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How does Shakespeare make Act 1, scene 5 of 'Romeo and Juliet' dramatically effective? What are the consequences of this scene for the rest of the play?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare make Act 1, scene 5 of 'Romeo and Juliet' dramatically effective? What are the consequences of this scene for the rest of the play? 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tragic story about love and hate; nowhere is this more apparent than in Act 1, scene 5. Up to this point in the story we have been introduced to the entire cast and their specific characteristics and difficulties. In this scene they all come together for the first time at the Capulet mansion for a great party, which leads us to the real plot behind the story, the audience are now expecting Romeo and Juliet to fall in love finally, they have been waiting for almost a whole Act for the moment both characters will meet, and both Romeo and Juliet will fulfil their destiny as depicted by the Prologue. This climactic end of Act 1 is coupled with the tension of having a masked party, because now it is difficult for guests to guess whom each other are. We know that to be the case because we hear Capulet say "how long is't now since last yourself and I were in a mask?". It is especially tense because the audience knows Romeo and Juliet will meet, and they also know that they will not realise who they have fallen in love with. ...read more.

Middle

Luckily, or not, whichever way you see it; Capulet catches him mid-way with his sword. Capulet tells Tybalt not to fight "a bears him like a portly gentleman" because Romeo is not too bad a Montague in the eyes of Verona and the prince "And to say truth, Verona brags of him To be a virtuous and well-governed youth." Tybalt does not like this at all and says, "I'll not endure him". Capulet gets a little angry at Tybalt's talking back and he begins to mock Tybalt's stubborn love of fighting Montagues; we know he loves fighting because of his speech in Act 1, scene 1, "what, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word". Capulet calls him a 'saucy boy' on line 38 and also says, "you are a princox" which means he is a cocky youngster. Eventually Tybalt backs down, but swears his revenge: "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall" The consequences of this part of the scene, and the actual speech quoted above, are huge. Later on in the play it is this stubborn love of fighting, and his thirst for revenge, that lead to the death of Mercutio. It is ultimately one of the main sparks that set off the play to end up in such a tragic way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet responds, not quite telling the nurse exactly what she meant, but enough to leave the nurse guessing. The reason of having the nurse knowing, but not quite knowing adds suspense, and another possible way that Romeo and Juliet's love will be squashed. The fact that Romeo and Juliet have met and fallen in love completely changes the story, hurling it a completely different direction to what was first supposed by the characters. Their meeting means the story happens the way it does, if they had not met Juliet would have married Paris and Romeo would have got back together with Rosaline. I feel that this scene is very dramatically effective because not only does it surprise us with a change of pace and drama, the whole story, including the eventual climax, have changed for the characters and the new ideas are now beginning to be formed. It also very effective because the audience already know how the story will end and how it will start (with Romeo and Juliet falling in love) but they do not know what is in the middle, and as such Shakespeare has put several clues and several possibilities, especially as concerns Tybalt's want for revenge. The argument between Tybalt and Capulet, and the final comments from Juliet give us an expanded view of the level of hatred each family feels for the other. . And yet, out of this hatred comes a love that will eventually stop the fighting between the families. ...read more.

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