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

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare creates dramatic tension and interest in Act 1

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare creates dramatic tension and interest in Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare wrote more than 30 plays in his life time and 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of his best known works. It is the famous tragedy of a young couple, Romeo and Juliet, who meet and experience love at first sight. However a number of unfortunate events lead to a tragic ending. In Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 1 Scene 5 of this play, Shakespeare's use of dramatic interest, tension and unusual language and phrases, captivate the audience's attention from the very beginning. The play begins with a prologue which instantly sets the scene of the play, 'In fair Verona, where we lay our scene'. The prologue, spoken by the Chorus, introduces the audience to the story and summarises the entire play in 14 short lines. It mentions the two families which the lovers come from; the enmity between them is made very clear- 'from ancient grudge break to new mutiny'. The prologue claims that the 'star-crossed lovers take their life' which immediately sparks interest in the audience and will keep them wanting to watch more, as they will be interested to see how and why the lovers die. ...read more.

Middle

Prince Escalus stops the fighting and also creates a lot of dramatic tension in his short appearance on stage. He declares that any further fighting between the families would result in death of those involved. As the scene progresses the tension builds more and more. This seems to be linked to the hierarchy of the characters in the play, because as the class of the characters increase on stage, the tension brought by their actions, also increases. After the Prince and Capulets exit the stage the dialog turns to the subject of Romeo. Lady Montague first mentions Romeo and this immediately creates dramatic interest as the audience would finally be introduced to one of the main characters of the play. Lady Montague is initially worried about Romeo, but is also relieved that he was kept out of the fighting and she asks Benvolio if he has seen his cousin: 'O where is Romeo? Saw you him today? Right glad I am he was not at this fray.' This concern is rather ironic as, although Romeo was not involved in this fight, he is later involved in a much larger fight which results in death and banishment. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because in the time the play was set, it would be against religion for two young strangers to meet and share a kiss, which is what Romeo and Juliet. This also foreshadows the wedding ceremony, officiated by Friar Lawrence in Act 2 Scene 6. Is it not until the end of Act 1 Scene 5, when Juliet is alone with her nurse, that she realises Romeo is a Montague. 'My only love sprung from my only hate!' (L. 135) The fact that Juliet claims that she has fallen in love with Romeo so soon after meeting him, adds dramatic tension to the scene, and she cries out- 'If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding-bed.' (Act 1 Scene 5 L. 131) which foreshadows the later tragedy in Act 5 Scene 3. Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 1 Scene 5 both include dramatic interest and tension, and Shakespeare has used this to keep the audience entertained. These two scenes introduce the audience to a number of different characters and contain some of the key points of the story. Shakespeare's effective way of using language and devices to create tension and interest keeps the audience captivated through out the entire play. ...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. How does Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene I of Romeo and Juliet?

    The costumes of the citizens would be totally different to the other characters as this would make it easier to differentiate the main characters with the citizens. This part of the play is very tense as the conflict is not only between the Capulets and Montagues but also a few citizens.

  2. Explain how Shakespeare creates tension and suspense through the use of language, dramatic irony ...

    are high and hard to climb, and the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my kinsmen find thee here'. This builds up the tension as Romeo may get caught and killed on his sworn enemy's property. They continue to talk philosophically and lovingly, until from within Juliet's

  1. Explain how Shakespeare creates dramatic tension in Act 3 Scene 5?

    too obvious for Lady Capulet to be suspicious and she might even reveal the truth. Juliet claims "O how my heart abhors to hear him named and cannot come to him to wreck the love I bore my cousin Tybalt upon his body".

  2. Explain How Shakespeare Creates Dramatic Tension in III.v

    Whereas before Juliet relied on her nurse for support, she as now been left completely introverted. This increases the tension, as Juliet frantically tries to think of a workable solution. Increasing emotion and tension from the audience, as Juliet's shattered relationships and lost of love leaves her with an ultimatum,

  1. What methods does Shakespeare employ to engage interest of theaudience in the Prologue and ...

    fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life: The audience is therefore informed that Romeo and Juliet are to die even before the play has begun. This engages the interest of the audience because it is an unusual way to introduce a play, describing

  2. How does Shakespeare show conflict, violence and build tension in act 1 scene 1 ...

    Adding onto this point the audience first meet the character Tybalt in act 1 scene 1 and immediately the audience perceive the fact that the character of Tybalt is averse to the Montagues this is instantly recognisable as Tybalt calls the servants 'heartless hinds' which was a big insult in

  1. How does Shakespeare create interest and tension for his audience in Act 1 of ...

    Juliet is also very confident and confides in the nurse and tells her secrets. Occasionally, the Nurse acted as a messenger for Romeo and Juliet as it is difficult for the two lovers to meet due to their family's being enemies.

  2. In Act 1 scene 5 Romeo sees Juliet for the first time at the ...

    I1 221-22] Romeo is saying the since Rosaline doesn't love anyone then I will not love anyone. He is also saying he will not love anyone till Rosaline loves someone but when he goes to the Capulet's feast and sees a girl (Juliet)

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