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Give a detailed analysis of how the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet stimulates dramatic expectation in addition to entertaining and informing the audience

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Introduction

Sandy Barr 10H Give a detailed analysis of how the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet stimulates dramatic expectation in addition to entertaining and informing the audience The opening scene of Romeo & Juliet is absolutely essential to the rest of the play for several different reasons. Not only does it draw the audience in with its gross and witty humour, 'Me they shall feel while I am able to stand, and tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh', but it also acts to inform the audience of the background to the play, 'I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee'. All of this combines to stimulate dramatic expectation, the building up of the audience anticipation to see what happens next. ...read more.

Middle

A further point of amusement for the crowd is Lady Capulet's irony directed at her husband. 'Capulet: What noise is this? Give me my long sword ho! Lady Capulet: A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword!' In addition to drawing in the crowd, this irony also informs the audience that it is the men of the house who want to fight and bicker, whereas the women are more prepared to leave it alone. It also highlights their tender age. The fight that arises between the two houses in the beginning of the scene acts to inform the audience that there is absolutely no love lost between them. This is emphasised by the fact that the two heads of the houses try to fight, emphasising the riot was no mistake. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also stimulates dramatic expectation because now the audience expect another fight to emerge and they want to see whose life is forfeited. Near the end of the scene, we discover that Romeo's love life is in turmoil and that he is struggling to cope with his rebuff by Rosaline. This confusion is portrayed by his use of oxymorons. 'O heavy lightness, serious vanity, misshapen chaos of well seeming forms'. However, this scene makes it deliberately clear that Romeo's love life is going to become a key factor in the tragedy and as a result kindles dramatic expectation as the audience now wants to know who Romeo's love is an how it interacts with the tragedy. All of this entertainment, use of information and dramatic expectation combine to form an explosive opening. It sets the tone for the rest of the tragedy and gets the audience hooked for what is about to come. ...read more.

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