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How Does Shakespeare make Act 1 Scene 5 interesting and tense for the audience?

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Alex McAllister How Does Shakespeare make Act 1 Scene 5 interesting and tense for the audience? In this essay I will be writing about the intensity of act 1 scene 5 of the famous tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet' and how it has parallel links to previous scenes in the play. Act 1 scene 5 is a critical scene because it is the first time Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love at the Capulet's ball. In the scene the audience forget what was said in the prologue as they are captured in the moment of the 'star crossed lovers' first meeting. The audience know that they are destined to die 'A pair of star crossed lovers take their life'. This gives a sense of dramatic tension. However as the audience are so engrossed in the love they share on their first meeting that they believe Romeo and Juliet will live the life of happiness. As the audience watch this scene they ask themselves will they risk meeting each other again as they are from opposing families, is it really true love or fatal attraction? ...read more.


It shows importance as it is written in the form of a sonnet. A sonnet being a fourteen lined poetic piece of writing associated with love or death which ends with a rhyming couplet to conclude it. They were often used in the Elizabethan era. The main features of the sonnet spoken by Romeo and Juliet are religion, hands and lips. Shakespeare uses poetical and elevating language. Romeo refers to Juliet as a 'holy shrine' showing that he worships her. As religion was extremely important in the Elizabethan period. 'This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this' Juliet responds to Romeo's attempts of seduction in a coy and shy way 'Ay pilgrim, lips they must be used in prayer' Juliet's words also refer to religion. Hands touch together while praying and Romeo wants to let lips do what hands do. 'Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake, Romeo: Then move not while my prayer's effect I take,' Alex McAllister A rhyming couplet shows a conclusion, after these words Romeo and Juliet kiss. This is a passionate moment for the audience as they share there first kiss. Romeo asks that they kiss again. ...read more.


How can Romeo possibly be a Montague? As Romeo and Juliet now know that they are from rival families the audience would hope that they would not pursue their relationship, because of it. The scene ends with a sense of foreboding; the lovers are doomed to die. Tension and suspense is built up in the scene because of a time factor, when will Romeo and Juliet meet again? Will they risk losing their lives over love? Act 1 scene 5 is a crucial part of the play as it is Romeo and Juliet's first meeting. Shakespeare captures the audience by using dramatic irony. The audience know that Romeo and Juliet are destined to fall in love and die for love from the prologue. When Romeo and Juliet first meet Shakespeare uses elevating language by using a sonnet, which shows importance. Their time to be together is running out, and it's because of this time factor that the tension is high, as the audience do not know when the lovers shall meet again. The next time they meet could be there last, and it's this that causes tension for the audience. ...read more.

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