refrain from vocalising his loave because tybalt is juliets cousin and, unbeknown to tybalt, romeos act 3 scene 1 tybalt is roaming the streets in search of a brawl, romeo appears and tybalt begins to provoke him, mercutio, who never fails to rise mutiny, begins a quarrel with tybalt, ending with mercutio fatally wounded romeo then fills with resentment and vexation, then once tybalt returns, they fight;resulting in tybalts death. whilst tybalt is dying, he says to romeo “thou, wrecked boy, that dids’t consort him here,/ shalt with him hence” tybalts insult towards romeo, “boy” is the same as what he said at the capulet feast. romeo is usually presented as civil and caring, not violent, but he shows the audience that he is protective of people that he loves. most of the hateful relationships are presented by shakespeare through physical actions, which may be because battles were a conventional part of society in the 1500’s and it is also more interesting for the audience, since the plays were preformed live, not read. despite that, forster presents hate through words because it makes for a more interesting read. since its hard to translate physical actions into words and still keep the effectiveness on the reader. for example, kuno’s hate for the machine is never portrayed in actions, but words. “the machine is much, but it is not everything. i see something like you in this plate, but i do not see you. i hear something like you through this telephone, but i do not hear you” he tells vashti that the machine has excluded the sense of personal touch and communication. juno is fustraighted by the fact that inhibitors praise so highly of the machine, yet they forget that it was made by man, they treat it as a god and follow it like a religion, his hate grows further for the machine because the machine causes vashti and juno to have an argument where they completely disown each other, and kuno sees this as down to the machine. he feels resentment to wards the machine also, because of how it makes people act. “Thrice she felt the delirium of aquiesance.” “Delirium” by that meaning vashti is gibing in to the machine, showing the reader how compelling the machine is, since it takes vashti out of her normal state and conscious mind. kuno never directly says to the machine ” i hate you”, but we imply this from his words, different from shakespeare plays, where feelings are relationships are vocalised clearly.

love is presented rather strange, by e.m forster. vashrti loves the machine, she installs all of her faith in it, we see this when the machine begins to malfunction, “she continued to whirl” she is going crazy and it is almost like now that the machine is going, she is developing a sense of separation anxiety . ‘whirled’ she is beginning to possess machine like’ properties, displaying how she has a bond that runs extremely deep inside of her.

However, her passion for the machine is seen as unconventional by the reader since the machine isn’t a person, but forster may have done this to help emphasis that this is a futuristic novella which would mean that society will conceits of different elements than today. the reader may respond frightened, since this is written in 1909 and technology has evolved extensively, compelling the reader that this may come of society in years to come. another factor that makes vashti’s love for the machine unconventional, is that her passion resembles that of a cult follower “you must not say anything against the machine.” and no matter how hard kuno tries to erach her because he recognises her state, she can’t pull away, she still follows. shakespeare presents relationships differently however, romeo and juliets love is sudden, impulsive and very swift. since the original story of romeo and julliet is spread over 9 months, whereas this quicker paced play is squeezed into 5 days. romeos love for juliet is very sudden, “so shows a snowy dove tropping with crows,” his first sight of juliet, he falls deeply in love with her, forgetting about his “love” he was depressed over, showing the audience romeos infatuation. because by ‘crow’ he is comparing juliet to rosaline, implied as the frow. declaring that he has never felt love until this night, showing the audience how romeo is very indecisive and impulsive. their love is also presented to the audience through sonnets, indicating that their love is so passionate, that their dialogue is spoken through love poems, displaying a higher romance to the audience because sonnets are often used to write about love.there is a dark underling meaning behind these rods, however. as these are a foreshadow of romeo and juliets coming death, we recognise this because these 14 line sonnets match the 14 line prologue with the same rhyming scheme as the sonnets, this prologue mentions their deaths, linking the teens love to their tragic fate.the foreshadowing of romeo and juliets death are frequent thouout the play. “methinks i see there, now thou art below / as one dead in the bottom of a tomb:”- an omen of when romeo is in the bottom of a tomb, the gentry would recognise these hints of whats coming, but mostlikly at the end of the play.

The love presented in romeo and juliet is much more conventional than presented in the machine stops, since romeo is a typical; lovesick: self-pityful; impulsive teenager,but vashtis relationship with the machine is interesting since it is much more unorthodox and surreal. shakespeare presents capulet and juliets relationship as very influx, because we first see capulet as a loving father, whilst he is speaking with paris (a potential candidate to marry juliet) and says “let two more summers wither in their pride… but woo her” capulet doesn’t want his daughter to leave him for another two years, however, he contrasts this, “an she agree within her scope of choice / lies my concent and fair according voice” ‘ scope’ suggesting that within her choice of men, if she doesn’t comply, ‘according voice’ then he will force her. his voice will always be there to influence her, and he will use this parental influence as a tool of fate. to shakespeare’s audience, this wouldn’t seem queer, but to the modern day audience, this would seem bizarre. but a father had lots of control of the life their daughter led. but this is also partly to do with hoe capulet prides himself on the place he has in society and doesn’t want his name, which he has accumulates such power to, not to be carried through to descendants. juliets power against her father is weakened because she is his heir, but she is weakened further due to her social standards as a woman, and women being dominated by males in the 1500’s.

Capulets underling anger becomes clearer in act 3 scene 5, it was expected that noble women would marry rich men, on par with their status, but when capulet hears that romeo is who uliet wants to marry, he becomes very riled, dramatically contrasting his earlier behaviour when she was obeying him, “disobedient wretch ” suggesting to the audience that his previous love was superficial. he is saying all of this in front of juliet, yet he speaks of her in the third person, asif she isn’t there, “we have a curse in having her…rid of her” referring to someone in the third person is deemed more rude and shakespeare gave capulet the words “her” to make juliet feel worthless and put distance between her and capulet, also in attempt to belittle her and make her feel bad., therefore portraying more anger to the audience.

His rage relates back to capulet priding his statue in society and wanting his image to remain in tact. however, once he hears of juliets death, his feelings turn suddenly very remorseful and flu of self-pity. he feels bad because his last words to his daughter were very harsh, the audience were full of excitement but now they are very sorrowful and shocked, contratig their earlier thoughts and feelings, of an otherwise action-packed scene. “ready to go, but never to return,” capulet say says she is going for the wrong reasons, she should have been going to marry paris, but rather, going to be buried. he mentions how le lost the successor to his name, reputation, legacy, and empire which he has built, which sould have been passed down by juliet, heir to the capulet fortune, reinforcing the social standards of an heir in elizabeths reign.

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"How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops" StudyScroll, 4 March 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 31 January, 2023]

"How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops" StudyScroll, Mar 4, 2016. Accessed Jan 31, 2023.

"How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops" StudyScroll, Mar 4, 2016.

"How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops" StudyScroll, 4-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 31-Jan-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). How are relationships presented in romeo and juliet compared to the machine stops. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 31-Jan-2023]

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