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Explore the dramatic effect of Act 3 Scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet. In what ways can it be seen as a turning point in the play?

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Introduction

Coursework: Romeo and Juliet Explore the dramatic effect of Act 3 Scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet. In what ways can it be seen as a turning point in the play? Act 3 Scene 1 is a very dramatic and powerful scene, which witnesses the death of two prevalent characters in the play. I will analyse and explore the dramatic effect this scene has upon the rest of the play and subsequent scenes. The way this scene unfolds, in an unexpected manner provides excitement and tension throughout this section of the play. The fight scene, Act 3 Scene 1, can be viewed as a dramatic turning point. To explain and confirm this I will look at how all the characters are affected, how the scene changes or impacts upon the complete plot and how it makes the scene important. The scene in question is positioned near the middle of the play; this one point alone contributes to its importance, as all the events subsequent to it will be affected by the events that occur in this scene. Prior to this influential scene, Juliet's father Capulet arranges for her to marry Paris, another Capulet. However Juliet does not want to cooperate and marry Paris. Before the Capulet masked ball, Romeo seemed love sick for Rosaline, a Montague, but when Romeo and Juliet meet, they fall head long in love. They marry in secret, against Juliet's father's wishes, which was a great sin in such a patriarchal society. Their marriage takes place before Act 3 Scene 1, looking to bring peace between the two families. This is the reason in the fight scene, why Romeo is so reluctant to fight Tybalt, as he is Juliet's Cousin. It is a central and vital scene in the plot as many events occur. After the death of Tybalt, and Mercutio, who is Romeo's friend and fellow Montague, Romeo is forced to leave Verona and flee to Mantua. ...read more.

Middle

For example, when Mercutio challenges Tybalt: "Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out." Shakespeare shows the audience that Mercutio is not scared of Tybalt, this is shown as Mercutio says that Tybalt had better draw his sword quickly otherwise he would cut off Tybalt's ears before the sword is out. This use of language, which plants grotesque imagery in the audience's mind helps to build up the tension in the scene. This is another factor, making this scene a turning point in the play. The tension that builds, results in a duel between Mercutio and Tybalt. Romeo tries to persuade Mercutio not to fight: "Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up." Romeo's efforts to persuade them otherwise, by reminding them both about how the Prince has forbidden fighting anywhere on the streets of Verona, were in vain. The fight commences, and Romeo steps between the dueling pair. Tybalt stabs Mercutio, under Romeo's arm, Mercutio dies from his injuries. Mercutio's death can be seen as a turning point in the play, as it leads to Tybalt's death, and from there on in events worsen for Romeo. Moreover, whilst Mercutio is dying, he insults both houses: "A plague a'both your houses." which he repeats 3 times on lines 82, 91 and 97, emphasising the fact that Mercutio is angry with Romeo and Tybalt. Mercutio's death has serious repercussions throughout the scene. It leads to Tybalt's death, and subsequently Romeo's banishment. Mercutio again repeats "A plague a'both your houses!" Insulting Romeo, whom he later blames for his death: "Why the dev'l came you between us?" We can see Mercutio blames Romeo for his death as he was stabbed underneath Romeo's arm, so blames him for interfering. Romeo's excuse: "I thought all for the best." shows his good intentions to help Mercutio, which turned out to be Mercutio's undoing. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows Shakespeare wrote his shows for specific target audiences, as this would have less relevance to a modern audience. Benvolio acts as a Chorus; Shakespearian audience may not have understood all the language, some of which was inaccessible to some uneducated theatre-goers. Benvolio's role is to sum up and explain events, helping the audience follow the plot. In addition, the audience would have been impacted by issues such as disobedient children, the role of society and their belief in the power of Princes. The relevance that successful versions of the play such as the Zefirelli, Luhrman, MOPA and the original text, have to a modern audience, can be seen in many areas. Firstly, themes of rebellion, and politics are all too obvious in the play. The idea of the Mafia can also be seen with feuds between the two factions, and the relevance of family dominance. Secondly arranged marriages is another issue relevant to a modern audience, which was also an issue in Elizabethan times, as Juliet refused to marry Paris. Overall the dramatic effect is as great, to a modern audience as it is to that of the Shakespearian era. Romeo and Juliet both die in the conclusion of the play. This may have been for many reasons, but from any viewpoint, their deaths were inevitable, because their fathers would have killed them as they disobeyed their rules. Juliet went against Capulet's wishes, and married Romeo, a Montague. Their deaths were the only factor that was able to stop the feud. What caused their deaths? Was it fate, chance, the feud or their fathers? I feel that it was a combination of all of them, which culminated in this tragedy, Romeo's tragic flaw, maybe his undoing. Act 3, Scene 1 is a dramatic enthralling scene, in which the families 'ancient grudge' leads to the deaths of two prominent characters. The dramatic effect of this scene is emphasised by the tension and anger that run through it. ?? ?? ?? ?? 13332.doc Toby Parnell Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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