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How does Shakespeare link language and imagery to build tension towards an explosion of violence which results in the death of Tybalt

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare link language and imagery to build tension towards an explosion of violence which results in the death of Tybalt At the start of Act 3 Scene 1, Shakespeare uses imagery when Benvolio warns Mercutio that the Capulets are about 'For now these hot days, is the mad blood stirring'. This shows that they will not escape a fight if the two houses meet as it suggests that the hot weather makes people brasher so that they will be looking to start a fight especially with Tybalt angry with Romeo now that he has married Juliet, so this creates tension. Whereas Mercutio doesn't think Benvlio does want to stop the possibility of a fight as he says 'thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood' suggesting that he is as much a troublemaker as anyone. He also lists a number of crazy reasons for Benvolio picking quarrels with people 'thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat', Shakespeare does this by using imagery as he uses a simile meaning that Benvolio's head is full of quarrels it is as full with them as an egg is full of meat. ...read more.

Middle

(Tibby), to taunt him and to provoke him into a fight - to create tension, the Elizabethan audience of that time would now all the Christian and folk lore stories, so would understand what Mercutio is referring to. Throughout the scene certain things anger Romeo enough to explode into the fight scene, such as Tybalt calling him 'Boy', also Mercutio blames Romeo for his death as he says 'nor so wide as a church door' meaning not in the literal sense but basically using a metaphor to say that it is big enough for a coffin to fit through, meaning he thinks he'll die. Mercutio also uses a pun 'grave man' as he means to be both serious and dead and buried in his grave, which further creates conflict in Romeo as it is him that has put Mercutio in the grave. Also Mercutio uses imagery to create more tension 'they have made worms meat of me', as this is all he is good for now that he is dying. ...read more.

Conclusion

Benvolio then makes a speech, where Shakespeare uses blank verse which is ordinary writing, without rhyming, but it still has rhythm because of the use of the iambic pentameter meaning in each line there are five stressed and five unstressed beats, to end up with a ten syllable line. Shakespeare uses this for all important speeches. But so that the actors don't speak it like an iambic pentameter, Shakespeare uses enjambement where there is no punctuation at the end of lines, which helps lines flow together 'An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled'. As the meaning would not be finished with 'Tybalt hit the life' as he has to hit the life of someone, so having no punctuation allows it to flow on to show 'Tybalt hit the life of stout Mercutio'. Also in Benvolio speech, Shakespeare uses oxymoron to highlight the clash of opposites between the two houses, as Benvolio says 'How nice the quarrel was', which is opposing because quarrels aren't nice as in this case two people died, so nice is used as an opposite to dreadful. Robbie Powell 11LC ...read more.

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