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Act 1 Scene 5 - How does Shakespeare use language to establish the characters of Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet in this scene? What is the significance of the scene to the play as a whole?

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Introduction

Act 1 Scene 5. How does Shakespeare use language to establish the characters of Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet in this scene? What is the significance of the scene to the play as a whole? Act 1 Scene 5 is regarded as an important scene in the play, and causes some of what is to come and foretells it. All of the major themes of the play are evident here, with images of love and romance but also the hate and violence that occurs too. In this scene, Shakespeare also establishes the characters of Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet. He does this by using certain language that will make the audience view the characters in certain ways. Due to these facts, the significance of this scene is very important to the rest of the play. Also, this scene makes the initial image of Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet in the audience's mind and this will influence the audience's reactions to the characters throughout the rest of the play. Although this is not the first sighting of Romeo in the play, the audience gets to see Romeo's positive approach to love through his performance, rather than his negative feeling about love and Rosaline. The audience sees how the moment Romeo sees Juliet, he believes she is the most beautiful person and he 'ne'er saw true beauty till this night'. This shows the audience the speed at which Romeo has forgotten about Rosaline. Romeo did not fall in love with Rosaline, but instead fell in love with the idea of falling in love. When talking about Juliet, Shakespeare uses lines such as 'O she doth teach the torches to burn bright!� and, 'Beauty to rich for use, for earth to dear�, to help us see that Romeo has really fallen in love this time, because he did not say these kind of things about Rosaline. ...read more.

Middle

Capulet appears reasonable, sociable, and benevolent. However, when he speaks to Tybalt, he uses many insults and speaks with a harsh tone. For example, he uses insults such as 'saucy boy', 'princox' and 'goodman boy'. These were serious insults in those times and Shakespeare uses so many insults in Capulet's speech to show that although he can be a very compassionate gentleman, he can also be very unkind and obnoxious when people disobey him. Shakespeare also makes the words Capulet say meaningful and harsh. For example 'For shame I'll make you quiet' shows how short tempered Capulet is and how he acts on impulse. Capulet still wants to be young and Shakespeare shows this by making him say slang phrases and words. Capulet uses words such as 'coz', which makes him seem as though he is trying to fit in with the youth instead of wanting to grow up. The language used for the character of Capulet makes the audience believe that he is only interested in his reputation. He talks about 'my guests' and he asks 'am I the master here, or you?' which shows how he thinks that he is the important one and that he owns everything and no one should disobey him. However, due to the gentle manner in which he addresses his guests, the audience thinks that Capulet is a typical host and wants everybody to enjoy themselves. An audience of today would view Lord Capulet in the same way as an audience then, as they could identify with the fact of keeping guests content and preventing chaos and arguments occurring. Similarly to Romeo and Tybalt, Capulet sticks to the same way of speaking which shows that their personality does not change. This would worry the audience as they have seen in this scene how hurtful and angry Capulet can get, and so would be cautious of him as his temperament could change further along in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

This scene gives the audience an insight into the fact that they play concentrates on love and hate. Also, by alternating the love and hate, it shows the audience that Romeo and Juliet's relationship is going to be impossible due to the feud which is shown in this scene. This scene is important too as the audience gets to see how the characters are extremely different, but are also very similar. All three characters do things due to certain beliefs, which are found out in this scene. Without this scene, the audience would not fully understand the characters and their actions. To conclude, Shakespeare uses language very well to establish the characters of Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet in this scene. Soft words are used in Romeo's speech to show how gentle he can be, whilst Tybalt has harsh sounding words to show that he is a violent character. Shakespeare also establishes the characters by using certain phrases within their language that shows the audience what they think of and how they act. This scene is important to the play as a whole as it shows the audiences some of the main themes of the play that will help them to expect what is going to happen in the remainder of the play. This scene also defines the characters of Romeo, Tybalt and Lord Capulet and shows the audience the other sides they have. This scene plants the thought in the audience's head that the character's personalities can be good and bad. This scene will help justify the actions that the characters do in the rest of the play. Overall, this scene helps to show the audience the true meaning of the play and helps justify the actions of the main characters throughout the rest of the play. Shakespeare includes this scene so that the audience can become closer to the characters and identify more with them, as they know what they are capable of. Shakespeare focuses carefully on the language and presentation of these characters, which is why 'Romeo and Juliet still' remains a timeless love story. ...read more.

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