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How does Act 3 Scene1 create and increase the dramatic tension and convey the passion of the play?

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How does Act 3 Scene1 create and increase the dramatic tension and convey the passion of the play? In 1594, before he became one of the greatest writers in English history, William Shakespeare wrote the play Romeo and Juliet with the intention of selling out the 3000 seater theatre, The Rose. A theatre like the Rose would work and perform with the knowledge that, for no apparent reason, they could be shut down at any time at the whim of the master of the revels. Romeo and Juliet was the first of Shakespeare's play to out-sell his rival writer Christopher Marlowe. The play drew in audiences because of its content of deceit, murder and tragedy. Shakespeare lived in a highly patriarchal society, as was the society in which Romeo and Juliet is set. The play revolved around a feud between two high class families: the Capulets and the Montague's "two households both alike in dignity". The families are both typical high status Italian families: loud, outgoing, strong minded and very quick to anger. This creates tension in the audience as violence is very likely with families like these. Violence would be a main entertainment in the plays of Shakespeare's time, and the audience would be searching for characters with a violent nature from the start of the play. They quickly find characters with different views on violence: Benvolio, a peace loving person "I do but keep the peace" and Tybalt: a very fiery person who always seems to be looking for a fight, "what, drawn and talk of peace? ...read more.


When Tybalt arrives asking for Romeo, the audience's fears are confirmed and the tension is increased as it appears that Tybalt wants to find Romeo to hurt him. Mercutio answers with a joke and an insult, as neither likes the other. Mercutio and Tybalt are alike in the way that they both like fighting, are quick witted and both would resort to violence if they had to. Up until now the tone of the discussion has been light, but this changes when Tybalt says" thou consortest with Romeo", angering Mercutio by suggesting that he is a homosexual. Mercutio tries to joke it off by saying "Consort? What, dost thou make us minstrels" but he is still angered by the suggestion that he and Romeo are gay, and he takes it as in insult towards him and Romeo. Mercutio turns the argument into a fight by saying: "Consort? Dost thou make us minstrels? And thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords. Here's my fiddlestick, here's that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, consort!". As the argument becomes more serious, the audience knows that the prospect of a fight is more probable, and they also know that at least two people die in the play, from what is said in the prologue: "a pair of star crossed lovers take their life. The two star crossed lovers have already been established in the audiences minds as Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.


O, my brother's child! O Prince! O husband! O, the blood is spilled of my dear kinsman. Prince, as thou art true, for blood of ours, shed blood of Montague." The anger of Lady Capulet leaves the audience wondering what she will do and what will be the fate of Romeo. These actions signal a change of heart in the play. The marriage of Romeo and Juliet was to have cemented the rift between the two warring families, but now, in a very short scene, all this is undone. The rift has widened significantly, and Lady Capulet is now calling for the death of the young Montague. Up until now the hatred between the two houses has been kept in check, but now lady Capulet is angrily calling for Romeo to be killed. Tension is now increased as the hero of the play is suddenly in danger of being killed if he tries to see Juliet and the audience does not know what Romeo will do or how he will react to being told that he cannot see Juliet without being in risk of being killed. This scene is probably the plays most exciting as it is very fast paced with a lot of entrances and exits, violence, fighting and exciting. The scene has greatly changed the persona of the play, as Romeo began the scene as somebody who had just got married and was happy, he ends the scene as a wanted man and a murderer, and the play seemed to have become much darker. By Tom Davis Tom Davis 10YW ...read more.

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