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Exploring the dramatic effectiveness of act3 scene5 in "Romeo and Juliet"

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Introduction

Exploring the dramatic effectiveness of act 3 scene5 in "Romeo and Juliet" In this essay I intend to explore the dramatic effectiveness of "Romeo and Juliet" in act 3 scene 5. I will do this by giving a brief account of the scene and what happened immediately before and after. I will explore the language used by Shakespeare to provoke the audience's reaction and express feelings and emotions between characters. During this emotional scene Juliet is faced with: the parting of her husband; being told she is to marry Paris; her father's furious and nearly violent reaction when she refuses; and when she most needs a friend the nurse deserts her. By the end of the scene Juliet's chances of ever being with Romeo again seem very unlikely. She turns to her only friend left, Friar Laurence. In act 3 scene 1 Romeo returns from his wedding to find Mercutio and Tybalt quarrelling " In the public haunt of men"(49). Despite Romeo's attempts to stop this fight Tybalt fatally wounds Mercutio. As Mercutio dies in Romeo's arms he leaves the city of "fair Verona" with an eerie curse, " A plague on both your houses"(106), which soon comes to pass. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Capulet comes to Juliet's room to tell her that she will be married " early next Thursday morn". Capulet then tries to exert his authority over his disobedient daughter. It would have scandalous for a noble daughter to disobey her father during this period, and a subject that the Elizabethan audience would have been shocked by, far more than a modern day audience. Family, nobility and reputation were all inextricably linked in this society. Juliet's situation is now even worse. If she follows her family's wishes and marries Paris then she will be breaking the law and as she is Catholic she cannot get divorced. If Juliet leaves her family she will not have anyone to turn to, as the government would not support her. Her father is very angry that she will not agree to marry Paris "go with Paris to Saint Peter's church, / Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither."(154-155). He says that if she doesn't " you shall not house with me."(189), meaning that she shall not live in his house any more if she doesn't marry Paris. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet uses a few double meanings when she is talking to her mother, this is dramatic irony because the audience understands what she really means but can appreciate that she is trying to hide the truth from her mother. This scene is very effective as a piece of drama because it has the audiences' emotions constantly changing. It shows different sides to the characters that we thought we already knew and understood, as Capulet becomes violent, and Juliet becomes defiant. The scene is more effective as a live play than on video or reading the script, which is no surprise as this was how Shakespeare intended it to be seen. The audience are used to constantly echo the characters emotions and add tension to the scenes, which is not there when watching on video. Many different styles and techniques of writing are used in this scene, which adds to the interest and stops the audience being bored with the language. This is a dramatic and powerful part in the play and it comes across very well in the way it has been written. ...read more.

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