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How does Shakespeare engage the audience in Act I scene v

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How does Shakespeare engage the audience in Act I scene v In Act I, scene v, Shakespeare alters the tone of the play into a lighter mood. However, despite this, there is an ominous sense of fate overshadowing the pair of star crossed lovers. Even today, the tragedy resembles a blue print of the problems the young adolescents of the twentieth century face each day. Shakespeare uses a masked ball to create suspense and mystery, as this would have engaged an Elizabethan audience. However the audience already knows what is going to happen due to the Prologue - "Do with their death bury their parents' strife" - but despite this knowledge the anticipation of the events leading to the arrival of these final tragic scenes adds excitement. Throughout the scene the threat of violence is counteracted by the emotion of love. The servants, Anthony and Potpan, although minor characters, play an important part in creating a sense of anticipation before the party. It shows the bustle and chaos of the kitchens and the chaotic atmosphere. If performed the director may display this by the constant moving of the servants. There is also clear tension between the First and Second Servants due to Anthony and Potpan: "Where's Anthony and Potpan?". ...read more.


This displays Tybalt as being a volatile character with a fiery temper. However Capulet is insistent in his defence of Romeo and that draws an end to the issue: "He shall be endured". "Shall" being emphatic shows that this is an imperative. This conflict mirrors the ongoing feud throughout the play. "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, shall convert to bitterest gall." These words spoken by Tybalt are implying that the happiest atmosphere may not last. It brings back the portentous sense of fate. These words echo Romeo at the end of Scene IV: "Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this nights revels..." What Tybalt says creates tension and suspense. It may also foreshadow the deaths of Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo, who actually poisons himself, and Juliet at the end of the play. "Gall", meaning poison, may not only imply physically poisoned but also the poisoning of the mind by hatred. The mood changes again when Romeo first speaks to Juliet in a sonnet. It displays their love at first sight. A sonnet would have been a typical type of Elizabethan poetry; this would have grabbed the attention of the audience as it would have been performed on the apron of the Globe. ...read more.


These are key themes and when they are brought together it signals the intervention of fate: "My only love sprung from my only hate". Antithesis is also used by Juliet when she says "Too early seen unknown, and known too late". Shakespeare's allusion to fate foresees the lover's own deaths later in the play: "My grave is like to be my wedding bed" and "Prodigious birth of love it is to me". Elizabethan audiences were very superstitious and even though the audience knows Romeo and Juliet are going to die the audience would have been captivated by the way fate worked against the pair of lovers throughout the rest of the play. This is a very powerful scene and it is essential in engaging the audience in the play as a whole. Romeo and Juliet's use of the sonnet is an integral part of the scene. Its use of religious imagery and rhyming couplets is empowering over the audience. It centres the attention on Romeo and Juliet and isolates them from the hustle and bustle of the party. It is an intimate scene played in a crowded room. Shakespeare's use of antithesis throughout the play is very powerful and creates the ominous feeling of fate within the audience in this scene and throughout the play. ...read more.

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