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How Does Shakespeare Create Atmosphere in the Masked Ball, Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet?

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How Does Shakespeare Create Atmosphere in the Masked Ball, Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet? In this essay, I will write about the masked ball and how Shakespeare creates the atmosphere in Act 1, scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet. This scene is a crucial scene in the play, as it completely changes the context of the play. The audience are still intrigued as to where and how Romeo will meet Juliet. This creates excitement and anticipation, as the audience wait with baited breath for the meeting of Romeo and Juliet. We also know how their relationship ends, as the prologue says, 'A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.' This shows that Romeo and Juliet kill themselves because of their love for each other. This creates more excitement, as the audience want to find out how in such a small space of time, the couple manage to fall in love, and take their lives. I think this play would appeal to everyone, whatever the age or gender. The romance will attract women, as well as the elderly, while the feud attracts men and younger people. Before the play starts, we discover that the Capulet and Montague families have been at war with each other for years, 'Tow households both alike in dignity... From ancient grudge break to new mutiny.' ...read more.


Sampson and Gregory are having a comical argument, prancing around the stage to enhance the lively mood of the ball. Shakespeare uses the minor characters of the play to enforce the feeling that it is a huge ball, with many guests. Sampson and Gregory issue a lot of commands, 'Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard.' This shows that they are trying to gain power over each other. 'We cannot be here and there too,' shows that they know they should not be there, and they should move in order to avoid suspicion. We then see the Capulet's enter, who instantly impress the audience. Shakespeare uses words such as 'dainty' to emphasise Capulet's good mood. Capulet tries to get everybody on their feet to dance, 'Ah ha, my mistresses, which of you all, Will now deny to dance?' shows this. We can tell that everything stopped when Capulet entered the room, because he orders the musicians to carry on playing, as if they had stopped, 'Come musicians play.' We as the audience are fascinated by Capulet's intimacy with other ladies, 'I have worn a visor and could tell, a whispering tale in a fair lady's ear.' This shows that he is trying to entertain the crowd, again emphasising his jovial mood. He is insistent on making the crowd feel welcome, 'And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot,' shows that he is giving a warm welcome. ...read more.


To emphasise the quick change in mood, Shakespeare uses poetic sonnets to show their preoccupation with love, and refers to religion to compare the two, 'My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.' The repetitive kissing allows the audience to visually involve themselves in the play. Juliet's Nurse then interrupts the romance, giving Romeo a chance to find out who exactly Juliet is, 'I tell you, he that can lay hold of her, Shall have the chinks,' is what the Nurse tells him. This creates tension in Romeo's eye's, as he knows now that she is the daughter of his family's enemy. This makes the audience feel sympathetic, 'My life is my foe's debt.' When Juliet realises who Romeo is, she reveals her despair, My only love sprung from my only hate.' This shows that she is upset because her one true love comes from the family of her mortal enemy. This scene is very fast-paced, and makes everything seem as though everything is happening at the same time. On one side of the ballroom, there is an air of love, where Romeo and Juliet first meet, but on the other side, Tybalt shows his anger and hate for Romeo. Because there are two "separate" scenes, they're a complete mix of emotions; Shakespeare also uses this scene to foreshadow the future doom of Romeo and Juliet, by unveiling very significant events, which will interfere with their lives. ...read more.

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