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Explain how Shakespeare gains and holds the audiences attention and interest up to act one Scene one of Romeo and Juliet

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Explain how Shakespeare gains and holds the audiences attention and interest up to act one Scene one of Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is widely considered, by critics and the public alike as one of the best romantic tragedies to date. Written by arguably the most famous poet in British History, William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet is a story of two star-crossed lovers. Date of it's publication is much argued about, but it is agreed among most that it was between the dates of 1594 and 1596. Shakespeare was born on the 26th of April 1564 and died on the 23rd of April 1616. Shakespeare didn't entirely invent the concept of Romeo and Juliet, it was influenced heavily by a poem written by Arthur Brooks and the poem Romeus and Juliet, but many details are altered from this and some Characters entirely made up. Shakespeare's plays total thirty seven, of these are Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello and The Tempest, he wrote anything from love stories (Antony and Cleopatra) to comedies (twelfth night) and has proved himself to be very versatile. He has also written over a hundred and fifty sonnets. The play begins with a chorus which describes what is going to happen within the play. This fantastic piece of poetry is known as a sonnet. ...read more.


This gesture is considered to be an obscene gesture, and it provokes the Montague men to come over to the Caplets. They enquire at the source of this obscene gesture, and Sampson after askinf Gregory, "Is the law on my side if I say Aye?" and him replying negatively. Sampson replies: "I do not bite my thumb at you sir, but I bite my thumb sir." This could is obvious to both parties that it is a lie. Benvolio then enters. He is a peaceful Montague character, and does not like to see the people fighting on the street, so he tries hard to separate them but to no avail. Another character then enters, Tybalt. He is also a central character but he is a Capulet. Tybalt is sickened by Benvolio when he asks him for help to part the servants, Tybalt replies and that he is; "Drawn and talks of peace." This means that Benvolio was brandishing a sword, and talking to the servants of peace to try and stop them from killing each other. Tybalt obviously doesn't agree with this tactic, and would rather fight it out. Shakespeare has used imagery here to demonstrate Tybalt's fiery nature: "Look upon thy death," portrays Tybalt as evil, like Death is. ...read more.


The audience will probably think that the Prince is a soft character, and a too nice to threaten anything truly severe. It would probably shock the audience when the speech to find out that the Prince is actually very angry at Capulet and Montague: "Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace." This means that if they choose to disturb the peace of his streets again in such a manner then they will pay for it with their lives. The audience would also be shocked that the Prince would go to such extremes to keep the peace. They may also feel sympathetic towards Benvolio as the man was only defending himself against the fiery, hot-tempered and blood-thirsty Benvolio. They will also be wondering what will happen to the characters if they break the law. Shakespeare managed to gain the audiences attention in the first part of this scene, using a big fight. These are usually reserved for the end or middle of the plays, rather than the first. The action will catch the audiences attention much more than any words, and he has immediately got the audience emotionally involved with the characters, and they may empathise and sympathise with certain people within the play. He has also portrayed the rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues well, without having to explain it in words which may have bored the audience. It demonstrates how deeply their hatred runs. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aymie Thompson Wadebridge School 10GA ...read more.

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