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Compare and contrast the dramatic effectiveness of Act 3 scene 1 and Juliet's soliloquy in Act 3 scene 2

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Coursework: Romeo and Juliet Compare and contrast the dramatic effectiveness of Act 3 scene 1 and Juliet's soliloquy in Act 3 scene 2 Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of two 'star-cross'd' teenage lovers who secretly fall for each other and marry. Their families, the Montagues and Capulets, have been fierce enemies for decades and even as Romeo and Juliet say their wedding vows, new violence breaks out between the clans. In the end, their love is doomed. When Romeo mistakenly believes Juliet is dead, he poisons himself. And, when Juliet discovers that he is dead, she too commits suicide. Romeo and Juliet is by far the most romantic and well known play written back in the 1590s by William Shakespeare. This Elizabethan period was a time when revenge and honour were very important to the society of the rich. It was not uncommon for marriages to be arranged for girls as young as 13 and sword duelling played a large part in seeking honour for your family. The play covers the most dramatic of feelings from the love and passion to the hate and revenge of everyday life ending in the ultimate tragedy that breaks hearts all over the world. The famous couple originated from an old Italian story more than a century before Shakespeare tackled it making it the perfect story to immortalise in writing as it contained a powerful love story. ...read more.


Romeo also wants to accompany Mercutio on his way to paradise either with himself or with Tybalt and he wouldn't stop feeling guilty until that happened. 'Mercutio's soul is but a little way above our heads staying for thine to keep him company: either thou, or I, or both, must go with him'. Back in the 16th century, when this play was first written, it was very important , and sometimes this is relevant to todays society, for men to show honour for themselves and their families. They showed this back then by fighting and occasionally even dying was seen as the greatest honour. However in Romeo's case, although he is fighting in revenge for his friend, he is casting doom onto his family for killing someone who had nothing to do with him. That is why he gets banished. If he showed his face around Verona after the murder, he would have no respect from anybody, which would rebound onto his new wife, Juliet. I feel sorry for Romeo at this point as he has been totally taken over by hate and revenge that he doesn't think straight. As he says, 'O, I am fortune's fool' although I am not superstitious, I feel he was a fool only by his own feelings, especially as he was torn between his love for Juliet and his guilt for causing Mercutio's death. ...read more.


I find this appearance of the physical aspect of marriage immature as they have more important relationship issues to deal with as they barely know eachother yet this is a 21st century look on the idea and this concept was seen as standard in the 16th century. However this is all forgotten when she reminds us that she is only young by talking of 'an impatient child that hath new robes and may not wear them'. Referring to a child makes us realize that Juliet herself is only 13 and dealing alone with adulthood. The audience to this scene would feel great pity for Juliet and they would feel totally sympathetic towards them, unlike Romeo for which they would be unimpressed by his actions. I can't help but find this scene extremely powerful and I couldn't even begin to imagine myself in her position. As I hope to have proven, these two scenes could not include more differences. Act 3 scene 1 is a fast paced scene of action whereas the following scene is slower and creates intimacy rather than hate and anger, however, they both contain the same amount of effectiveness. The similarity they share is the irony used. Humour and changes of atmosphere and mood are used well in both scenes. Shakespeare was clever in using all the dramatic devices that he did in one play without exaggerating it too much. From murders to marriages and from love to hate, this play is full of all the effectiveness needed. Bethan Siddons ...read more.

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