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How does Shakespeares language demonstrate the conflict between the Capulets and the Montagues in Romeo and Juliet- Act 3 scene 1?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare's language demonstrate the conflict between the Capulets and the Montagues in "Romeo and Juliet"- Act 3 scene 1? In the very first lines of Act 3 Scene 1 the audience are warned that there will be trouble. Benevolio is used as a narrator and to create tension with his speech "the day is hot" signifying that people's tempers are short. "If we meet we shall not escape a brawl" meaning if they meet the Capulets there will be a fight, this gives the audience an insight into what will occur. He also talks about "the mad blood stirring" explaining everyone is on edge and ready to fight. So all in all everyone is feeling very intense and wants a fight. Tybalt then arrives and Mercutio and he argue, this builds up the tension and sets the scene for the ensuing fight. "By my heel. I care not." Mercutio is using the words as a gag, partly to tease Benevolio; partly saying that Tybalts arrival doesn't concern him. "Make it a word and a blow." Mercutio is inviting Tybalt to talk but to fight aswell; he is also mocking Tybalt and escalating the fight once again. "You will give me occasion." Tybalt is telling Mercutio that he will fight him if need be. This proves there are two characters here that will not back down and want to fight. ...read more.

Middle

"O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!" Mercutio's speech is then filled with very animalistic imagery. "Tybalt you rat-catcher, will you walk?" This is in reference to Tybalt's nickname- Prince of Cats. So Mercutio is mocking Tybalt and trying to lure him into a fight. I think he is truly wants to slay Tybalt because of the quote above, he is actually saying he wants to take Tybalt's life. In Shakespeare's time a challenge to fight must have been accepted to preserve a mans honour. This is why Mercutio acts as he does, because Romeo is being dishonourable by refusing to fight and Mercutio cannot abide it. Romeo uses very gentlemanly language to set himself apart from the other characters and make him seem "higher" in the eyes of the audience. "Draw Benevolio; beat down there weapons." Romeo appeals for Benevolio's help rather than joining into the fight as the other characters would, again making him stand out from the other "violent" characters. Romeo often uses poetry in his dialogue while the other characters just seem to insult each other giving him a more placid appearance. Mercutio's language differs so extremely which gives an appropriate insight into his character and personality. He has two very different aspects of his personality; the jokey, sociable, lighter side and the aggressive, hateful, darker side. These two sides clash together in his speech creating an odd mixture of jokes and puns against angry curses showing Mercutio is a man at odds with himself, creating an enigma for the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

When only Tybalt, Mercutio and at the end Romeo, who were skirmishing which she didn'y even witness. "And all those twenty but could take one life." She talks about how twenty of them could scarcely kill Tybalt and also draws attention away from the fact Tybalt killed Mercutio, trying to manoeuvre the situation to her own advantage. The actions of the Prince prove that fate (and Shakespeare) has decided that Romeo must live. "Immediately we do exile him hence." If he was executed there would be no plot and the play would just end. "A pair of star crossed lovers take their life." If the prince had Romeo killed then the fight between the Montagues and Capulets would just escalate and Romeo and Juliet wouldn't be able to commit suicide and end the fighting. In conclusion Shakespeare's language elevates the atmosphere with Mercutio's cocky jokes, Tybalt's nasty insults, Romeo poetry, Benevolio's truthfulness, Lady Capulet's lies and the Prince's final decision. All this fits together to escalate the fighting and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The language makes each character seem like real people to the audience who can then empathise with them s a result. This is what made Romeo and Juliet such a success, Shakespeare knew how to make the audience believe it was real and get the audience shouting in the fight scenes and crying in the death scenes. If the language and the tension were different and it wasn't there then the audience wouldn't be interested and the play would have failed. Shakespeare uses language to play on human emotion. ...read more.

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