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How does Shakespeare make Act 3 Scene 1 dramatically effective?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare make Act 3 Scene 1 dramatically effective? "Romeo and Juliet" is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 1590's, about two young "star-cross'd lovers" whose untimely deaths unite their feuding families. "Romeo and Juliet" is set in Verona, Northern Italy. The play is all about love and family honour. There is a feud going on between the Capulet and Montague families. People who were involved in the feud had to defend their families honour - even if that meant bloodshed. Children were meant to listen to their parents and follow their orders. Romeo and Juliet were going against their parents and violating the feud when they fell in love. "Romeo and Juliet" became very successful as it contained everything (- romance, violence, revenge) that was needed in a popular and dramatic play. I am going to analyse how Shakespeare conveys all the emotions in this scene and how Act 3 Scene 1 is made dramatically effective. Act 3 Scene 1 occurs immediately after Romeo and Juliet get married thus explaining Romeo's happy mood. Juliet talks about how happy she is and uses words like "happiness" and "wealth". ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt is totally focused on Romeo and as soon as he sees Romeo, Tybalt blows off Mercutio, saying, "Well, peace be with you, sir: here comes my man". Which I believe is ironic as in Act 1 Scene 1, Tybalt's first words are "What, drawn and talk of peace! I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee." This makes the audience wonder if Tybalt is being serious or teasing Mercutio and Romeo. Mercutio is insulted on behalf of Romeo because of Tybalt blowing him off. This makes the audience feel Mercutio's annoyance and they are able to tell that he will do something strange. Tybalt straightaway calls Romeo a villain without addressing him, "Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford, no better term than this: thou art a villain." I believe he is trying to aggravate Romeo to make him fight with him but Romeo is in a happy mood which the audience knows why, but none of the other characters. Therefore, he replies by playing with Tybalt's words saying "Tybalt, the reason I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage to such a greeting. ...read more.

Conclusion

He uses sarcasm and dark humour as the word "grave" has two meanings - grave meaning serious or grave meaning dead. The characters on stage assume he means he will turn serious and laugh about it. Even the audience assume that as we have been portrayed of Mercutio's humour throughout the whole play. Benvolio takes him off-stage and all the audience are assuming that he will come back on stage laughing and joking around, so when Benvolio arrives on stage announcing that "O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead", the audience feel shocked at the outcome. Shakespeare chooses to do this as this has the greatest impacton the audience - the element of surprise. They were not expecting Mercutio to die. They are left wondering what is going to happen now. Before Mercutio died, he shouted "A plague a'both your houses!" which leaves a great impact as this was his last words and it feels like a curse, he wants revenge as this feud between the two families made "worms meat" of him. It is like a curse has been set upon both houses and as in those days, people believed in the stars and fate, this curse seemed true. The audience are now certain that something will happen to both houses in the end, to make their death's untimely. ...read more.

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