• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore how Shakespeare creates dramatic impact in the Prologue and Act 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet'.

Extracts from this document...


Explore how Shakespeare creates dramatic impact in the Prologue and Act 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Shakespeare creates a lot of dramatic impact in the play 'Romeo and Juliet'. Shakespeare does this by using key themes, breaking the taboos of his time and setting up the audience's expectations for the rest of the play. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a romantic tragedy. The play is about two lovers from two opposing families who mend the quarrel between their families by tragically dying. Shakespeare's use of the two opposing families (The Capulets and The Montagues) introduces the key theme of social class; in Shakespearean times it meant a lot to come from a high class and have a lot of money. Other key themes introduced in act one are sex and virginity, love, age, comedy, fairytale themes, fate and the audience's expectation. Shakespeare uses contrasts throughout Act one to create different moods in the scenes and to show the difference between the characters. In scene one there is a contrasts between the characters of Romeo and Benvolio. Romeo's character is adolescent and thinks he "should forget to think" because he is so in love with Rosaline. However in contrast Benvolio is very down to earth and tries to give Romeo advice such as to "examine other beauties". This scene shows the types of contrasts that Shakespeare uses, as the audience sees the difference in Benvolio's character and Romeo's character. Act one is important because it is the beginning of the play; it introduces the characters and their personalities through the events that happen in the first act. ...read more.


Shakespeare uses oxymoron's such as "heavy lightness" or "feather of lead" to illustrate Romeo's confusion. Shakespeare often uses sudden changes of moods to excite the audience and make an impact on the scene. The scene where Benvolio is comforting Romeo is a big contrast to the opening scene. In the opening scene the servants talk about physical sex without mentioning love, as though it has no meaning. However Romeo talks about love as if it where something more special. This contrast can be seen in the difference between the characters quotes. The servants use words such as "push" and "thrust" but Romeo uses phrases such as "kiss fair ladies". Romeo's use of the word "fair" shows that he sees women as people whereas the servants' use of the words "push" and "thrust" shows they see women as objects. This contrast in the two scenes is dramatic and interesting to the audience. Another difference between the scenes is how Benvolio reacts to Romeo. Benvolio always answers to Romeo. He asks him questions in a caring way to try and find out why Romeo is upset and to try and comfort him. Romeo affects the audience in such a way so that the audience thinks of nothing else but love when he enters the stage. Romeo's metaphors of compassion and romance and of "still-waking sleep" and of "a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes" interact with the audiences' emotions. In doing this the audience can experience how he feels. It is important that the audience hear about Rosaline because it allows the audience to see Romeo's love mature as he falls for Juliet. ...read more.


However the end of the scene is yet more dramatic when Romeo finds out that Juliet is "a Capulet" and Juliet finds out that "his name is Romeo, and a Montague". Shakespeare has made the opening of Romeo and Juliet dramatically effective in many ways. Firstly he surprises the audience by telling the audience what is going to happen in the play. This is unusual and creates an expectation for the audience. Secondly he uses sonnets to express true, devoted love finishing a dramatic scene with rhyming couplets. He does this in the prologue using the words "attend" and "mend". Shakespeare uses contrasts throughout "Romeo and Juliet" to create dramatic impact with contrasts in mood, events, characters and language. The first act is important because it grabs the audience's attention with the violent opening. It also introduces the characters to the audience and sets the relationships between the characters for the remainder of the play. "Romeo and Juliet" is still relevant to audiences today as the current issues raised in the play are still around today such as the Muslims fighting in Iraq. It is also a timeless love story that is often repeated with slight variations in films and books. This means that the story of "Romeo and Juliet" is still popular with many people. In my opinion Shakespeare has used clever ideas, language and atmosphere in this play to make it dramatically effective and to create an impact. The opening Act is creative and keeps the audience guessing what is going to happen next it is also comic, with Shakespeare's play on words as the audience sees in scene five with the pun on the word "move". In conclusion "Romeo and Juliet" is a romantic and moving play which I have enjoyed reading and analysing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Discuss the different types of love shown in romeo and juliet.

    That she had actually brought up Juliet as her daughter and that it was almost as if she had even given birth to Juliet. This proves how affectionate the Nurse really is to Juliet. The Nurse is very emotionally attached, like a mother, to everything Juliet does.

  2. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare creates dramatic tension and interest in Act 1

    It is in this scene, where many of the important characters are introduced, long before they play a major role in the story. This form of introducing characters creates interest later in the play, when they play a more significant role in the story. Benvolio is one of these characters.

  1. Explore the role and character of Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Consider in ...

    - help balance the opinions that much of the audience may already have against the Capulet family because of the natures of Benvolio and Tybalt He says that it is not hard "For men so old as we to keep the peace."

  2. How does Shakespeare create a dramatic impact in the prologue and Act 1 of ...

    The prologue is written in a sonnet, which is a fourteen line (each with 10 syllables) rhyming poem. It is set out in a highly ordered way, which implies importance and value. An Elizabethan audience would have recognised this as a technique to show an important scene or speech.

  1. Explain How Shakespeare Creates Dramatic Tension in III.v

    Changes the speed of the scene drastically. This unexpected entrance of the Nurse causes a greater quantity of angst, as Romeo and Juliet have to promptly say their goodbyes, not knowing when they shall next convene again, trepidation is wrought as they hurry not to be caught, initiating both dramatic

  2. What methods does Shakespeare employ to engage interest of theaudience in the Prologue and ...

    We are provided, in poetic language, information about where the play takes place, and given some background information about its principal characters. The Prologue does not merely set the scene of 'Romeo and Juliet'; it tells the audience exactly what is going to happen in the play: From forth the

  1. Examine how Shakespeare uses language in the Prologue, Act One Scene One and Act ...

    as "rapier" and justifies his intended murder by the "honour of my kin." Tybalt does not see killing Romeo as sin as he states: "To strike him dead, I hold it not a sin." Once again the enmity and antagonism is portrayed through the arrogance of Tybalt.

  2. The character of the nurse changes throughout the play. Explore these changes in her ...

    The nurse doesn't think before she says or does things and just says what ever comes into her mind. The nurse has already said something like this before so this shows that the nurse likes to hear her own voice and likes to say the stories that she likes over and over again.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work