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Before Act 1 Scene 3, Romeo and Juliet got married in private, as their two families had been rivals for years. If the families had found out about this secret arrangement, both Romeo and Juliet would have been disowned.

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Introduction

Before Act 1 Scene 3, Romeo and Juliet got married in private, as their two families had been rivals for years. If the families had found out about this secret arrangement, both Romeo and Juliet would have been disowned. This is an example of Shakespeare's use of dramatic irony because in the play only the audience, along with two other characters - the friar and the nurse - knew that they were married. In Act 3 scene 1, Benvolio and Mercutio were in the public place in Verona. Benvolio tried to convince Mercutio to go home but he refused adamantly. Benvolio wanted to leave before Tybalt and the Capulets arrive but Mercutio refused. The Capulets arrived and Tybalt confronted Mercutio. But Tybalt did not intentionally seek Mercutio to quarrel with him; he wanted Romeo as he gatecrashed the Capulets' party. Romeo arrived and saw Mercutio arguing with Tybalt. Romeo tried to keep the peace but Tybalt attacked him. Mercutio jumped in and started a fight with Tybalt. Romeo again tried to intervene but was not successful and Tybalt accidentally stabbed Mercutio and died. Tybalt, horrified at what he had done, ran off with the rest of the Capulets and Romeo gave chase. Romeo caught up with Tybalt and both of them had a duel. Romeo slayed Tybalt. Realizing what he had done, Romeo ran to the church where friar Lawrence consoled him. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo changes his characteristics quite a lot. At first he is portrayed as a hapless lover and dreamer who is hopeless in romance. " Why, such love's transgression; Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast." He is then portrayed as a peacemaker in act 3 scene 1. "And so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own, be satisfied." This is dramatic irony once again as only the audience, the friar and the nurse know that Romeo and Juliet have got married but nobody else so Mercutio is shocked. The film is different from the play in many different ways. In the film, in Act 3 Scene 1, it is clear from the expression on Benvolio's face (played by Dash Mikok) that he is apprehensive about the possibilities of impending violence. The audience sees the expression of his face as the Director (Baz Luhrman) shows a close up of Benvolio's face to dramatise the anxiety that he is facing. When the Capulet boys arrive, they are dressed in black and they are armed which immediately shows that they want to cause trouble and are ready for a western 'High Noon' shootout. When the Capulet boys confront The Montague boys, Mercutio, being the provocateur that he is, mocks Tybalt and Baz Luhrman dramatises this part as the cameras spin round the two characters as Mercutio attempts to strike Tybalt. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Oh calm, dishonourable, vile submission!" Mercutio thought that Romeo was giving in to Tybalt's beatings and this is why he was angry. Also if Tybalt had known, he wouldn't have viciously attacked Romeo. Fate had the biggest hand in the whole play. Even if the lovers had avoided making all those mistakes, fate was out of their hands and each event and mishap in each scene built up to the tragic deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. This scene links up to the rest of the play as the main themes are love - Romeo and Rosaline and then Romeo and Juliet, hate - Tybalt and Romeo, Rivalry - Montagues and Capulets and fate - the death of the lovers. These are all found in the play and the film and they epitomise the play. This scene also shows the biggest duel of the Montague family and the Capulet family. But in the end they realise the wrong they have done and the loved ones that they have lost. Without this scene the play would not have been as powerful because all the previous scenes build up towards this scene. If this scene was not in the play, the ending wouldn't be so climaxed and dramatised and tragic. The reaction of an Elizabethan audience would be different because during the Elizabethan period, they valued honour and pride greatly and the scene when Romeo gate-crashed the Capulets' party and wounded Tybalt's pride would have caused a negative effect on an Elizabethan audience but it would not cause any effect on today's audience. ...read more.

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