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English: Shakespeare Coursework Assignment

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English Shakespeare Coursework Assignment Q. How does Shakespeare make Romeo and Juliet dramatically interesting for the audience? Refer to the first act in detail. A. William Shakespeare used many devices and techniques in order to make the play dramatically effective for the audience and to develop the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. One device which Shakespeare uses which is successful in gaining the interest of the audience is the use of a sonnet. The sonnet is at the start of the play and consists of 14 lines with alternate line rhyming. Shakespeare's decision to include a sonnet at the start of the play is unusual because it takes away the element of surprise by telling the audience the main plot of the story and how the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet would develop before the play is performed. ...read more.


We are already told that the two families are old enemies from the sonnet so it is no surprise when Capulet and his nephew, Tybalt, join in on the fight even when Romeo's good friend, Benvolio, tries to stop the fight. The audience would be emotional and on the edge of their seats from the sword fight and the characters pretending to die. There is also conflict within Romeo himself because at the start of the play, he is madly in love with a girl called Rosaline who the audience never meets. However, he is unhappily in love because Rosaline does not have feelings for Romeo and is not interested in a relationship. He speaks at first what appears to be nonsense but can be identified as oxymorons. "Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love I feel, that I feel no love in this." ...read more.


The swift change from the formality of the sonnet to the informality of the servants banter would keep the audience engaged because they would be trying to keep in knowledge of what's happening in the play. Another example of humour which Shakespeare uses is clearly evident when Lady Capulet tries to arrange a marriage between Juliet and Parris. In this scene, the family nurse gives us an insight into Juliet's upbringing in which she recalls on when Juliet once fell over and grazed her knee. The nurse's husband makes a joke saying "Thou will fall backwards when thou hast more wit" Lady Capulet is disgusted by these jokes and immediately orders her to shut up as she doesn't want Juliet to pick up on these jokes. Overall, Shakespeare succeeds in making Romeo and Juliet dramatically interesting for the audience mainly through the use of a sonnet, the use of humour, and the use of conflict ...read more.

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