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(Aural) How does Shakespeare use dramatic devices in Act 3 Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet' in order to make it such an interesting, exciting and important scene?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use dramatic devices in Act 3 Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet' in order to make it such an interesting, exciting and important scene? 'Romeo and Juliet' is a very famous tragedy written by the playwright William Shakespeare. It was written from 1595-1596 whilst Queen Elizabeth the 1st was queen of England, and is set in Elizabethan Italy. Life during this time was a very different time compared with how we live life today. Elizabethan women were seen as inferior to men and their lives were controlled by men, who were the workers. Women stayed at home to clean and look after the children. Children were brought up to obey everything their parents said, and were punished for misbehaving. After Act 3 Scene 1, when Romeo has been banished, Juliet's father tries to wed her to Paris, a nobleman of Verona, however she can not refuse as she must do as her father says. ...read more.

Middle

Act 3 Scene 1 is a crucial scene because it is the turning point of the whole play. Benvolio and Mercutio are out walking in the heat of the day, when Benvolio suggests they should retire and go home because there are many Capulet's about, and if they bump into any of them there's bound to be a fight because the heat is stirring everyone up. Mercutio ignores this and tells Benvolio he has a bad temper. Tybalt enters with his companions, and asks to speak to one of them, and asks if either of them "consort" with Romeo - a phrase which at the time was often associated with musicians. Mercutio teases Tybalt. Romeo enters, fresh from his wedding with Juliet. Tybalt calls him a villain and demands a fight, but Romeo refuses as unbeknown to the other characters he is now related to Tybalt through marriage. Mercutio angrily draws his sword and says that is Romeo will not fight Tybalt, he will, and they begin to fight. ...read more.

Conclusion

As soon as Tybalt enters the audience knows there is going to be a fight, and as he taunts him and draws his sword more tension is built. Shakespeare has purposely juxtaposed this scene with the contrasting wedding scene for effect and there is great dramatic irony as the audience knows that Romeo and Tybalt are family, however none of the characters on stage do. Mercutio repeating "A plague on both your houses" has a very dramatic effect and highlights to the audience that Mercutio was a neutral and this is what has happened to him. This also suggests the play will end in tragedy because there is a curse on both families. This scene becomes the turning point in the play because without it, Romeo would have not needed to flee and Juliet's Father would have not tried to wed her to Paris. Mercutio death is quite unexpected and shocks the audience as they would have predicted one of the Capulets of Montagues would have been killed. I think this scene is very well arranged and builds great dramatic tensions and really intrigues the audience. ...read more.

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