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

How does Shakespeare build and create tension in Act 3, scene 1 to make it an interesting and important scene?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Romeo and Juliet" GCSE Coursework How does Shakespeare build and create tension in Act 3, scene 1 to make it an interesting and important scene? "Romeo and Juliet" is a well-known romantic tragedy, written by the playwright William Shakespeare. Until Act 3 there is no real sign of tragedy, it appears simply to be a pleasant story of the romance between Romeo and Juliet, with family feuds going on in the background. There are other characters, though, for the fighting, such as Mercutio, the Prince's cousin and Romeo's best friend, and Juliet's cousin Tybalt. Act 2 finishes with a marriage, one which should have ended the hatred between the houses of Montague and Capulet. The story could have ended here, and all would have ended happily. Yet, in Act 3 the story has a terrible twist. Within minutes both Mercutio and Tybalt are slain, the former by the latter, and Tybalt by Romeo's own hand. On the same day that he marries Juliet, he murders her cousin and is exiled from Verona. Act 3 begins with Mercutio and Benvolio talking. Benvolio, with his foresight and desire to keep the peace, asks to "retire", for "the day is hot" and there are "Capels" about. ...read more.

Middle

His outrage, bordering on disgust, at Romeo's "calm, dishonourable, vile submission" is greater than the previous displays, for now he goes so far as to draw his sword against Tybalt, the "rat-catcher" as he calls him, playing on the meaning of his name and casual title. He continues this, saying that he would have "but one of [Tybalt's] nine lives" and then "dry-beat the rest of the eight". His direct challenge to Tybalt, telling him to draw his sword "by the ears", "lest {his own] be about [Tybalt's] ears", is the final spark to set everything off, Tybalt now being "for[him]" and drawing his sword. This fight is now the first peak of tension in the scene, and the audience is completely captivated, their anticipation, their expectation, perhaps even their desire finally being satisfied. Mercutio's death, however, is unexpected, and it sends the audience into shock. All of a sudden the fight is ended, Tybalt having "under Romeo's arm [thrust] Mercutio in", and the audience is left watching a slowly dying Mercutio and an inadequately concerned Romeo and Benvolio. They believe that "the hurt cannot be much", as it is "a scratch", according to Mercutio. ...read more.

Conclusion

This drop helps take the audience's mind off the tension, and so the following rapid increase in tension is far more unexpected. Having a second peak helps build upon the tension of the first, and the drama of the second battle is itself built upon "brave Mercutio" having "too untimely... [scorned] the earth". This finishes the tension within the scene, and by ending it with the bustle of all the important characters, such as the bereaved Lady Capulet, and filling it with a lot of heavy, dramatic rhyme, including the Prince's finishing speech, proclaiming Romeo's exile, Shakespeare manages to end all tension within the scene, and yet keep the scene going, and maintain the emotion within it. As shown, there are several methods used within Act 3, scene 1 to create and build suspense and tension, all of them expertly woven together and building upon each other, in order to make the scene as dramatic and involving for the audience as possible. Shakespeare combines techniques of ordinary writing, poetry and stagecraft together so subtly that it is difficult to distinguish one from another, and all work together, aided by the structure of the scene, to create the heavy tension and anticipation that makes this important scene one of the most powerful and dramatic in the entire play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam House ...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 build up tension in Act 3 scene 1? What do we ...

    Mercutio cannot accept Romeo's withdrawal from the fight and challenges Tybalt himself, saying: "Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher by the ears?" Mercutio then insults Tybalt by calling him a 'Rat catcher' and 'King of Cats'. This insulting and antagonising behaviour only adds to an already tense atmosphere.

  2. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and ...

    Fate is used right from the start of the play, this is because when the play was written people of those times were incredibly superstitious and believed in curses and destiny. Upon witnessing the death Benvolio warns Romeo to depart before the Prince arrives, so as to avoid any more trouble.

  1. How does Shakespeare create a sense of tragedy in the final scene of 'Romeo ...

    this resolve: I'll send a friar with speed/To Mantua, with my letters to thy lord." The theme of poisons and love potions is a recurring theme throughout Romeo and Juliet. When the Friar is first introduced in the play he is tending to his herb plants, when Juliet has to

  2. How does Shakespeare use language, structure and dramatic devices in Act 3 Scene 1 ...

    There lies the man slain by young Romeo, That slew they kinsmen, brave Mercutio." Lady Capulet also speaks in rhyme and verse as she is an important character, she says, "I beg for justice, which thou, Prince, must give, Romeo slew Tybalt.

  1. How does Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene I of Romeo and Juliet?

    As regards to stagecraft, Sampson and Gregory would both be wearing costumes which indicate to the Capulet cross. So preferably a dark color would be worn as the Capulet cross is dark blue. Sampson and Gregory would also have swords wielded to ensure that the picture of peace is removed from the audience's mind.

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

    This is dramatically effective because it shows just how much power Capulet has. Although a modern audience might be shocked and feel hatred for Capulet, an Elizabethan audience would have understood his actions better. A modern audience should remember that arranged marriages was not uncommon then and those women of

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

    Adding on Shakespeare has used sexual remarks and talks about rape, this is shown where Mercutio says 'make it a word and a blow.' which shows the use of sexual imagery. Similarly Sampson says 'I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.'

  2. How does Shakespeare use dramatic devices in Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and ...

    It makes the audience fully understand how truly violent this feud is and makes them think about all the innocents who have been severely injured or even lost their lives at the hands of these two foes. It makes us understand how brutal the family?s hatred for each other is.

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