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How does Shakespeare engage the interest of the audience in the ballroom scene?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare engage the interest of the audience in the ballroom scene? The opening scene with the servants contains a dramatic effect, as the last scene is where Romeo was laying on the ground, looking up at the stars and telling his family and friends of a dream that he had the night before. Then the scene jumps into the Capulets kitchen where the serving men are complaining as to where the other people are to help them clean away. I think that Shakespeare put in this section because he didn't want us to forget that the families are rich and do have servants living in with them. Capulet greets his guests with a very warm, entertaining tone and also quite a comical one, whilst he comments on the ladies having corns on their toes, and that this is a reason as to why one woman will not dance with him. ...read more.

Middle

This gives us the impression of the speediness of time by saying how old his son is (30 years old) and how he is getting on and that he is too old to dance "For you and I are past our dancing days." Romeo has just entered the stage, so I would direct the actors to move away from him, but to be normal to him as he is wearing a mask and people cannot recognise him. The dancers would continue to dance, as he is just another guest to them, but they would move away from the door, as otherwise Romeo wouldn't be the center of attention. Capulet would be very near to him as he greets him like another guest. From Romeos first speech, you can tell that he has spotted Juliet from the entrance hall. The way in which the actor should deliver the line is whispering in the serving mans ear, gently leaning over to him but still looking at Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tybalt then swears to kill Romeo, but does not tell him to his face, but tells the Capulet, his uncle. Capulet reprimands him and tells him that there will be no duelling at his party, and tells Tybalt to let Romeo get on with what he is doing, as he wants no trouble. This heightens the dramatic tension at this point in the play as the audience thinks that there will shortly be a big fight in which Romeo will be mutually wounded and will die. Capulets speech, lines 82 - 87 is dramatically engaging as he is being happy and saying mad things, like "You are a princox". I would advise the actor to play this part with a very happy mood, and tell him to bounce and prance around the stage, rather loud but not loud enough to cause a scene. The actor must be happy when performing the part otherwise the effect will not be as great as it should be. ...read more.

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