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How Does Shakespeare Create Drama and Tension in Act 3 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How Does Shakespeare Create Drama and Tension in Act 3 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet? In 1594 Shakespeare wrote his 1st tragedy, which explores universal themes of fate, love, death, feuding, loyalty and the passage of time. Act 3 scene 5 is a pivotal scene and crucial to the play's success. These key themes and action of the play before this scene and during it make it full of dramatic tension. It also prefigures the tragic ending. He also develops the scene's characters with skill and sometimes surprise. As a playwright he also exploits other tools of the trade like dramatic irony and soliloquies. This combines to allow his audience to engage and sympathise with his protagonists Before this scene even begins the pretext to it has already created a lot of tension. In Act 3 Scene 1, when Tybalt kills Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt, the whole mood of the play changes from a love story to something much darker. Although the scene begins with the two young lovers waking up happily, Shakespeare soon brings the mood down by reminding the audience of the terrible situation they are in when Romeo says "I must be gone and live, or stay and die." ...read more.

Middle

Juliet also has another moment of eerie prophecy later in the scene when she pleads with her mother: "Delay this marriage for a month, a week, Or if you do not, make the bridal bed In that dim monument where Tybalt lies." This again reminds the audience of mortality and raises the question of whether Romeo and Juliet were destined to die. Shakespeare does not only create tension with the language, but also with the events that take place and the changes in the characters. For instance, when Lady Capulet first enters in this scene, Juliet addresses her as "Madam" like the obedient daughter she used to be. However, when she learns the news that she is to be married to Paris, she dramatically changes into an independent woman and refuses. It is when Capulet enters that the dynamic changes and the tension increases. You realise that he is a powerful man and they are fearful of him with Lady Capulet's line "Here comes your father, tell him yourself; And see how he will take it at your hands." ...read more.

Conclusion

The way that Lady Capulet is so cold towards her own daughter by saying that she wants nothing to do with her is much more powerful than simply shouting at her, and I think this is a killer blow for Juliet as a mother should be one of the people you can truly rely on. At this point Shakespeare makes the audience really empathise with Juliet, as her parents have practically disowned her. However, just as you think Juliet cannot get any more desperate she is betrayed by her nurse. Throughout the play Juliet relied on the nurse and confided in her, and it is all undone with the one line: "I think you are happy in this second match, For it excels your first..." Now Juliet is totally on her own. Her last ally has deserted her and the scene ends with a real sense of loneliness and desperation. In conclusion, Shakespeare has used a variety of techniques to create drama and tension in this scene. He skilfully builds the tension up throughout the scene until Juliet's final line: "I'll to the Friar to know his remedy; If all else fail, myself have power to die." By James Newton ...read more.

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