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Discuss Shakespeare's use of violence and conflict in "Romeo and Juliet" focusing on Act 3 scene 1.

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Introduction

Discuss Shakespeare's use of violence and conflict in "Romeo and Juliet" focusing on Act 3 scene 1. For this essay I will be analyzing in depth Act 3 scene 1, examining Shakespeare's use of language and character. This essay will explore the tragic play of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet focuses on how "two households, both alike in dignity" where "a pair of star crossed lovers" pursue their love for each other despite the fact that their families have been at odds with each other for decades. Despite being a play about love and romance, the play also has scenes of violence and conflict. In Act 1 scene 1 we are introduced to a series of characters these being Tybalt Capulet, Sampson and Gregory who are servants of the Capulet's, Benvolio Montague, and the Montague's servants Abram and Balthasar. When we are presented with the two families, already without speaking, we are shown tension and an extremely bad atmosphere between the two families. This shows conflict and hatred before the play has even properly begun. The Montague and Capulet family demonstrate hatred and violence as soon as they are introduced to the audience. The families seem to be in competition with each other. When the characters first approach each other the Capulet's begin to quarrel with the Montague's before we even begin to understand the characters. The first scene is very prompt in the way that it is put across to the audience. As soon as the characters begin to speak we can already feel and understand the hatred between the characters and the families. In this essay I will discuss how Shakespeare creates atmosphere, conflict, dramatic effect, violence and suspense between the characters focusing on Act 3 scene 1. William Shakespeare was roughly around the age of 26 when he wrote this phenomenal yet tragic play. He wrote this play during the period when Shakespeare had found his strength in writing. ...read more.

Middle

They are willing to disown their families and their names to be with each other. Compared to Act 3 the atmosphere, language, and character is completely different to the previous scene as Act 3 is full of feud, tension, aggression, and atmosphere we can see this when Benvolio mentions to Mercutio "the Capulet's are abroad and we meet we shall not escape a brawl" he is trying to warn the audience as well as Mercutio that if they were to stay and bump into the Capulet's then a brawl is most likely to happen. So from just a few moments the tension and atmosphere is completely different to Act 2. In Act 2 there is love and romance, and then all of the audience is faced with anger, and tension. Shakespeare has put the two acts in a way that we keep on remembering and seeing the hate and love between the two families. The audience begins to get hooked on Romeo and Juliet's love that us the audience forget about the hatred between the characters. Shakespeare has put the play into perspective so that we can see the violence and love between the characters very rapidly. From looking at Act 3 you begin to see how the play fits itself together. The play is very much like a jigsaw each scene puts itself into place for example in Act 1 we see how the families are towards each other, in Act 2 we see how love develops and in Act 3 we are reminded of the hate between the characters. In Act 1 Benvolio and Tybalt are warned by Prince Escalus because they caused an unnecessary brawl in the streets of Verona and that this is the third time this has happened to happen. Their consequence is that if this was to ever happen to again their lives will pay the consequences. The brawl that Tybalt and Benvolio had has not been forgotten the grudge is still there between them this adds to even more fury when the Capulets and Montague's meet again in Act 3. ...read more.

Conclusion

Act 1 Scene 1, Act 3 Scene 1, and Act 5 Scene 5, have got to be the most dramatic violent scenes. I think this because in Act 1, all we are shown is pure aggression and hatred when we are first introduced to the characters. Act 3 Mercutio and Tybalt both die, very dramatically and disturbingly. Act 5 when Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves I wouldn't really call it violent, more dramatic but it does show a violent effect to it as well. For example when Juliet stabs herself and commits suicide. For me love was the most memorable throughout the play. The main Act that sticks in my mind has got to be Act 5. It was so powerful, heartbreaking and daunting that it just stuck in my mind. The thing that stuck in my head the most was that Romeo and Juliet's love was so strong, and all they wanted to do was have their love accepted, and for their families to be happy for them, but their families weren't like this at all. Even though the families didn't know about the marriage of Romeo and Juliet you could see why Romeo and Juliet were so deceitful to their families by the way they communicated with each other. Towards the end they had both had enough of all the hatred between the families and of all the hassle that had been caused, that in the end they both ended up committing suicide. So this for me was the most memorable scene. Personally think that Act 3 Scene 1 was the most violent scene in the play; I wouldn't refer to it as the most powerful, but definitely the most violent. I think this because two important characters were killed both so unexpectedly and rapidly that he surprised me immensely. My favorite scene as I've already said is Act 5, everything about it I loved the way the characters were towards each other the words that they said to each other, everything about that scene I loved, it was just so sad to see both of them die. ...read more.

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