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How does Shakespeare increase the tension for the audience during Act 1 scene 5 and how would the actors show it?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare increase the tension for the audience during Act 1 scene 5 and how would the actors show it? William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was born at Stratford-upon-Avon.From the age of seven to about 14, he attended Stratford Grammar School receiving an excellent well rounded education. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who was seven years his senior and three months pregnant. He endured her until he could stand it no longer and fled to London to become an actor. He then became actor-manager and part-owner in the Blackfriars and afterwards the Globe Theatres. He was a first-rate actor, but it is as a writer of plays that he has achieved lasting world-wide fame. His plays are thought to be the finest ever written in any language. His 37 plays vary in type; historical romances, light, fantastic comedies, some are tragedies, all including the comical and the farcical. He was a shrewd business man, amassing quite a fortune in his time. He returned to Stratford for his latter years where he died at the age of 52. The atmosphere at the start of the scene is very lively and one full of excitement. We hear Capulet's servants complaining about one another "Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away?" The servants bustle also picks up the pace of the play. They are in a hurry, and there's a sense that everything is speeding up. While the servants are still bustling about, Lord Capulet enters followed by his kins and guests. ...read more.

Middle

He's contradicting the master of the house and saying "Ill not endure him" just as though he owned the place. This earns him a humiliating tongue-lashing from Capulet starting with "He shall be endured, What, goodman boy! I say, he shall, go to..............." Capulet has given up on giving friendly advice and is now sputtering with anger. He calls Tybalt "boy" and mocks him and sneers "you'll be the man!" Tybalt is apparently surprised by Capulet's anger, and says, "why, uncle,'tis a shame", but now its too late to say anything to the old man, who makes threats and takes the whole thing very personally, growling, "This trick may chance to scathe you.............." Not only is Capulet very angry, but he tries to cover the embarrassment of the moment by calling out to his guests, "What, cheerly, my hearts!" as though he were perfectly happy. Tybalt's only choice is to shut up and leave, which he does, but not before making a promise to himself that Romeo will pay. He says, "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall." With Tybalt's threat still echoing in our ears, we now read that Romeo is holding Juliet's hand and wittilt offereing to kiss it. He says "If I profane with my unworthiest hand....." (lines 93-96) To us, Romeo may sound impossibly sappy, but hes not. The popular love poetry of the time often portrayed the lover as one who worshipped his beloved with religious devotion. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Nurse quickly returns with the news that the one who Juliet asked about is Romeo and a Montague. Juliet exclaims, "My only love sprung from my only hate,too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy." "Too early seen unknown, and known too late" suggests that if Juliet had known Romeo to be a Montague she wouldn't have fallen in love with him, but now its "too late." She feels, like Romeo, that love is once and forever, and they both fear the consequences of their love, but without any thought of changing their minds or hearts. The Nurse asks Juliet what she's saying, and Juliet lies, saying it's just a rhyme she heard from a dance partner. The someone calls for Juliet, and she and the Nurse hurry away, ending the scene. I think Act 1 scene 5 is a very crucial scene as this is where the play really kicks off and starts to build the tension. I think its one of the most important scenes of the whole play as this is where they meet and the love begins shortly followed by hatred. We see a lot of emotions come through in this scene, firstly with Capulet and Tybalt having an arguement, then, Romeo and Juliet falling in love and then finally Romeo and Juliet finding out that there 'only love sprung from their only hate.' ...read more.

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