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Explain how Shakespeare creates tension and suspense through the use of language, dramatic irony and dramatic devices in Act 3

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Explain how Shakespeare creates tension and suspense through the use of language, dramatic irony and dramatic devices in Act 3, scene 1 of Romeo & Juliet By Dave Lawton I will approach this task by looking at the different devices and language Shakespeare uses in Act 3 Scene 1, and explain how these techniques create tension. The Globe Theatre was where most of Shakespeare's plays were performed. This was not however, the perfect environment to stage a performance. There were many problems with the Globe Theatre. The performances usually began at 2PM. They raised a flag show a performance was being staged. The Globe was an eight-sided building, and the centre was open to the elements. People who sat in the centre were called 'groundlings', and if it rained, they would get wet. The people in the centre would have usually been poor, or rough, as it was cheaper to stand there than anywhere else. It was usually very full, and so was uncomfortable, especially when you had to stand there for up to two hours. There were only male actors at the theatre. This was because women were not seen as having important roles in society, not even important enough to be on stage. ...read more.


The tension between the two lovers is romantic, not violent, like most of the tension in the play. This is shown by the sonnet form written as if Romeo and Juliet are talking to each other, which is unusual for a sonnet. "If I profane with my unworthiest hand...Then move not while my prayers effect I take". This is where they share love's first kiss. However, this romantic tension still does not overshadow the underlying hatred that is going on. As prior to the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt is consulting with his uncle about dealing with the gatecrashing Montagues. 'This by his voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier boy". Here, the tension has built up massively as the audience fear yet another brawl may be instigated. Just as Tybalt is about to defend his families honour by challenging Romeo, Lord Capulet steps in to chat with Tybalt. 'Why, how now, kinsman, wherefore you storm so?' They begin to argue about whether they should act upon the Montague's intrusion, but Lord Capulet is adamant not to upset his guests, "He shall be endured...You'll make a mutiny among my guests!" This creates tension within the same family, as Tybalt has now angered his own uncle. ...read more.


The tension is building yet again as the audience want to hear the prince's verdict "And for that offence immediately we do exile him hence" At this point the audience would probably be breath taken, as Romeo has Juliet to consider, but he cannot use this as an excuse as the marriage is a secret. The language in Act 3, Scene 1 is very violent and provocative "Gentlemen, good den, a word with one of you" "And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something and make it a word and a blow" Whereas in Act 1, Scene 5 when Romeo and Juliet first meet the language is very informal, forward and very loving with the use of many metaphors and personification. "My lips, to blushing pilgrims ready stand" "For Saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch". These quotes are when Romeo and Juliet are talking in sonnet form and complimenting each other metaphorically. In this essay I have been able to show that is was very difficult to stage a play in Shakespearian times, but William Shakespeare managed to overcome the problems. I have also shown how tension has been generated in different scenes and how different uses of language can change the tension of a play, and use of dramatic devices can also do this. ...read more.

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