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Discuss the importance of certain characters in Act 1, Scene 5 of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", explore various other productions and the variations in directions interpretations and presentations.

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Introduction

Discuss the importance of certain characters in Act 1, Scene 5 of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", explore various other productions and the variations in directions interpretations and presentations. "Romeo and Juliet" tells the tragic tale of two star-crossed teenage lovers who secretly fall for each other and marry. Their families, the Montagues and Capulets, have been fierce enemies for decades, and, even as Romeo and Juliet say their wedding vows, new violence breaks out between the families. In the end, their love is doomed. When Romeo mistakenly believes Juliet is dead, he poisons himself. And, when Juliet discovers that he is dead, she too commits suicide. In this essay I am going to discuss William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and how directors have produced the play. Most importantly I will decide how three of the more important characters, not just in the scene but also in the play as a whole, should and do behave in this scene. The three characters I wish to use as my examples are: => The first, Tybalt, destructive cousin to Juliet, no doubt the most brutal character in the play. Tybalt moves the story along swiftly and represents the more violent aspects of the play. => Second, Lord Capulet, host of the party, Uncle to Tybalt, Head of one of the two rival houses, father of Juliet. One of the few adults with in the play. => And last, but definatly not least, Juliet, representing the romance with in the play. ...read more.

Middle

His first two lines prepare the audience for aggression and violence- "Fetch me my rapier, boy". His first thoughts after finding a Montague are to his weapon, not to the security of those around him. Unlike Capulet, Tybalt regards Romeo as a threat and gets incredibly angry by his presence. Shakespeare has used poetry to emphasize his point here and there comes a quatrain, concluding with "To strike him dead I hold not a sin". At this point my actor would be literally spiting with rage and disgust. Tybalt then goes on to have a fierce argument with Capulet, Capulet attempts to calm Tybalt down "Content thee gentle coz, let him alone", but when this fails Capulet gets angry and insults Tybalt by calling him such things as " a saucy boy" and "a princox." Once Capulet is angry Tybalt is forced to calm down and accept, or ignore, Romeo. Before this scene Tybalt has been seen only once. He appears in the very first scene, the fight. There he says, "Talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee" As Tybalt speaks this line I can imagine an actor laughing, mockingly and patronisingly as he says "Talk of peace?" Then in contrast, being serious and severe as he finishes his sentence, emphasising the change from rhetorical question to statement. The last we see of Tybalt is once Capulet has fully left to entertain his guests Tybalt gets angry once again and, under his breath, "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall". ...read more.

Conclusion

The meeting is short but dominates the scene. Its only after meeting that Romeo and Juliet question the nurse about each other and discover that they are from rival families and their courting would never be permitted. This introduces dramatic irony to the play. When Juliet discovers this she is distraught and says "My only love springs from my only hate" Meaning possibly that the only family that she is supposed to hate contains the one person that she has ever loved. Act 1, Scene 5 carries huge significance within the play because it shows the intensity of Romeo and Juliet's first meeting and the incredible love they feel for one another at first sight, in contrast to the violence and hate around them. Tybalt's fierce attempted attack on Romeo suggests the violence of the play's ending and reminds us that the play is a tragedy and that the play is riddled with tragic heroes. A feud that has been going on possibly for generations can only be resolved when many have died, many of the dead were young, with their lives ahead of them, I think his is Shakespeare's way of telling us that life is important and too short to waste. This scene alone contains a vast variety of emotions portrayed in the play:- humour, violence and romance. They are all the important aspects of the play and are what makes the play so universal. At some point, everyone will encounter at least one of these emotions. Shakespeare and each of the directors try only to emphasise these emotions to make the audience wider. Sarah Holtam. English Coursework. Romeo and Juliet - 1 - ...read more.

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