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Explore the way Shakespeare creates sustained tension in act 3 Scene 1

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Explore the way Shakespeare creates sustained tension in act 3 Scene 1. Act 3 Scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet is one of the most exciting and most tensely filled scenes throughout the play. The scene is at its most exciting during the battles between Tybalt and Mercutio and Tybalt and Romeo because it is really tense as each man is trying to kill each other and it ends up with two men dying. It also makes it more exciting as they are lots of people gathered round the fight chanting and shouting. The dramatic climax in this play is when Romeo kills Tybalt and as he stands there he realises he has just killed the cousin of his wife. This scene is very central to the play as it leads to the death of one Capulet and one Montague and it also gets Romeo banished from the city of Verona. ...read more.


At this stage of the scene the tension is probably at half stage. When Tybalt and the Capulets arrive, Tybalt isn't looking to fight Mercutio but Mercutio raises the tension by taunting Tybalt " Make it a word and a blow" says Mercutio which angers Tybalt as he is looking for Romeo. Mercutio then carries on taunting, goading and spoiling for a fight with Mercutio which eventually in turn leads to the two of them fighting and Mercutio being killed by Tybalt behind Romeos back. When Romeo arrives fresh from his secret marriage to Juliet there is a sense of Dramatic Irony in his words as he talks of his love and friendship to Tybalt: "Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting: villain am I none; Therefore farewell; I see thou know'st me not" Tybalt takes this as though Romeo is winding him up but in fact Romeos words are completely truthful. ...read more.


This anger is partly in guilt as he feels it is partly his fault that Mercutio died. He remembers one line that Mercutio said: "Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm". This is why he feels it was his fault. Then the tension rises even more as Romeo fights with Tybalt and kills him. Panic erupts and the riot is stopped by the arrival of the Prince who wants an explanation. He says: "Where are the vile beginners of this fray?" Benvolio explains by saying it is partly Romeos and Tybalts fault. As Tybalt is dead the older members of the Capulet house blame it on Romeo and demand he is punished to the prince. The prince then banishes Romeo from the city of Verona. The overall pace of this scene is very fast and there is very high tension in this scene. This is mainly because two people are killed and a huge sector of the scene is spent battling. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rakesh Chambers GCSE Coursework English 28/04/2007 1 ...read more.

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