• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Act 3 Scene 1 is a pivotal scene. How is tension created? How does it affect the dramatic action of the play?

Extracts from this document...


English Coursework - Max Carter 11EB Romeo and Juliet. Act 3 Scene 1 is a pivotal scene. How is tension created? How does it affect the dramatic action of the play? William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is believed to have been written around 1595. The story is, of course, about a pair of star-crossed lovers. Two teenagers pursue their love for each other despite the fact that their families have been at odds with each other for decades. The story combines sword fighting / duelling, disguise, misunderstanding, tragedy, revenge, humour, and some of the most romantic language found in literature all in the name of true love. From the audience's point of view the play could be seen as a deep, romantic love story where love rises above everything else. However this love is quite ironic as it occurs between two members from rival families; The Montague's and The Capulet's, these two powerful families have been feuding with each other for years. Until the key events in this scene unfold, the play is portrayed as a romantic love story but as the scene draws close to the end, the atmosphere is a lot darker and actually develops into a tragedy. Mercutio (close friend of Romeo and the Montague family) is one of the only characters in the play who is able to provide frequent comic relief. ...read more.


Benvolio is tired and does not wish to become involved in another brawl, particularly as he forbidden to do so by the Prince. "I pray thee good Mercutio, let's retire. The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, and if we meet, we shall not 'scape a brawl, for now these hot days, is the mad blood stirring." Benvolio is basically saying here, let's go hone because the Capulet's are around and if we happen to meet them, we will not escape a fight as they are looking for trouble. The language used in this short quote is quite dramatic and enthralling. Where Benvolio says, "these hot days, is the mad bloody stirring", he gives an image or clues to the audience of things that could happen in the foreseeable future. Mercutio being the trickster that he is shrugs off Benvolio's words and replies with a longer quote which opposes Benvolio's comment and accuses Benvolio of being the one that always starts the fights. "...Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou has hazel eyes..." Mercutio is very clever with his language and he frequently shows the audience this as the scene develops. With this line, Mercutio is talking in response to Benvolio's comment about going home. Mercutio is quite blunt here and directly tells Benvolio that it is him who starts the fights and often they are for no need, as explained when he mentions fighting with someone for looking slightly different. ...read more.


After all, you wouldn't risk your life to satisfy honour against a peasant who you could simply exert your noble status on to have whipped, jailed or killed, with little consequence. You only duel your peers, people with whom you have no other easy recourse for justice. If you disagree with someone, it is your responsibility to your own word, and your opponent's to theirs, to bring it to a duel, because only when facing death against live steel is your commitment truly tested (God, of course, will grant victory to the one who is right, and what self respecting and angry nobleman would believe God wasn't with them?) Even those who fought duels and lost were more honourable and worthy than a man who cowers from confrontation. By the same token, it shouldn't matter if you were a fresh young apprentice of sword-fighting and the one who had done you wrong was a recognised master. If you are in the right, and they in the wrong, divine justice will guide your blade to victory. Duels were also sometimes used to settle blood feuds that had ravaged families for years; in one instance, a duel of twelve people was arranged, six from each of the disputing families, and they negotiated terms for over a year as to who would fight whom first. After that, it was open season. All but one of the twelve was slain. In the play Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel to settle an ongoing dispute between the Montague and Capulet families. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Act 3, Scene 1 Romeo and Juliet.Why is this a pivotal scene in the ...

    As we enter Act 3, there is a converse of fighting between Benvolio and Mercutio. Then Tybalt pierces the scene and Mercutio challenges him to a brawl. This is a responsive twist from tranquillity and harmony to anger and frustration.

  2. Juliet's Confrontation with her Parents in Act 3 Scene 5 is a Pivotal Scene ...

    Although Lady Capulet tries to keep the peace, it is Juliet who gets down on her knees and begs Capulet to stop. This shows us that she is in great distress at how her father reacted to her saying that she will not marry Paris.

  1. How is drama created in act 3 scene 1 of Shakespeare(TM)s Romeo and Juliet?

    This could make the audience on uptight, as they are weary of what might come, resulting in exciting drama for the audience. Dramatic irony is a situation that is odd or amusing because something has occurred that is the opposite of what one would expect.

  2. Act 3, Scene1 in 'Romeo and Juliet.' Why is this a pivotal scene in ...

    Till thou shalt know the reason of my love, And so good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied." The tension builds and the audience can sense that something is about to happen: - "...O calm, dishonourable, ville submission."

  1. Romeo and Juliet Act 3, scene 1 is a pivotal scene in the play. ...

    He had a low opinion of him. Romeo would speak in a calming tone in order to try and prevent Tybalt from fighting with him. The reason for this being that Tybalt and Romeo are now related due to the marriage of Romeo and Juliet and therefore he does not want any harm between them.

  2. Act 3 Scene 1 is a pivotal scene in the play. All that goes ...

    moved to be moody'), but he has no idea that he is really describing himself. Tybalt plays a similar part to Mercutio. With the exception that he actually belongs to one of the feuding families whilst Mercutio is only a friend of Romeo, they have the similar characteristics.

  1. How is tension created in act 3 scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet' by ...

    This is saying that Benvolio would fight with anyone just because they have hazel eyes. You can tell that Mercutio is making fun of Benvolio because we can see that Benvolio is the peacemaker of the play. In this scene Mercutio is acting very peculiar and slightly angry.

  2. Discuss and compare the pivotal two scenes that impact on the dramatic action of ...

    There are several reasons to constitute why Act 2 Scene 2, the balcony scene is pivotal to the play, however I feel that the main reason is because of the way in which we are reminded by what has

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work