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Examine the dramatic devices employed to create tension during Act three Scene one of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Examine the dramatic devices employed to create tension during Act three Scene one of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a conventional play; and yet an un-conventional play. It is based around tried and tested Shakespearian themes, such as love, tragedy and death. However, it is the only play penned by Shakespeare to begin with a prologue, this itself signifies some importance. The romantic tale begins with a description of how two 'star-crossed' lovers are trapped between two warring families in Italian Verona; "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose mis-adventured piteous overthrows, Do with their death bury their parent's strife." From the prologue, which acts as an informative text rather than an intriguing introduction, you would possibly feel somewhat cheated as we are told the ending. However, more powerful questions are sparked, the most intense being 'why?' To move onto Act three, Scene one, we have just seen the marriage of the two main characters, and we pick up the tale at the point in the play where the audience's ...read more.

Middle

Though costumes were almost non-existent, and there was no such thing as dramatic lighting or music, but the audience's anticipation of a fight would have given energy to the performance. Tybalt's register and tone is quite a contrast to the Tybalt we meet earlier in the play. 'Gentlemen, good den: a word with one of you' is much more civilised than the angry Tybalt of the party scene. Benvolio, the mediator, again attempts to sooth the situation; "Either withdraw unto some private place, And reason coldly of your grievances," Mercutio as good as accuses Benvolio of looking for brawls in the street, but from the evidence above, that is a total reverse. Furthermore, Mercutio actually initiates the fight with Tybalt, even though he pleads his case for innocence to Benvolio only moments before. Romeo enters this tense scene just as the pressure is about to over flow. His deliberate characterisation is yet another dramatic device employed by Shakespeare to create even more tension in an already over excited scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stage direction 'they fight' cannot be fully explored on the page, especially how every rendition of Romeo and Julie, hereafter puts a new spin on the declarative 'they fight'. Shakespeare's use of humour closely links in to his use of puns. Mercutio's 'Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch...' helps to alleviate dramatic tension with comic relief, so too with the famous pun; '...ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man...' After the vivid flash of violence from Romeo he claims he is 'fortune's fool', which makes the audience feel pathos and further identify with Romeo's impossible position. This all helps to calm down the action, so allowing the tension to mount again for a dramatic final climax. Act three, Scene one is vital to Romeo and Juliet. It captures the audience as effectively as the prologue, and stops the viewers from feeling restless during the closing stages of the play. It invigorates the audiences after a relatively bland middle stint, and so gives the audience a thirst for the final resolution, and gives the actors the energy to provide it. 2 ...read more.

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