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"Describe what happens in the Capulet party scene (Act 1 Scene 5) that prepares the audience for the tragic events which unfold in the rest of the play."

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Introduction

GCSE English Coursework - Shakespeare "Describe what happens in the Capulet party scene (Act 1 Scene 5) that prepares the audience for the tragic events which unfold in the rest of the play." Act 1 scene 5 of 'Romeo and Juliet' is a pivotal scene in the play. The audience are aware of the hostility between the Montagues, the Capulets and recent brawls 'Three civil brawls, bread on airy word'. This also adds further tension and a sense of doom to the scene. A recent fight in the square started by servants that were encouraged by Tybalt, creates and confirms the situation to be very explosive. Also the prince has issued a death sentence on anyone who breaks the peace 'Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace'. This adds a dangerous and dark atmosphere to the scene. Lord Capulet is called on privately by the prince and is asked to make sure his household restrains from breaking the peace. This volatile atmosphere creates a sense of tension in the audience because this situation will certainly create difficulties for the young lovers as their relationship develops, as they are representatives from warring households. Paris has asked Lord Capulet for his daughters, Juliet's, hand in marriage. Although Juliet is only 13 arranged marriages were common at this age, Paris says 'Younger than she are happy mothers made' Lady Capulet replies 'I was your mother upon these years'. ...read more.

Middle

Lord Capulet is nostalgic, comfortable and very gossipy. Lord Capulet is the caring host, determined to ensure that all his guests are happy. In lines 41 - 52 the mood changes, in this part of the play Romeo falls in love at first sight with the beautiful Juliet expressing his inner feelings directly to her. This is in direct comparison with the earlier cheerful and light-hearted conversation with Lord Capulet. Romeo's soliloquy is dominated by his devotion and admiration for Juliet, 'O she doth teach the torches to burn bright?'. There seems to be a slower pace to this pat of the scene, highlighting Romeo's obsession with Juliet 'So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows as yonder lady o'er her fellow shows' Romeo is in a total world of his own, enraptured by the stunning beauty of Juliet. This creates a romantic but also dangerous mood in the scene as the audience watch with anticipation and ask will they be caught? Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet, Benvolio's plan has worked, Benvolio's plan was to get Romeo to experience other beauties or compare other woman to Rosaline. The masked ball has brought together the couple and the audience will be delighted because of this, the romance has begun. In lines 53 - 91 there is a dramatic change in mood compared to the peaceful mood we saw previously. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo is shattered when he realises that Juliet is a Capulet, from the family that he has been warring with for generations, 'O dear account! My life is my foes debt' Romeo is devastated by this and leaves the ball, the audience is left with anticipation as to what he will do next. Juliet coyly discovers Romeo's identity, 'come hither, nurse. What is that yond gentlemen' and 'what's he that now is going out of the door?' When Juliet finds out that Romeo is a Montague she like Romeo is devastated, 'My only love sprung from my only hate'. Juliet believes that something bad will become of this, 'Prodigious birth of love it is to me, that I must love an enemy'. Throughout act 1 scene 5 the audience is subjected to a gauntlet of emotions such as comedy, aggression, tension and ultimately romance and true love. These differences in emotions are conveyed through the variety and contrast in language. Shakespeare uses commands, and abusive language through to religious and romantic language using rhyming couplets in the sonnet form. This scene truly represents the contrast between love and hate, ending with the realisation that love cannot 'run smoothly' for the lovers. The scene leaves the audience eager to see how the relationship between Romeo and Juliet will unfold and prepares the audience for the tragic events that are likely to happen. Daniel French - 11L English Coursework Shakespeare ...read more.

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