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How does Shakespeare bring out the themes of love and hate through the language and actions of the characters in Act 1 Scene 5? How do the events of the scene prepare the action of the rest of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare bring out the themes of love and hate through the language and actions of the characters in Act 1 Scene 5? How do the events of the scene prepare the action of the rest of the play? The prologue to "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet" makes clear that the themes of "love and hate" will be central to this play. The Montagues and Capulets were two or Verona's most important families but there was an "ancient grudge" (prologue line 3) between the two families and they hated each other. The enmity is even felt by the family servants who start a brawl in the first scene of the play. Romeo's parents were pleased that he was not involved in this fight but they wonder why he is so sad. At the end of the scene we find out that it is because he is lovesick for Rosaline. Just before Act 1 Scene 5 is about to start the young Montague men and Mercutio decide to gatecrash the Capulets' party. ...read more.

Middle

Capulet probably remembers Prince Escale's warning which was "if ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace". Tybalt refuses to calm down and this makes Capulet very angry. He says "Am I the master here or you?" and then tells him to leave the party. After that line Capulet starts to wind Tybalt up by calling him a "Goodman boy" and a "princox". In Tybalt's last two lines he leaves the party but predicts an unhappy ending to the play by referring to "bitt'rest gall" - a reference to Christ being given vinegar on the cross. The atmosphere in the play then dramatically changes from hate to love with religious overtones. The religious imagery runs through this part of the scene with words such as "pilgrim", "holy shrine", "devotion", "prayer", "saint", "faith" and "sin" all being used. With these words Romeo is trying to reassure Juliet that he is not trying to take advantage of her. Juliet agrees with everything he says. This shows that she is in love with him as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no hatred in this act as Tybalt, the main hatred causer, is not in it. Romeo is confident that her "kinsmen" cannot stop him but Juliet points out "if they do see thee they will murder thee". Although this is an optimistic Act with Romeo and Juliet marrying in the final scene there is a feeling that it will not turn out well. In Act 3 the hatred bubbles up, quarrels are picked. Tybalt arrives looking for Romeo, Mercutio is making fun of Tybalt at this point. Romeo arrives on the scene and Tybalt challenges him but Romeo refuses to fight but cannot explain why. (Says he has 'a reason to love Tybalt') (Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt, this is because he has married into the Capulet family). Mercutio fights Tybalt but he is mortally wounded when Romeo tries to separate them. As Mercutio is dying he wishes "a plague on both your houses". Romeo then fights Tybalt to avenge Mercutio's death. Romeo kills Tybalt. Prince Escales arrives on the scene and exiles Romeo from Verona (Romeo would not be on stage to hear this sentence). The audience would probably feel that things were spiralling out of control. ...read more.

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