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By analysing use of language in Act III scene 5 of Shakespeare's Romero and Juliet, show how he builds a sense of anxiety for his audiences. Evaluate the importance of this scene to the plot and suggest how at least one character might be directed.

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Introduction

By analysing use of language in Act III scene 5 of Shakespeare's Romero and Juliet, show how he builds a sense of anxiety for his audiences. Evaluate the importance of this scene to the plot and suggest how at least one character might be directed. Women played a completely different role in society in Elizabethan times than they do today. Wealthy upper class women like Juliet were expected to obey their father's wishes and obey their every command. Love was not the main driving force between marriages between the rich it was only a possibility. Fathers arranged marriages to obtain better links with certain important wealthy families and inherit money. At the time, there was much debate whether women should be allowed to take part in arranging marriages and their feelings taken into consideration. In the case the Juliet she was forced to marry when secretly she was already married to her true love Romero. Juliet at the time fought passionately to stop the arranged marriage. This would be an unusual and outrageous act for a young woman in those times. This event would have surprised and shocked the crowd watching the play at the time. This gives me the impression that Shakespeare thought love should govern marriages not petty issues like money and positions in society. Perhaps Shakespeare had a hidden motive in his play attempting to question this basis behind many Elizabethan marriages. They play included so much love, lust, and passion showing that love cannot be contained and bottled up. That it is a dangerous thing to try to sculpture and change to ones advantage, as in the case of the Capulet's. This furious picture of love may have been thought up by Shakespeare to show people that forcing marriages for money and power was wrong. He may have thought and known of true love and knew it was worth fighting for. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet and Lady Capulet engage in clever word play when she enters to bring her, "Joyful tidings", Lady Capulet thinks Juliet wants Romero dead while Juliet never actually says this she is treading on dangerous ground and we feel anxious because we do not know whether she will give herself away. "God Pardon him! I do, with all my heart; And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart." Lady Capulet thinks this means she wants him dead with all her heart but actually she is saying the complete opposite and she feels for him with all her heart. "Indeed, I never shall be satisfied With Romeo, till I behold him--dead-is my poor heart", she is hesitating to say dead on she really is saying she wants to hold him in her arms and that she does not want Romero dead but in-fact her heart is "dead" without him. This is dramatic irony and it is keeping us anxious and alert never quite sure what will happen next. "O, how my heart abhors. To hear him named, and cannot come to him." she is pining for Romero in front of her mother with all her heart however lady Capulet remains na�ve she is probably more caught up in what she is about to say than what Juliet is saying to her now. Lady Capulet does not realise what Juliet is saying, "Find thou the means, and I'll find such a man. But now I'll tell thee joyful tidings, girl." This is ironic because they are not joyful tidings but terrible ones. "Marry, my child" she says, Juliet's horror would be fully reflected in the shocked response of the audience, the growing feeling of a impending tragedy has intensified with a new sense and atmosphere of shock horror. Juliet furiously replies, "He shall not make me there a joyful bride!" She is stunned that her real beloved husband has just departed from his balcony window and she is told she is to publicly marry the County Paris, "Early next Thursday Morn". ...read more.

Conclusion

Then Capulet after hearing Juliet's opinion of the proposed marriage lines 139-145 would sound most astonished and harshly inquisitive as he asks her "Will she none?". But then as Juliet tells him through her own voice she will not marry the County Paris and during this his expression would change to anger and he would shout his next sets of lines 149-158, 160-168, and 176-196. He would be thoroughly ashamed and furious that his own daughter could defy him in such a way. He would be pacing around the room red in the face with anger and bellowing with his whole voice. He would sound very threatening when talking. On line 164 when Capulet says, "My fingers itch", this meaning he wants to hit her, he would grab her violently shaking her body and raising his hand after the shaking. Juliet would squeal and he would drop her to the ground angrily. In this contrast of emotional environments the room would be transformed from a world dominated by love and slight sadness into a raging storm of fury brewed by Juliet and even more Capulet. Music and lightening would have to be altered to accommodate for the change in emotion. The music would be faster more deep and angry to show the anger in the room. The lighting would have to be dimmed to reflect the darker emotions. This scene is so important because it keeps the audience on the edge of the seats as Juliet is thrown from one happy situation to a sad one and then to an angry fearful one and then finally to a desperate upset one. Shakespeare successfully manages this tension as he flings us from one situation to another always keeping us on out toes. This is a complicated scene to direct because there are so many moods and feelings to be considered and Shakespeare does not use stage directions. I was very involved when reading Romeo and Juliet especially in this scene because Juliet is so desperate and there is so much dramatic irony. ...read more.

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