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Examine the presentation of the main characters in Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet and consider the importance of this scene as a turning point of the play

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Introduction

Kate Grimoldby 11G Mrs Frost - English Coursework Examine the presentation of the main characters in Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet and consider the importance of this scene as a turning point of the play Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story written by William Shakespeare and set in Verona, Italy in the 12th/13th century. It is based on the tale of the "Star Cross'd Lovers", an Italian myth. Shakespeare also used Arthur Brookes poem, "Romeus and Juliet" as inspiration for his play. Romeo and Juliet is the tale of 2 lovers kept apart by fate and circumstance, and their private love is set against a very public backdrop. I am going to analyse a scene in the middle of the play, which focuses on the fight between the Capulet's (Juliet's family) and the Montague's (Romeo's family). Juliet is a young woman from a wealthy family, she falls in love with her families arch enemies son, Romeo. The couple marry within days of meeting each other, unaware that their parents have plans for them to get married to other people. In the end the couple realise that they cant live without each other and when Romeo finds Juliet unconscious he presumes she's dead and kills himself to be with her. When Juliet wakes up to find Romeo dead she also kills herself in the hope they can live together in heaven. ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio is noticeably different to many of the other characters as he is black and takes drugs, also some audiences perceive him as being homosexual. In the Zefferelli version of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio is a comic character, at the beginning of the scene he is shown mocking Juliet's nurse and when Tybalt arrives he makes fun of everything he says. He wears Livery similar to the Montague's but not the same, this again shows he is an outsider to the other characters as even though he is closer to the Montague's he still is acknowledged by the Capulet's. When Mercutio is injured, he denies the seriousness of his injury by saying "Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch" but later confirms the significance of the wound by saying "ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man". He then realises he will not live and shows his anger at the two houses by saying "A plague o' both your houses!" Tybalt Capulet is Juliet's cousin and the Montague families arch enemy. He is never one to walk away from a fight even against his family's wishes. Unlike Mercutio he is a serious character and acts more maturely than some of the Montague characters. Baz Luhrmann portrays him as a smart, smooth character who knows that he can outclass his rivals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mercutio tells Tybalt that Romeo will never wear Capulet colours even though he is married to Juliet. This scene in both versions of the play is a major turning point in the story. It is an action-packed scene and results in Tybalt and Mercutio being killed and Romeo being banished from Verona. This scene has a major impact on the play because it is the last fight between the 2 families and the police put an end to their feud. Baz Luhrmann sets this scene on a hot day at Venice Beach, there is an old stage in the centre of the beach that sets the stage for the fight. As the fight begins the weather begins to change and dark clouds cover the sky. More emotion is included in this version and music is played over the fight to dramatise the action. As the Capulet's arrive the beach quickly empties and all the shops and windows close as the public protect themselves. Baz Luhrman's modern version of Romeo and Juliet is definitely my favourite as I think it is well directed and the film shows much more depth and emotion to the story than Zefferelli's version. Unlike the scene in the new version, the older one drags on a bit and the fight is more stylised than realistic. Baz Luhrmann makes the Shakespearian language easier to understand so the quality of the film can be appreciated much more than Zeferelli's. ...read more.

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