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Explain Why Act 3, Scene 1 is a turning point in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

English GCSE Coursework Explain Why Act 3, Scene 1 is a turning point in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet In this essay, I will be exploring why in William Shakespeare's play: Romeo and Juliet, act 3, scene 1 is the turning point of the play. The play was first written between 1585 and 1589, when important leaders such as Queen Elizabeth ruled. Considering the prologue of the play, Romeo and Juliet were "star cross'd lovers", whose families were enemies from "ancient" times. Following this situation, the lovers end up killing themselves; thus making Romeo and Juliet a memorable and tragic love story. Up until act 3, scene 1, everything had been going smoothly for Romeo and Juliet and as a result the audience is hit hard by the impact of act 3, scene 1 in contrast to previous scenes. For instance by this scene, Romeo has been able to arrange his marriage with Juliet and so marries her in private. This is already a hopeful situation considering the ongoing feud between their two families. Furthermore, there is a cheerful vibe following up to act 3, scene 1 when a party takes place at the Capulet's household; where Romeo first meets Juliet. In fact Tybalt noticed a Montague's presence but despite this no fight or conflict occurs- this gives a hint of relief to the audience. ...read more.

Middle

This also shows that Mercutio looks for trouble and fights unprovoked, thus leading to the fight in act 3, scene 1. Similarly, Tybalt is challenging and shows a lot of pride through the way he chooses to speak and act. This is shown when he says "therefore turn and draw" (line 60). From this I can tell that Tybalt is very proud and commanding. Therefore, Tybalt's pride is responsible to an extent for the fight in act 3, scene 1 as he challenged Romeo (for coming to the Capulet's household) but ended up killing Mercutio. Conversely, Romeo avoids fights even with those who challenge him. Fro example he says to Tybalt, "Tybalt, the reason that I love thee/ Doth much excuse the appertaining rage..." (lines 55 and 56). This shows that despite Tybalt's evident disrespect, Romeo refuses to fight him. However it is this calm and peaceful behaviour that led to Mercutio becoming furious and to challenge Tybalt. Moreover, it is indicated in the play that Romeo is partly to blame for Mercutio's death when Mercutio says "Why the dev'l came you between us?"(line 93). From this I can infer that Mercutio was upset by Romeo's interference to stop the fight, as it led to his death. It is also shown that Romeo is partly to blame for the fight happening when Mercutio says "A plague a' both houses" (line 84) ...read more.

Conclusion

This also suggests that the two families will be in even more disagreement with each other. Whereas at the start of Romeo and Juliet's relationship, there was a hint of hope for resolving the issue between the two families. In even more effect to Romeo and Juliet's relationship, Lord Capulet decides to move Juliet's marriage with Count Paris forward- after Tybalt's death. Because of this Juliet is in trouble of loosing Romeo and so falls in a miserable and upset mood; as opposed to her previous state in which she was happy and cheerful. Also, Juliet has to decide between her family and Romeo as a result of the fight in act 3, scene 1. This causes further problems for her, especially since she is young and mostly inexperienced. To conclude, act 3, scene 1 changes everything because up until then, the relationship of Romeo and Juliet had developed steadily; meanwhile celebrations and cheerful events had taken place. However in act 3, scene 1, the tragic deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt take place -in which Romeo is banished from Verona and hope fades for his relationship with Juliet. What's more the Capulet and Montague family relationship is further damaged by this. This is typical of the structure of Shakespeare's tragedies. That is because he had always created a situation onto which a complication is added to excite the audience. After the complication, the rest of the play is how things are unravelled or come down to. ...read more.

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