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How does Shakespeare focus our attention on Romeo and Juliet in Act 1 scene 5

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare focus our attention on Romeo and Juliet in Act 1 scene 5 This scene is set at a party hosted by Lord Capulet. Romeo and his friends sneak into the party, but because it is a masked party they are not recognised. Tybalt, however, hears Romeo's voice and realises who it is. He complains to Lord Capulet, who orders Tybalt to let the subject drop because he has heard that Romeo is a very respectable youth, but also because he does not wish to appear to be inhospitable in his own home. Tybalt complies, but swears revenge. This is also the scene where Romeo first sees and then meets Juliet. This is the main event of the scene, and one of the most important events of the play, because it sets up the rest of the story. In this essay I will discuss how Shakespeare uses language to contrast his characters and bring emphasis on the more important characters and events. I will also discuss the way I would direct this play and organise the stage design. To help with this I will refer to the Baz Luhrman and Franco Zeffirelli films, although I do appreciate the important difference between a film and a play. ...read more.

Middle

Utterly furious at Romeo for daring to come he calls for his sword, in a way not dissimilar to Act 1 Scene 1, with the firm intention of starting a fight with Romeo. This goes further to show Tybalt's violent and easily roused temper, already demonstrated at the beginning of the play. At this point Lord Capulet enters on Tybalt's anger, and shows himself to be a calmer and more level headed person than his Nephew. He says that by reputation Romeo is "a virtuous and well-governed youth", by which he intends to placate Tybalt. When Tybalt continues to argue with Lord Capulet, Lord Capulet also loses his temper which, though better controlled, is just as violent as Tybalts. As with Tybalt, this is reminiscent of when he calls "my long sword" in Act 1 Scene 1. The Luhrman production shows this scene as a fancy dress party, and Tybalt is dressed as a devil to suggest at his malevolent nature. Unlike the films I would not have Tybalt in the dance room when he recognises Romeo, but rather have him entering the scene behind Romeo as Romeo is talking. Then Lord Capulet can detach himself from the dance floor to interrupt Tybalt. ...read more.

Conclusion

Part way through the scene Tybalt swears revenge on Romeo for entering the party. His line "This intrusion shall/ Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall", Act 1 Scene 5 lines 89/90 is intended as a prediction of what he will do to Romeo. However, it is an inadvertent prediction of what will happen to all who are involved in these events. Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt himself will all end up dead as a direct result of the events which took place that night, and the families of the deceased are all touched deeply by their deaths. When Romeo and Juliet first meet, there is a childlike happiness and naivety to their meeting. This shows in part exactly how young and inexperienced their characters are. This scene ends with Romeo and Juliet both in despair, because they have both belatedly realised who the other is. This despair is felt because they think that they may never be able to be with one another. Although this feeling is alleviated over the next few scenes when the couple marry, it mirrors the end of the play when the couple kill themselves because they both think that the other is dead and therefore they are unable to be together. ...read more.

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