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

Explore Shakespeares Presentation of Act 3 Scene 1 as a Turning Point in the Play

Extracts from this document...


Explore Shakespeare's Presentation of Act 3 Scene 1 as a Turning Point in the Play Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare in around 1594-1596. However, the original story goes as far back as around 200AD, before becoming popular in Italian literature in the 15th Century. Shakespeare based Romeo and Juliet on a poem by Arthur Brooke entitled "The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet". Shakespeare was very talented at updating and modernizing old tales. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, but it is interwoven with many other genres including romance, violence and comedy. He included the violence and comedy to keep the fickle Elizabethan audiences who indulged in bloodthirsty entertainment like bear baiting and cockfighting. Throughout the play, tension has been built up and by Act 3 Scene 1 the audience already knows many of the characters temperaments that there will be a tragedy. The first example of tension in the play is in the prologue. It tells of "star cross'd lovers", which hints at the involvement of fate. It also serves to develop the theme of conflict, using emotive words like "grudge, mutiny, strife, rage and fatal". It tells the audience that the two main characters will die, "who do with their death bury their parent's strife", and there is a pun on the word bury as the lovers are buried and the grudge is ended. ...read more.


Throughout the play Mercutio has been the joker of the play and he is often using puns and being outrageous. It is clear from the start of the scene that Mercutio is not in a good state of mind. He usually speaks in blank verse (using iambic pentameter) like a high status character, but at the beginning of Act 3 Scene 1 he is speaking in prose. Shakespeare has done this to show that Mercutio is in a foul mood and slightly crazed. After Benvolio suggests leaving, Mercutio becomes angry at him and starts ranting about how Benvolio is quarrelsome, using the pun "Thou wilst quarrel...for cracking nuts...because thou hast hazel eyes" Hazel is an eye color and variety of nut, so it creates the impression of eyes being cracked. When Tybalt arrives, Shakespeare presents him as being very respectful towards Mercutio and Benvolio; he speaks to Mercutio very politely, calling him a gentleman. Mercutio instigated the violence by saying "make it a word and a blow" he means blow as in a punch or a strike from a sword. But when Tybalt retaliates by saying "thou consortest with Romeo" Mercutio gets extremely angry because to be called a minstrel implied that one was a low status person like a musician, begging for money, and it also seems to suggest that Mercutio had a homosexual relationship with Romeo. ...read more.


marriage to Paris and the Friar having to create his flawed plan to get Juliet to Mantua, resulting in Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Act 3 Scene 1 is turning point for the play because Mercutio and Tybalt are dead; therefore there is no more humour in the play as it had all been provided by Mercutio. Romeo changes from a seemingly weak petrarchian lover to an angry murderer, (Interestingly, modern interpretations of the play leave out Romeo's murder of Paris because they want to preserve Romeo's image as the 'good guy'). Benvolio has failed to keep the peace again, the Nurse and Friar are in deep trouble with regards to the marriage and plans are set in place which leads to the demise of Romeo and Juliet. Fate, as Romeo would believe. Shakespeare presents many moral messages in Romeo and Juliet, the contrast of Love and Hate, men lusting and not loving. He questions male values and codes of honour, Act 3 Scene 1's fights over honour cause two deaths and cause most of the trouble which leads to the death of Romeo and Juliet. But most of all, he shows that love always conquers hate. Although there are many tragedies along the way, Romeo and Juliet's love buries the hate of their warring families. ...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. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the Nurse in 'Romeo and Juliet'

    The nurse flatters Juliet by telling her that 'Thou wast the prettiest babe' she had ever nursed. The nurse's wish is for Juliet to be happily married. Later on in the scene we find out that Lady Capulet was made a mother at Juliet's age, which is soon to be fourteen.

  2. The Moral of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    But adds a lot of sadness when Juliet finally commits suicide and her parent s are told. The Prince makes a speech to the old Lord Capulet and Montague in this speech he threatens the two households for their terrible behaviour and all the fighting and all the disturbance they have caused to the citizens of Verona.

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

    Romeo is in disbelief and pain as he sees Juliet awaken, he wants an answer why she has awaken, he may also be thinking that this is a hallucination from the effect given by the poison, or maybe he has died instantly and he is now with Juliet in the afterlife.

  2. Why is Act 3, Scene 1 a turning point in Romeo and Juliet?

    Elizabethans were flamboyant to look superior, clever, smart and important. They dressed modernly to their time with tights and ruffles around their necks. They also spoke skillfully with many devices such as puns, for example Mercutio, even as he is dying looks for dignity as he says 'Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.'

  1. Explain How the Theme of Conflict is Explored in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'

    The Prince of Verona appears in this scene. His part in the play is to enforce the law and keep peace in his city. Shakespeare also uses the Prince as an awkward narrator. Although his title is not a narrator, he often informs the audience of brief history and of what is happening at the present time.

  2. Compare and contrast the roles of the Nurse and Friar Lawrence in William Shakespeare's ...

    On the other hand, he uses the words "let my old life be sacrificed some hour before his time" which make the death sentence seem cruel as he is old and killing him would not be much of a forfeit for him.

  1. Views of love in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo compliments Juliet a great deal during the ball, he describes her as being a 'snowy dove' and all the other girls being 'crows'. He is trying to say that she stands out from all the other people there. This yet again shows that he is immediately drawn to her.

  2. I intend to analyse and describe how Baz Luhrmann has converted William Shakespeare's written ...

    by giving the audience a preview of where the scene is set, who is the main characters or in this play the main families starring in the play, and he makes it clear that two star-crossed lovers die in the play.

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