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Explain the importance of Act 3, Scene 1 in 'Romeo and Juliet', with reference to events before and after in the play

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Explain the importance of Act 3, Scene 1 in 'Romeo and Juliet', with reference to events before and after in the play Act 3, Scene 1 in 'Romeo and Juliet' is very important to the play as a whole, and has a big impact on what happens in the remainder of the play. I think this because in my opinion, it is the big turning point in the play. The sudden and fatal violence in Act 3, Scene 1, as well as the angry build up to it, serves as a reminder that for all its emphasis on love, beauty and romance, 'Romeo and Juliet' still takes place in a world in which notions of honour, pride and status are always likely to erupt in a fury of conflict. In Act 3, Scene 1, Tybalt of the Capulets is determined to fight with Mercutio of the Montagues. Romeo turns up and tries to prevent any fighting from taking place as he has just married Juliet and does want any harm to come to either his good friend Mercutio, or his new family member Tybalt. Tybalt is determined to fight with Romeo, but tells Tybalt that he loves 'thee better than thou canst devise.' Unfortunately, Romeo's refusal to fight actually intensifies the violence he was seeking to prevent. Mercutio and Tybalt draw swords and fight, resulting in Tybalt striking a fatal blow to Mercutio. Romeo is incensed by this, and all his previous thoughts are forgotten as he goes after Tybalt, seeking revenge. ...read more.


However, had the events of Act 3, Scene 1 been slightly different, the play could not possibly have ended in this sad and heartbreaking. For example, if Romeo had not reacted to Tybalt in such a mindless way and not killed him, he would clearly not have been banished from Verona, and then Juliet would not have been deeply upset and make rash decisions. So in that one scenario, neither of them would have died, and the play would have probably ended with them happily married, and both families knowing and having to put up with this. The fact the play could have been so different with the change of one detail of one scene, shows how important Act 3, Scene 1 is to the play as a whole, and is without doubt the most significant scene in the play. The audience's feelings also play a vital part in the play, as they will feel so many different feelings at different points in the play. Several of the early scenes in the play have a certain element of comedy and will no doubt have put the audience in good mood and spirits, little do they know what tragedy is just around the corner. Also they would be happy, as it seems Romeo and Juliet are going to get their way and be happily wed. The last thing the audience would expect after their marriage would be such violent events, and events that change the course and whole atmosphere of the play. ...read more.


This eventually led to tragedy that could have been easily avoided by one of Capulet or Juliet changing their actions and decisions. Today everyone is treated as an individual and most people from today look back at Capulet's era and would find it hard to agree with his decision, feeling that everyone is entitled to decide themselves how to run their lives. Society has certainly changed dramatically and hardly anyone finds themselves in a situation like Juliet. Act 3, Scene 1 in my opinion is without doubt the pivotal stage of Romeo and Juliet and contributes to the play being recognised as one of the greatest tragedies ever. I think the reason it's such a classic is that it still can be understood and appreciated by young people today and is still relevant to them, even hundreds of years after it was first written. People of today can most certainly still learn from the play and apply it to their lives. For me personally, it has made me realise that everyone is individual, and should be able to get what they want, regardless of what other people think. Also I think its made me not waste time, because the chance to do something may never come round again, and you will regret missing a chance afterwards. Overall I do feel this is one of the all time classic plays, and will probably still be relevant in another three hundred years, as it can mean so many things to so many people. ...read more.

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