• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. Romeo + Juliet - The Opening - Act 1 Scene 1.

    Romeo has the costume of a knight, a knight in shining armour perhaps, a saviour, a brave soldier, this also coincides with Juliets costume, as she has chosen the costume of an angel, the route of all goodness, an angel is perfect, maybe this is how Romeo sees her, an angel has no faults.

  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. How do the Prologue and Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet prepare ...

    It would be difficult enough for two lovers from rival groups to function in a romantic relationship in, without the added difficulties of racing against time. Light and darkness usually have very definitive meanings in human psychology. Traditionally, light is considered "good" because it allows us to perceive the world around us and to work within it.

  2. How does the prologue and act one interest the audience and prepare Romeo and ...

    to kill any Montague who crossed his path but now in scene two we see a very different side to him. It is a side, which you would expect from any other loving father, one who cares and is concerned about his daughter.

  1. By a study of both Romeo and Juliet and a selection of his sonnets ...

    Although his teasing is good-natured, the repetition of the cry "O" overtly mimics the cry of a pining courtly lover, and the use of the word "etcetera" suggests the concept of love is nonsense. Moreover, his crude metaphor, "poperin-pear" suggests that he thinks his friend's love is nothing more than lust and the plosive sounds are emphatic in their derision.

  2. romeo and juliet the impact of characters, language, theme, and structure on the audience

    "my only love sprung from my only hate", and quickly marrying Romeo, and Rosaline who is cold, ignores Romeo's affection, and doesn't love him back, leading Romeo to be upset in the beginning of the play. Also the difference between Benvolio and Tybalt represent the desires for peace, and the hatred between the two families.

  1. Discuss how Shakespeare creates dramatic impact in Act 3 Scene 1.

    Act 3 Scene 1 moves the action forward with so many entrances and exits; it is a pivotal one in the middle of the play. This scene is constantly changing from monolog to group conversations. The environment in Act 3 Scene 1 is conveyed through the subtle repetition of words

  2. Discuss the role of the Nurse in 'Romeo and Juliet'. Paying particular attention to ...

    The Nurse proves to be worried about Juliet here. This adds humour to the play and makes the speech sound interesting. It allows the audience to feel like a part of the play because they are getting involved. Paris wants to claim Juliet for his wife, but Juliet doesn't like him.

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