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Compare how Act 1 scene 5 and Act 5 scene 1 are made dramatically interesting and exciting in Romeo and Juliet

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Compare how Act 1 scene 5 and Act 5 scene 1 are made dramatically Interesting and exciting in Romeo and Juliet. I'm going to analyse and comment on how Shakespeare has made these two scenes dramatically interesting and exciting for the audience. In act 1, scene 5, he manipulates a potentially explosive situation between two rivalling families and in act 5, scene 1, he leaves the audience in a state of fearful anticipation. Shakespeare uses a wide range of techniques throughout the play such as: iambic pentameter, imagery, similes, metaphors and oxymorons. The story of Romeo and Juliet is a love affair between two young people from feuding families (lines 3 to 6) 'From ancient grudge...a pair of star cross'd lovers take their life.' The prologue tells us the story in advance and the knowledge of their certain deaths adds pity to our view of events. We can see them struggling to attain happiness and know that they are always doomed to fail. Along the way people try to help them, but in fact this only leads to disaster, and in the end death for both of them is a better choice than to live without each other. It is a play full of coincidences, which the audience could interpret as fate, and by introducing the situation where Romeo and his friends appear at the Capulet party uninvited, the audience anticipate some kind of disaster, especially as it has been established that the two families hate each other. ...read more.


The audience now realise that the evening is not going to go smoothly and the seed of drama and tension has been sown. Tybalt's uncle tries to calm the situation (line 70 to 72), 'Therefore be patient, take no note of him...Show a fair presence, and put off these frowns.' He has heard Romeo to be 'Virtuous and well-govern'd' (line 67) and knows that the Prince has banned the two families from fighting. In the end Tybalt backs off, but his presence is felt throughout the scene, reminding the audience of the potential danger that exists while they watch the romance develop between the young couple. This underlying feeling of apprehension remains and is brought to a climax when Romeo realises she is a Capulet, (line 117), 'O dear account! My life is my foe's debt.' Revealing his feeling of devastation. Romeo and Juliet's first meeting is handled most unusually, in the form of a sonnet (lines 93 to 106). Shakespeare would have had music and dancing going on, and because of the nature of the dances in those days, the couple would not always have been dancing with each other. Bearing this in mind, the exchange of conversation would have been broken up while the partners were dancing with someone else, leaving the audience in suspense and longing for the next exchange of words in the sonnet; involving the audience in this most intimate moment. ...read more.


As Romeo begins to absorb what has happened, Balthazar is frightened for him "I do beseech you sir, have patience.... some misadventure.", (Lines 27-29) because Romeo is looking "pale and wild" and might do something foolish and dangerous. After Balthazar has gone the audience understand what Romeo intends to do when he says "Well, Juliet I will lie with thee tonight...What ho, apothecary" (lines 34-57) as in this long speech he talks of poison and how he will obtain it. It seems very convenient and coincidental that Romeo happened to remember seeing a poor apothecary nearby, who would be only too glad to sell him something illegal in exchange for "gold", so he might have a good meal. The audience must want to shout out to Romeo and tell him that Juliet is only sleeping, but they still hope that the messenger will suddenly rush on stage with Friar Lawrence's letter. They wait, not believing that Shakespeare could allow Romeo to kill himself- the young couple so near to happiness together- but the scene closes with no news from the Friar, only Romeo's determination to end his life next to Juliet in Verona. Some of the audience fear the worst, whereas others pray for some kind of intervention before its too late, but no one can yet be certain of the outcome. Just like a good suspense, as the curtain closes on scene 1, Shakespeare has the audience on the edge of their seats in alarm. ...read more.

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