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How does Shakespeare convey the impression of speed in 'Romeo and Juliet'?

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How does Shakespeare convey the impression of speed in 'Romeo and Juliet'? Shakespeare conveys the impression of speed in 'Romeo and Juliet' in many different ways; he uses it to create an atmosphere of high dramatic tension. Not only is the plot swiftly written but also the text between characters is sharp and punctual. The play is set throughout four days, this immediately shows how quick and direct the writing is, even within four days Shakespeare manages to pack the short space of time full of dramatic action and emotions. He does this all without making the play so fast that is becomes brief, he keeps the speed high but also does the same to the attention to detail. During the play the speech between characters emphasises the general speed of the writing, quick and sharp responses adds a certain edge to the play. The speech is a main factor in how Shakespeare conveys the impression of speed; by increasing the pace of speech he automatically increases the tempo and intensity of the entire play. In the quote below servants from different houses are arguing, this quote shows how the pace of speech enhances the intensity of the performance. ...read more.


Whenever Romeo or Juliet proclaim their love for one another the pace decreases, and sharp conversations are replaced with slow placid ones. ' Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse my name; Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet' Throughout the play important decisions are being made all the time, and nearly all of them are being made very quickly without time for much thought, a perfect example of this is when the prince decides to banish Romeo from Verona, after Romeo has killed Tybalt chaos breaks out between the families as both demand revenge on the other house. The prince without thinking of any consequences or alternative options, acts immediately and banishes Romeo, this is also a factor of the speed during the play, all decisions are rushed and sudden, the wedding for example is decided in a matter of minutes. This I feel is purposely done to place emphasis on speed, usually a wedding is planned months in advance, but in this case Shakespeare has emphasised the speed of the play and the couple are married within hours of meeting each other. ...read more.


For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' Here he is asking himself if he ever truly loved Rosaline, and how she doesn't even compare to Juliet's beauty, this I feel is the start of Romeos maturity as he realises how foolish he has been proclaiming his love for Rosaline. In some of the text Shakespeare has left hints of the fast paced tempo of the play, throughout, there has been various quotes expressing the high speed tempo and how time is passing quickly, ' Juliet :Are you gone? My love, my lord, my husband, and my friend? I must hear from you every hour of the day, for just one minute will be like many days' In the quote above, Juliet describes how every minute seems like days, this I feel is Shakespeare yet again emphasizing the speed; he cleverly slips in little comments and remarks on the speed. So Shakespeare conveys the impression of speed in Romeo and Juliet in many different ways, he uses fast flowing snappy speech to give the play a high tempo, the decision making is very fast, whenever love is brought into it the pace slows dramatically, and finally the whole play is set over a mere four days. All these facts help to convey the impression of speed in Romeo and Juliet. Tom Caulfield ...read more.

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