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Essay - Romeo and Julliet Act 1, Scene 1 and Act 3, Scene 1

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SHAKESPEARE COURSEWORK 'ROMEO AND JULIET' Discuss how Shakespeare builds tension and excitement for his audience in Act 1, Scene 1 and Act 3, Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet'. 'Romeo and Juliet', a play written by William Shakespeare, and placed in Verona, Italy tells us the history of two foes families. 'Two households both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene.' The respective families, Montague's and Capulet's, live in a feud. Ironically, their equal stators son and daughter, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet happen to fall in love, and in such calamitous conditions, take their lives. 'A pair of star-cross'd lovers, take their life: Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows, Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.' Shakespeare drives the play so that it fits perfectly in the tragedy genre. The main events are first revealed in the prologue, but through his language he stimulates his audience in order that after reading it, we feel the need to find out the reason why such incidents take place. 'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes...' 'From ancient grudge break to new mutiny Where civil hands make civil blood unclean:' 'Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio,' (Prince, Act three, Scene One) 'Romeo there dead, was husband to that Juliet, And she there dead, that Romeo's faithful wife:' (Friar Laurence, Act Five, Scene Three) The play deals with themes such as conflict, love, violence, fate and destiny. Those are linked into the play so that dramatic tension and excitement are created for the audience. ...read more.


Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing his new heel doublet before Easter, with another for tying his new shoes with old riband, and yet thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling? (Mercutio, Act Three, Scene One) When suddenly Tybalt and the others enter looking for Romeo. However, they did not want to fight Mercutio and Benvolio, Mercutio was provoking the Capulet boys. Which Tybalt would not accept easily. As soon as Romeo comes, Tybalt starts to ignore the others and go straight away insulting Romeo. 'Romeo, the love I bear thee, can afford No better term than this thou art a villain.' (Tybalt, Act One, Scene One) Calling someone a 'villain' in the Elizabethan times was the rudest insult a person could say. But in this situation Romeo just calmly denied been a villain, and friendly explained that he would not fight Tybalt. 'I do protest I never injur'd thee, But love thee better than thou canst devise: Till thou shalt know the reason of my love, And so good Capulet, which name I tender As dearly as mine own, be satisfied.' (Romeo, Act Three, Scene One) Mercutio then seeing that Romeo did not have the intention to defend himself attacked Tybalt, promising to kill him. 'Good King of Cats, nothing but one of your nine lives, that I mean to make bold withal, and as shall use me hereafter dry-beat the rest of the night. Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? ...read more.


Tension is buit for the audience as we can see the contrast in their language, with Romeo's caring and tender words, and Tybalty abusive words, such as 'villain' and 'boy', which were awfully offensive in the Elizabethan era. Mercutio gets extremely irritated with Romeo because, he is not defending himself; neither letting Mercutio defend no one. In a proleptic irony, where we know why Romeo is not fighting Tybalty but Mercutio does not. Mercutio's anger is expressed by his words after been injured by Tybalty. 'I am hurt. A plague o'both houses, I am sped: Is he gone and hath nothing?' (Mercutio, Act Three, Scene One) After hearing these words, Romeo vastly regrets his cowardice. Now, his character completely changes. His words became more violent and harsh and reflect that of Tybalty was earlier in the scene. The target of Romeo now is to get Mercutio's death's vengeance by killing Tybalty. He claims that 'Either thou, or I, or both must go with him.' When Romeo say 'O I am fortune's fool', it remembers us about the foreshadow of the prologue. Benvolio's speech and Prince's declaration finishes the scene by the punishment of Romeo, by being banished from Verona forever. The audience's expectations now go wandering how still promised facts would take place in such circumstances by now. Overall Shakespeare used the plot to show us a mixture between love, fate and hate; as the love of Romeo for Juliet was so strong that he, not directly, gave up his best friend's life with the intention that he would try not to upset her by fighting her cousin. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ingrid Nicacio ...read more.

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