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a plague o' both your houses

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June 2007 GCSE English Literature Coursework Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet "A plague o'both your houses!" Discuss the dramatic significance of Act III Scene I, the fight scene. How might different audiences respond to it? Act III scene I is a very dramatic and powerful scene, which witnesses the death of two prominent characters in the play. The dramatic effect in this scene is very powerful and, imperatively, results in the death of both Romeo and Juliet. The way this scene unfolds, in an unexpected manner provides excitement and tension. In previous scenes the reader has seen the progressing love of Romeo and Juliet; from the beginning, where they first met one another, to when they got married in act II scene VI. At a Capulet party, where Romeo and Juliet first meet, Romeo is seen by Tybalt who feels offended that Romeo is present at the masked ball. At the time he takes no action, however, in act III scene I he has not forgotten what Romeo has done and is looking for revenge. Through the confusion and the difference in emotions in act III scene I, Mercutio is fatally wounded. A dying Mercutio sets up the action for the rest of the play when he repeatedly exclaims, "A plague o' both your houses!" This shocking language reminds the audience of the unnecessary hurt they have caused. ...read more.


Then the audience see Romeo's raging emotions lead to the death of Tybalt and finally the characters deal with the aftermath of the situation. From the beginning of Romeo and Juliet's relationship, there have been subtle suggestions that they both know that their relationship will end in disaster: "My only love sprung from my only hate." Juliet is still a young woman, and demonstrates her naivety here. Although she can sense that their relationship will not be successful, she still goes ahead with the inevitable relationship. Romeo also suggests that he can predict that their relationship will end in disaster and, although he knows that "My life is my foe's debt." he continues to have a relationship with Juliet. Mercutio is the first character to die in Romeo and Juliet, and, because of his death, there is serious repercussions on the sequential scenes. His death acts as a turning point of the play, and if it had not occurred then the play would have a very different ending. His significant death is partially due to his own behaviour: "Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears?" Although this quotation could suggest that Mercutio is being a good friend and is doing a valiant attempt of protecting Romeo's honour, it also could be perceived as an unnecessary act that has fatal consequences. ...read more.


In the film version of Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrman, the director cleverly modernises the play and makes it more dramatic from a modern audience's perspective. In the film, the actors playing Romeo, Tybalt and Mercutio create dramatic tension through their body language and also their voice. The audience can see when a character expresses anger or regret through their body language. In the play many of the ideas and themes are old fashioned and not relevant to a modern audience, but the modernised films have shown that there are still themes from the original play that are still relevant to a modern audience, such as the themes of rebellion and politics. Also arranged marriages are still a common issue for a modern audience. Overall the dramatic effect for a modern audience is only slightly less than for an audience of the Elizabethan era. Act III scene I is a dramatic enthralling scene, in which the families 'ancient grudge' leads to the deaths of two prominent characters. The dramatic effect of this scene is emphasised by the tension and anger that run through it. Act III scene I has great dramatic significance, because it is a catalyst in the play and contains the dramatic deaths of two main characters. If this crucial scene did not occur then the subsequent events would not have happened. This scene contains a large build up of dramatic tension and keeps both an Elizabethan, and modern audience interested in the events that are happening. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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