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Discuss how Shakespeare develops the storyline and creates tension and suspense in Act 1.'

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Introduction

'Discuss how Shakespeare develops the storyline and creates tension and suspense in Act 1.' Act 1 introduces many characters, these characters have extremely different personalities, which gives a wide verity of contrasting atmospheres this keeps the audience attention. The range of atmospheres can change from rude humor to poetic language. Act 1 establishes that some of the characters have a philosophical approach to life. Act 1 scene 1 begins with a very dramatic opening and the writer uses his characters Sampson and Gregory to portray a rudely humorous atmosphere for the audience. Shakespeare uses this line to convey Sampson and Gregory as being boastful and superior to the Montague's. Shakespeare in this scene creates an atmosphere of excitement for the audience and this keeps the audience interested. The tone drastically changes when two Montague's enter the scene, which emphasizes the extremes of Act 1. Shakespeare uses a serious tone to emphasize that the grudge between the two families is in all generations as Sampson urges Gregory to quarrel with the Montague's for example 'Quarrel, I will back thee.' Sampson insults Abram, a member of the Montague family, by saying 'I will bite my thumb at them' Abram is extremely offended by this and the insult progresses until they are ready to draw their swords. Benvolio enters and shows a strong side of his character when he acts as the peacemaker when he says ' Part, fools! Put up your swords, you know what you do.' ...read more.

Middle

The mood changes to a light hearted mood when the servant comes and asks Romeo and Benvolio if they could the list for the banquet. Romeo reads the list out loud and realizes Rosalines name is on it. Benvolio encourages the situation, as he wants Romeo to admire other women for example 'With all the admired beauties of Verona'. Romeo is not convinced, as it is a Capulet banquet and his loves for Rosaline will never change for example 'Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun.' Romeo agrees to go for Benvolio but he will not enjoy himself 'But to rejoice in splendor of mine own.' Juliet's relationship with the Nurse is like mother and daughter, because the weaned her and brought her up and Juliet has a lot of respect for her. Shakespeare allows Lady Capulet to describe Paris in a sonnet. Lady Capulet uses emotional blackmail in this to try and persuade Juliet to marry Paris for example 'The fish lives in the sea, and 'tis much pride for fair without the fair within to hide'. The mood is serious as the banquet is about to start and lady Capulet wants a straight answer from Juliet as she desperately wants her to marry. Act 1 scene 4 Romeo and his friends are on their way to the Capulets banquet. Romeo is sad and still unwilling to go to the banquet ' Give me a torch, I am not far this ambling; Being but heavy, I will bear the light.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Lord Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris as he is a respectful young man with good status, this is a problem for Juliet as she is in love with Romeo and doesn't want to marry Paris, but Lord Capulet could force her into it. The possibility of death is made more than likely in Act 1 as Juliet makes her speech on the balcony, this conveys to the audience what could happen in the future. William Shakespeare introduces a variety of characters to create diversity. Nearly all of the main characters are introduced, and they are all different by personalities and reactions. There is an obvious difference between the younger and older generations such as Tybalt and Lord Capulet deciding what to and with Romeo at the banquet. The settings in Act 1 are constantly changing to hold the interest of the audience. They can change from a poor market street to a rich banquet hall. This is so the different classes can see how each others way of life. Shakespeare uses a variety of writing techniques in his language. Blank verses are used to create variety of atmosphere. He uses a prologue. When he wants to emphasize certain lines he uses rhyming couplets to emphasize the point. A sonnet is used between Romeo and Juliet, to explain their love. All these techniques helped to create contrast. The audience would have stayed interested in the play even though they were standing up for two hours and it is because of the variety of techniques and dramatic performance. ...read more.

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