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Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Act III Scene I as a turning point in the play?

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Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Act III Scene I as a turning point in the play? Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. The play was written in the period 1594-1595 the same time as his other plays such as A Midsummer's Night Dream and Love's Labour Lost. Literary Scholars often classify these plays into a similar group as Shakespeare explores many themes in these plays; the exploration of themes such as love, courtship and marriage are explored in each of these plays. Also, it is interesting to note the fact that there are many conventions associated with these plays; Romeo and Juliet is a good example as the convention of falling in love at first sight is illustrated between Romeo and Juliet. The prologue in this play is a pivotal moment as it is addressed in the form of a sonnet and it illustrates the themes of love and feuds as sonnets in Shakespeare's time were a way of dealing with the subject of love in conflict i.e. Romeo and Juliet. Throughout the play up until Act III Scene I a lot of tension has been building up. A good example of tension building up in an earlier scene is in Act I Scene V. ...read more.


The use of the literary device pathetic fallacy is used where the weather is illustrative of the mood of the particular person or of that particular scene. Shakespeare uses Benvolio as a comedian to add a touch of humour to this play. Furthermore, Shakespeare has perhaps made him an apprehensive character; this change in mood has perhaps indicated that something with great importance is to follow on later in the play. Benvolio informs Mercutios that Tybalt has sent Romeo a challenge to a duel. He mocks Tybalt when he says: "He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion" This indicates that Tybalt cannot fight by mocking his way of fighting. The use of puns between the two men indicates that of a happy nature. Also, Benvolio is eager for Mercutio to leave the public place as he reconciles the princes warning in Act I Scene I of the play where the consequences of fighting could inevitably lead to one of these two characters downfalls. An interesting dialogue between Mercutio and Benvolio illustrates this: Mercutio: or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us Bevolio: I will not budge for no man's pleasure. Tybalt arrives in great fashion during this scene. Shakespeare presents him uncharacteristically as civil, not the aggressive character the audience have met in the previous scenes. ...read more.


The usage of the words such as "boy" and "villain" on Tybalt's half illustrates this. Furthermore, the fierce rivalry and confrontation of these two characters represent two of the pivotal themes present in this play. Romeo demonstrates the theme of love and Tybalt explores the theme of violence. Mercutio is less than impressed when Romeo refuses Tybalt's challenge. During the Elizabethan age when males presented a challenge to one another it was seen as being cowardly if you declined the challenge. Male pride and ego was on the line during these battles. However, Mercutio cannot stand by and let his friend humiliate himself so he therefore does what any true friend would do. Also, it is interesting to note the fact that Shakespeare uses dramatic irony during this stage of the play; Romeo knows he has a close relationship with Tybalt as he has secretly married Juliet however Tybalt is not aware of this and this is one of the reasons Romeo is not fighting. However, Mercutio does not know of this and stands up for his friend. During the course of the play Mercutio uses a cat to reference to Tybalt the use of the word "tybs" illustrates this as this word in Elizabethan times was associated with a cat. Mercutio continually refers to Tybalt as a cat: "Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives", ...read more.

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