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How does Shakespeare engage the audience in Act One Scene Five of Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

James Llewellyn 10DOJ. How does Shakespeare engage the audience in Act One Scene Five of Romeo and Juliet? At the beginning of Act One Scene Five, Shakespeare engages the audience by using the servants as they rush around getting everything ready for Lord Capulet's party. "Where's Potpan that he helps not take away? He shift a trencher? He scrape a trencher? ". Although the servants are minor characters they are important at the start of this scene, because they create a busy and lively mood as they organise every thing. "Away with the joint stools, remove the court cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save me a piece of march-pane, and, as thou loves me, let the porter Susan Grindstone and Nell. (He calls) Antony and Potpan!" This is a different atmosphere from Act One Scene Four as Romeo is unhappy just before they go to the party because he is in love with Roseline, and Roseline doesn't love him. ...read more.

Middle

The servants speak in prose as they have a lower status. Lord Capulet speaks in blank verse -lambic pentameter to distinguish him from the servants. In the party Romeo instantly falls in love with Juliet at first sight and uses rhyming couplets to describe her as all thoughts of Roseline go out of his head. "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." The mood suddenly changes when Tybalt recognises Romeo's voice. He immediately tells Lord Capulet but Capulet mood doesn't change. But after a while Tybalt changes Caplet's mood by using words like, "T'is he, that villain, Romeo." The use of powerful words in this scene, such as " villain, scorn, fights " and phrases depicting hatred by Tybalt, contrasts with the expressions love from Romeo. ...read more.

Conclusion

He realises that he has fallen in love with one of his enemies. This is a scene of tragedy as well as love and hate. The intense mood of love is lifted from the sonnet when the nurse comes in and tells Romeo that Juliet's mother is the head of the house. Shakespeare uses antithesis with Juliet a few times through this scene, signalling that she has fallen in love with a Montague " My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early unknown and known to late." Romeo and Juliet use the sonnet to show their love. The party hustle and bustle fades away so the audience can concentrate on the main part of the scene. Juliet is helpless and obviously in love and the audience are gripped with an ominous feeling as the powerful force of fate works between her and Romeo. Shakespeare contrasts busy stage action with quiet intense moments, hard aggressive words with gentle words of love which combine to engage his audience in this dramatic scene. ...read more.

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