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Examine how Shakespeare uses key features of language to create tension, drama and atmosphere in Act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Examine how Shakespeare uses key features of language to create tension, drama and atmosphere in Act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a play set in a city called Verona in Italy, about two "star crossed lovers", who fall in love at first sight, Unfortunately Romeo, is a member of the Montague family who are sworn enemies of the Capulet household, to which Juliet belongs. The path of true love is not going to be as straight as the two teenage lovers would wish for. It is a play with many twists and turns, not knowing what will be lurking around the next corner. Ignoring the fact that they should be enemies, they try to further their love for one another, embarking on a torturous path, Juliet had the heart rending decision of which road to take; the one laid out for her by her father, which appears to be straight forward, but not what she truly desires, to marry Paris who is eminently suitable. Alternatively, Juliet could take the path with Romeo, and disobey her parents, travelling a dangerous and twisted journey. The scene that I will be focusing on is Act 1 Scene 5, when the two destined lovers first lay eyes upon each other. They meet at a Capulet masked ball, where Romeo and his associates have turned up to, much to the fury of Juliet's cousin Tybalt, "Prince of Cats". Tybalt is well known in the city to find enjoyment in brawls. So, this spells out a torrid time to come for Romeo. However this is not the main aspect of this scene. This scene is very important for later events in the play because, here you really get the idea how much these two people want each other, and what they are willing to do get it. ...read more.

Middle

At the end of the scene Tybalt's parting words tell the audience how he will get his revenge ; "Now seeming sweet will soon turn to bitterest gall." which is one of my favourite lines in the play. It leaves the audience in deep expectation, more so because there is a prologue, they know he will die before the end of the play. Just not how he dies. When Romeo and Juliet first meet and instantly want to spend the rest of their days together, the audience already know what the outcome at the end of the play will be. The audience know that eventually they will both die, so as well as there being a light, airy, romantic atmosphere, there is a deep curiosity within the audience "How will these two die" "When will these two die" "Who" "What" "Where" all of these questions, with no answers as yet, keeping them engaged with what's unfolding before their eyes. Some people criticized Shakespeare for giving away the ending in the starting Prologue, but I think it adds to the effect, and what makes Shakespeare such a good play writer. The aspect which makes it so good is the dramatic irony. The audience know what will happen further on in the play so when Juliet says to nurse, "If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding-bed." this creates dramatic irony, because the audience know that it will be the death of her, this has an effect on the audience because, it reminds them that they will not survive, leaving them constantly referring back to earlier parts of the play, which in the long will help it stick in there head (after all it is a tragedy). ...read more.

Conclusion

rich enough, or he has no noble heritage, so in some ways it is almost easier and better for the women to marry who they are told to, despite it not being what they really want. I would react by simply saying no. Of course today it would be seen as unacceptable to force two people into marriage, but at that time there were two choices; marry who was arranged for you or be disowned by all of your own family. In conclusion, Shakespeare uses many techniques with language to create tension or an atmosphere, for instance: he uses a Prologue to give the audience an idea of what is to come leaving them in continual suspense and anticipation; metaphors which can set a romantic scene e.g. Romeo's speech includes lots of metaphors and creates an atmosphere within the audience; writing in sonnets which makes the performance roll and flow with a certain grace; dramatic irony, this is one of the most powerful aspects of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it leaves the audience waiting for the moment in which they die. My personal view on the scene, is that it is one with twists and turns, leaving you guessing, keeping you on the edge of your seat thinking "what's he going to do?" "how will he react?". Which is a masterpiece creation from Shakespeare. The rise and fall of tension throughout the scene, is the best uses of the key features of language, because it leaves the best impression on the audience, which is one minute happy and romantic e.g. the meeting of Romeo and Juliet, to Tybalt promising to kill Romeo, which creates a great atmosphere, because the audience knows from earlier in the play what Tybalt is really capable of. English coursework Jack Basford Mrs Smeeth 2984 words ...read more.

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