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Discuss the impact of Act 5 scene 3 on an audience

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Discuss the Impact of Act 5, Scene 3 on an Audience "Romeo and Juliet" is a tale of how the lives of two lovers are brought to a tragic end due to their families' feud. The futility of such a feud is shown by the fact that it takes the deaths of Romeo and Juliet to finally make the parents realise the grave consequences of their actions. Act 5, Scene 3 is the dramatic conclusion of the play, in which events that the audience have both expected and feared finally occur. In the prologue Shakespeare calls Romeo and Juliet "star-crossed", giving the impression that they cannot control their fate, as their destiny is written in the stars. This would have more of an emotional impact on an Elizabethan audience, as it was a prominent aspect of their culture to have faith in horoscopes, and their ability to predetermine a person's life. A modern audience might find this description very romantic. This premonition increases the emotional effect of Act 5, Scene 3, as the audience become attached to the lovers, and therefore the tragic events at the end of the play become more distressing. ...read more.


Shakespeare uses this language as an example of "courtly love", and how scripted it seems in comparison to "real love". This makes the audience feel more sympathy for Romeo, and would make an Elizabethan audience question the merits of "courtly love". When Romeo appears, also grieving, there is a stark contrast between his language and Paris', "A grave? Oh no, a lantern, slaughtered youth". Romeo's grief is very genuine, and he speaks in incomplete sentences, which are not poetic at all. He likens Juliet to a lantern, as she lit up his life, and even in death she lights up the tomb. The audience are able to empathise more with Romeo, as his pain is obvious and genuine. Whilst in Juliet's tomb, Romeo says of her face "Death's pale flag is not yet advanced there", meaning that she isn't lifeless. His language indicates that he knows the truth, but it is just his own self-delusion. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to tantalising effect. ...read more.


Suspense is built up as the audience wait for her to discover Romeo's death. Juliet's excitement and happiness heightens her devastation when the truth is revealed. After the soul destroying revelation that Romeo is dead, Juliet describes the poison on his lips as a "restorative". She sees death as a preferable option and a cure to her unhappiness. The audience feel helpless at how futile both her and Romeo's deaths have been, and angry at the feud and their parents for causing so many avoidable deaths. Overall, Act 5, Scene 3 affects the audience on many different levels, both intellectually and emotionally. It teaches the power of real love, and how it can overcome even the most entrenched prejudice. It also shows how pointless and ultimately devastating such feuds can be. They are made to feel powerless, having seen such a shattering example of fate. The audience are also frustrated by the way in which events unfold so clearly before them, yet the characters carry on obliviously. They are forced to contemplate their own lives, and whether they are governed by fate. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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