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By the end of Act One Shakespeare has completely gripped his audience. How far do you agree with this statement?

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By the end of Act One Shakespeare has completely gripped his audience. How far do you agree with this statement? Romeo and Juliet opens with a prologue announcing the story's star-crossed young lovers, will die and their deaths will have a large impact on their warring clans. The Prologue points out that Romeo and Juliet have fate against them. It says that their love is "death-marked" (line nine) and they have no control over what happens. In the Prologue Shakespeare tells the audience the outcome of the play, Shakespeare gives the story a sense of a mystery it would lack otherwise. Knowing the lovers will die makes their every step toward the fate more dramatic. The audiences are not told that the play is not only about action, but the feelings and thoughts of the characters are to be observed. It makes the audience pay closer attention on how the story unfolds. Act one opens with some of the men of Capulet clan meeting on the street. The men of the Montague clan are Sampson and Gregory. The Montague's servants become bolder when they see Tybalt, a Capulet approaching. There is a huge contrast between the moods of the play, due to the introduction of one character. We observe a sexual humour between the servants of the Montague household, the humour gives us a sense of friendship and a warm atmosphere. ...read more.


Shakespeare allows the audience to question, ponder the source of his love, depression and strange behaviour. Romeo mourns for the love of Rosaline. His love for her is unrequited and he is miserable. He makes his room appear as though it is night, for light to him, represents love, and he has no love in his life. This misery is in sharp contrast to the love that he feels throughout the play. The audience think the play is about love, so why is the lover of the play miserable? Capulet invites him to the party that night. There is another dimension to the plot added, there is a rival to the love of Juliet. Again the audience's minds are ticking over guessing what will happen, there are many possibilities, masses of attention is required. I feel this is the greatest and main reason why Shakespeare grips the audience's attention, Shakespeare makes the audience the detectives, the audience ask the questions. The next scene, enter Benvolio and Romeo, still caught up in his love sickness. They come upon a servant announcing the party guest list, which he cannot read. He asks Romeo to read the list. It comes out that Rosaline, has been invited to this party. The servant invites him to the party as long as he's not a Montague. Benvolio suggests Romeo goes, that seeing some of the town's other beauties aid his recovery from his infatuation with Rosalind. ...read more.


Again the audience are still left guessing, why did Romeo feel something bad was to happen?. O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! Romeo saw Juliet and it was love at first sight. In my and modern terms this quotation illustrates that Juliet is hot, she lights Romero's love for her, she lights her hunger to be with her. It's love at first sight. Romero comments on the beauty of Juliet by calling her a dove. In the Bible the dove represents a new start and purity. He also says her beauty shines out from all other women. The audience realises this was fate, true love is there, the audience also experience the most romantic speech. Even today it is seen as the most romantic speech. Romeo falling in love with Juliet is the purpose of this scene, so it is not delayed. The audience have had conflict, talks of marriage, comedy and now are curious. Tybalt, hears Romeo's voice and speaks of violence. Capulet rebukes his ambitions and orders him to not upset the party. The danger of future violence sparks the audience's fear of Romeo's safety. Act One is the foundation of the play, it shows the audience the natures of the characters, the audience have adapted to the characters. Each moment Shakespeare creates heightens the drama of that particular moment. Has Shakespeare gripped his audience? I was gripped by it, so the answer is yes. ...read more.

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