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Discuss the dramatic impact of Act 3 Scene 5 in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'.

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Introduction

English Coursework Discuss the dramatic impact of Act 3 Scene 5. Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', and in particular Act 3 scene 5 is full of dramatic tension, fuelled by various themes. Among the most prominent of these themes are those of secrecy, conflicting public an private worlds, dramatic irony, and the major contrasts in the beginning of the scene when compared to the end of the scene. Many of the stark contrasts that fill the play are clearly seen in Act 3 scene 5, and these include some of the major issues of the day (late 16th century Britain) such as those of life and death, and loyalty and honour. As well as these contrasts there are also contrasting references to light and dark, such as the darkness of the night hide the lovers and the use of whiteness or paleness which was often used for images of beauty and love, and also the constant reminders of the contrasts between the character's attitudes throughout the scene. In this scene, Shakespeare uses oxymoron, contradictions contained in the images themselves to great effect, and this coupled with his mastery of imagery makes this a powerful and dramatic scene. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Capulet's answer to her husband's question at the end of his part on line 139 is to say, "I would the fool were married to her grave." This is another example of unknowingly making predictions on the part of a character leading to dramatic irony. The dramatic change in mood occurring between lines 141 and 196 show the full force of Capulet's rage unleashed on the defiant Juliet, resulting in her position becoming further isolated. These lines signify a turning point in the scene because of the large shift in how Juliet is feeling compared with the beginning of the scene. This deepening state of despair that Juliet is falling into outlines how desperate she is becoming and this will start a chain of reactions which will eventually kill both her and Romeo. This tension provokes sympathy from the audience who can empathise with her. Her father however cannot empathise because he does not have all the information. This inability to comprehend his daughter's position is expressed by Capulet when he says, "How, how, how, how." This repetition drives home the point of Capulet's inability to understand his daughter's position. Shakespeare uses the image of Juliet for her father's pity to show the patriarchal he has being her father as opposed to her mother, who does not exercise this type of control to such an extent. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this pivotal scene is important to the entire play because it explores the theme of passion and the dangers of irrational, and intense emotions and actions of the two lovers and the consequences that they eventually bring to them are prophesied many times in this scene creating a dramatic irony. Capulet's loss of control in the scene is a reminder of the ignorance and hypocrisy that power and wealth brings to men. It casts Juliet in the light of a person who is a victim to outside influences and namely her father, who cannot comprehend her position because they do not know what she know. The one person in the play who does know most of what is going on is the nurse and her betrayal is the most devastating for Juliet. The audience knows the full story and also what will happen to them at the end of the play, so they can empathise with her and also see the dramatic irony in the prophesies and predictions that surround the scene building the tension of the final impact when Juliet resolves to take her own life if the Friar cannot present a resolution to her problems and this builds the tension for the next scene and also the end. Mark M. Addison Page 1 2 ...read more.

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