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Closely Examine Act III Scene i of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Explore the reasons why Mercutio is killed and the consequences of his death. Why is this such an important event in the play?

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Introduction

Closely Examine Act III Scene i of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Explore the reasons why Mercutio is killed and the consequences of his death. Why is this such an important event in the play? In this essay I will be closely examining how act III scene i is a pivotal scene in the play "Romeo and Juliet" and I will be comparing how the two different directors have chosen to portray this scene. The opening of the scene in both versions of the play warns the audience of a key part of the play and seizes the audience's attention. They all show how Benvolio is anxious and worried about Mercutio and how it is a hot day and tempers may rise when people become restless. Benvolio says "I pray thee, good Mercutio let's retire" This signals to the audience that Benvolio fears that his friend may be killed or face death under the prince's decree earlier in the play. This decree states that if anyone else is killed then so will the heads of each house. However the mood of Mercutio contrasts with Benvolios mood. He is up tight and ready for a fight. "Thou art like one of these fellows that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table, and says 'God send me no need of thee!' ...read more.

Middle

This makes the audience sit on the edge of their seat as the tension builds up. The audience sense that is a major part. Tybalt is very hesitant and wants to have his friends to support him and cheer him on. This is signalled when he says in Shakespeare's version, "Follow me close, for I will speak to them." This tells the audience that Tybalt wants his friends to protect him if anything serious does start. Tybalt is one of the minorities keeping the fight between the two houses alive. Zeffirelli uses this scene to make people laugh with the funny movements of the way of fighting. Luhrman uses the arrival of Tybalt as the key part as well. People can feel that there will be something happening between Mercutio and Tybalt as the stance of the characters is showing that they feel threatened and intimidated. This is also signalled by the way in which Tybalt arrives; slowly in a car with his friends and guards by his side, he exits the car and slams the door even before any speaking takes place; the audience sees that Tybalt is infuriated. The director uses this as the basis of the entire scene; he makes sure that some of the audience remember this part of the scene when they have finished viewing the entire film making it a memorable scene. Dramatic irony makes up a substantial amount of this play. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the main reasons for this is that Shakespeare usually wrote his plays with vii acts in them and vi scenes per act, therefore to change the play will be easier half way through as the audience will be understanding and will have seen some of the play. Another reason for this to be the changing point is that the characters all change their behaviour in many ways even if they changed slightly. It changes the whole plays future relating again to the 11th and 17th century beliefs on fate. This highlights the importance of this key scene and the way in which both directors show it and also the way in which the play was written. In conclusion both directors portray the pivotal scene with similar characteristics, for example clothing and characteristics of certain key characters. However, they are set in very different time periods, one in 17th century and one in modern day-. The fight and the way it is portrayed are fundamental to the events that follow. One of the reasons is that the play is peaceful up until this point with no main characters killed. Romeo is anti-violent. Another reason that this point is pivotal is because the play is looking good up to this point. Romeo is in love and Juliet is in love creating a romantic feel to the play. Finally this scene is pivotal because Shakespeare has written the play to show many different possibilities and routes which can occur. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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