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Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act 3 Scene 1, considering its significance in terms of Plot, Character, Theme and Dramatic Power.

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Introduction

Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act 3 Scene 1, considering its significance in terms of Plot, Character, Theme and Dramatic Power I am going to write this essay about Act 3 Scene 1, in this scene a lot happens and I am going to go into detail about all the factors. I am going to focus on, plot, character, theme and dramatic power. The plot of this scene is very important; this is because if this scene did not happen the rest of the play would not have taken place. The things that happen, e.g. the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt are vital because they lead to the next scenes. In Act 3 Scene 1 what happens is that on the street of Verona, Benvolio tries to persuade Mercutio that its best to stay out of the way of Capulet's and a quarrel, but Mercutio joking claims that Benvolio is as much of a quarreller as anyone else. We know this because of what Mercutio says, 'by the operation of the second cup draws it on the drawer, when indeed there is no need'. This shows that Benvolio is willing to quarrel with people even over nothing serious. After this we see Tybalt looking for Romeo inquest for a fight, but then all of a sudden Tybalt is challenged to a fight by Mercutio, but then Romeo appears and Tybalt then challenges Romeo to a fight, Romeo says no, but then Mercutio steps forward to fight Tybalt. Tybalt and Mercutio fight and Romeo tries to stop the fight, Tybalt gives Mercutio a fatal wound, and Mercutio dies, then Tybalt runs away. Romeo is ashamed of himself for letting Mercutio do the fighting, but still thinks its partly Mercutio's own fault. Although ashamed of himself, he is also very angry with Tybalt. When Tybalt returns, Romeo and Tybalt fight which leads to the death of Tybalt. ...read more.

Middle

Another key-line in the scene: "And if we meet we shall not escape a brawl," from Benvolio, showing his worries that a fight will emerge, that he does not want, accidentally leading the audience to recall the Prince's announcement - although this is Shakespeare's intention. The two friends arguing set a light hearted atmosphere that is soon to change with Tybalt's entrance. The arrival of Tybalt brings a lot of tension to the scene. Benvolio acts somewhat surprised, and evidently cautiously. Mercutio on the other hand is arrogant, and taunts Tybalt. It is apparent that Mercutio is acting very condescendingly toward Tybalt and is looking for a fight: "Make it a word and a blow." Tybalt also seems confident, but does not want to fight Mercutio, rather, he wants Romeo: "Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo." When Romeo enters his reaction confirms he doesn't want a fight: "Well, peace be with you, sir, here comes my man," Tybalt referring to Romeo, verifying the fact that it is Romeo that Tybalt wants to fight. Tybalt is very cold towards Romeo, and wants to talk to him about the Capulet ball. Tybalt insults Romeo and calls him a villain. Romeo responds very calmly, saying that he has to love Tybalt, as Juliet is Tybalt's cousin, and tries to avoid conflict: "Therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not." At this point Tybalt does not know about the marriage, between Romeo and Juliet, and so cannot understand Romeo's reluctance to fight. This is dramatic irony, as the audience has seen the marriage, and can see Tybalt's confusion, as they know something that Tybalt does not. Tybalt insults Romeo again: "Boy," and uses the party as an excuse to fight: "Turn and draw." Romeo's dilemma causes him a great deal of discomfort during this scene. He does not want to fight Tybalt, Romeo's dialogue shows this: "And so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied." ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a pun, as 'grave' has two meanings, one being a grave where you are buried and grave can also mean serious. I think Shakespeare uses puns here to make light of the situation and to keep the audience interested as if it became too serious and depressing too early in the play, the audience may be upset or distracted and may not want to carry on with the play. When Mercutio dies it may affect the audience because Tybalt, the trouble maker has got revenge by killing Romeo's best friend. As Tybalt is the 'baddie', the audience probably would not like this. Romeo is very upset at this point and extremely angry, so angry that he wants to kill Tybalt. His language at this point is very vengeful and full of hatred upon Tybalt, although at this point they are cousins. The scene reaches a high point when Romeo kills Tybalt. It is obvious what Romeo thinks 'O, I am but fortunes fool' because he realises how in careful he had been, he now knows he will be in serious trouble and he is probably worried about what Juliet will say now that Romeo has killed her cousin, this leads to confusion. In this scene people have different opinions on what has happend. For example Benvolio says on lines 143-166 pages 99-100 "Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did slay..." etc and Lady Capulet has a different point of view. These conflicting emotions create an uneasy atmosphere. The involvement of the Prince changes this atmosphere by making it more uncomfortable to read, as the audience knows Romeo might not be able to see Juliet anymore. When the Prince decides to banish Romeo, the audience may get sad as well as the characters in the play. I think overall the things that help to make this scene great to read are, the amounts of dramatic irony, tension and emotion. ...read more.

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