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By portraying Act I Scene V in a modern day setting, I believe this will allow the audience to relate

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Born in 1564, Shakespeare was to become one of the most influential writers of all time. At his birthplace; Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare attended grammar school. In 1590, after seeing an interest in theatre Shakespeare left his hometown and travelled to London to work as an actor and a playwright. Shakespeare immediately had an impact on the community and within no time became the most successful playwrights in the whole of England; so popular that he made his own theatre. This theatre still exists today and is well known by the name of `Shakespeare's Globe'. Not only did Shakespeare have a huge impact on the English community but he had a significant impact on the history of English literature, through his highly successful plays. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most acknowledged play is the one I will be focusing on. The themes and original figurative language used in this play are the reason for its popularity. Many different theatre and film productions have been made in trying to portray Romeo and Juliet in a different context. I will be doing the same, not for the whole play but for a significant scene: Act I Scene V. The reason this scene is one of the most central in the play is because Romeo overcomes his infatuation over Rosaline and experiences love at first sight with Juliet. The scene moreover displays the majority of themes represented throughout the drama. These themes are love; the powerful love shown between Romeo and Juliet, in contrast with this hate; the hatred between the two families, Capulet and Montague. Infatuation, what Romeo felt for Rosaline until he saw Juliet `For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night,' as reinforced by this quote. Vengeance, when Tybalt kills Romeo's cousin Mercutio vengeance is displayed by Romeo killing Tybalt for taking the life of his beloved cousin. Lastly, the inevitability of fate. ...read more.

Middle

Again reinforcing how Juliet stands Romeo, he says `So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows.' Again the contrast between the `ugly' crows and `beautiful' dove emphasises Juliet's beauty. It is also ironic how in Act 1 scene 2 Benvolio commented, `And I will make thee think thy swan a crow,' referring to Rosaline; which indicts to the audience that Romeo's infatuation is like a crow compared to his true love Juliet. To show how Juliet stands out to Romeo during his sonnet I will have a spotlight on her, highlighting her amongst the other `frozen' characters. Once Romeo's sonnet draws to a close I will have the spotlight on Juliet disappear and have the characters moving (dancing) again and then continue with Tybalt's dialogue. `This, by voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy.' As you can see Tybalt's short sentences and stern mannerism shows contrast with Romeo's elegant speech. To emphasise this contrast more, in Romeo's sonnet I could include soft gentle music in the background. As Tybalt begins to speak the music would cut by a stamp of Tybalt's foot to the ground, as if to bring Romeo back to reality. Romeo would have to display a relaxed attitude when acting; speaking slowly and gently opposed to Tybalt's vehemence, speaking quickly and deeply to accentuate contrast. After Tybalt has identified Romeo (an enemy from the montagues) we are given the impression that he wants to fight, `to strike him dead I hold it not a sin,' to emphasise Tybalt's rage I would have him grinding his teeth and displaying a livid expression, showing contrast with Romeo still lovingly observing Juliet's beauty. Capulet restrains Tybalt from approaching Romeo and starting a fight and tells Tybalt that, `he shall be endured,' referring to Romeo. When Capulet and Tybalt are exchanging conversation both of their responses would be snappy, although Tybalt will be looking up at Capulet as he is his superior, as the same way a student would look up to their headmaster. ...read more.

Conclusion

To indicate this to the audience I would have Capulet look at his watch then say `Ah, sirrah by my fay, it waxes late, I'll to my rest.' This forceful close of the scene reinforces what has just happened as it creates drama. The scene would terminate with Romeo and Juliet looking into each others from opposite ends of the stage with anxious expressions on their faces and being hauled away in opposite directions (By members of their school) off the stage. There would be a sudden bellow of dramatic music and the lights would fade to pitch black; drawing the scene to a close. This will reflect the significance of what has just occurred and acknowledge the clash of the relationship, to set up the rest of the plot for the play. In my opinion this scene is excellent for its purpose; to construct a relationship between Romeo and Juliet. What I find spectacular about this scene is how in such a short space of time the audience observes the development of Romeo and Juliet's relationship, at least enough to make them believe that Romeo and Juliet are in love. This scene is fundamental to understand the context of the whole play because it provides a strong basis for conflict between the Capulets and Montugues. I admire the use of soliloquy in this scene, creating puns which expose the outcome of the play. This reflects the social historical background; the belief of fate. The paramount element to this scene is the creative use of Christian metaphor which persuades Juliet to kiss Romeo. The way in which Romeo hypnotises Juliet into kissing him through the use of metaphor is superb because it too reflects on the social historical background by reinforcing the strong belief in religion. I believe Shakespeare wrote this play to show that hatred can lead to dire consequences, it cost the Capulets and Montagues the lives of their beloved children to realise it. ...read more.

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