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Romeo and Juliet - how important is the opening scene of the play - How effective should it be on stage - Consider analyle - comment on characters - action - stage craft - the atmosphere and theme

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Hannah Louise Davies December 17th 2002 GCSE ENGLISH Romeo and Juliet: how important is the opening scene of the play? How effective should it be on stage? (Deal with lines 1-11), the first mention of Romeo. Consider analyle, comment on characters, action, stage craft, the atmosphere and theme. The opening scene of Romeo and Juliet is effective because it's full of humour and violence. These two characteristics are powerful on their own, but together they make the first scene witty and dramatic. The opening scene is important as it sets the whole atmosphere of the families on going feud. The play opens with two Capulet servants (Sampson and Gregory) who are carrying arms, which is significant as they're aware of violence and danger. They also use language to imitate violence such as, thrust, and strike. As they do this it amuses the groundlings watching, what amuses them is that they talk about violence then, violence towards women. ...read more.


Tybalt then comes in and questions Benvolio (the peace maker) with his one of few lines "......as I hate hell, all Montague's, and thee. Have at thee coward." This line sums up that he enjoys violence implying that he hates the word peace. The atmosphere at this time is tense and humorous in some ways. It is humorous as a feud is beginning over nothing apart from a silly childish insult. This would amuse the groundlings, as it combines violence and humour. As you know these two characteristics are powerful on their own, but together they make the play witty and interesting although humorous at times. This is what makes the play effective and successful. The feud is also very dramatic and a very important part of everyday life for both families, even the old come out of their houses and fight for their family even though their health pauses as a problem. ...read more.


This is not Romeo, he's some other where." Benvolio tries without success to discover the name of the girl Romeo has fallen in love with. Romeo explains that she is not in love with him. "She'll not be hit with cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit, and in strong proof of chastity well arms, from love's weak childish bow she lives uncharmed. She will not stay the siege of loving terms, nor bride Th' encounter of assailing eyes, nor ope her lap to saint seducting gold. O she is rich in beauty, only poor, that when she dies, with beauty dies her store." The characters in this play are perfectly written with their personalities coming out strong throughout the play. Such as Benvolio, his name means peace maker, and that's exactly what he's done in scene one. Romeo in the first scene comes over as a conscientious teenager, but is mature also. By the end of this scene there is an obvious contrast of two things, love and hate. ...read more.

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