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how does Shakespeare make act 3 scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet exciting and tense for the audience?

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet-William Shakespeare Task: how does Shakespeare make act 3 scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet exciting and tense for the audience? I am going to examine how Shakespeare has made act 3 scene 1 exciting and tense. There are very few stage directions but Shakespeare uses a lot of language to create tense and exciting atmospheres, so it compensates for this. The play was set in Italy which at the time was divided into individual states, dominated by principal cities of which Verona was one this is where Romeo and Juliet is set, these cities ere ruled by powerful aristocratic families such as Capulet's and Montague's in the play, and often had a prince as a ruler, like Escalus. At the beginning of the scene, Benvolio and Mercutio are roaming around the streets, when they see the Capulet's are coming, benvolio at this point is nervous, the day is hot and tempers are already flowing. "I pray thee good mercutio, let's retire, for the Capels are abroad. And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl." Tension begins to rise as Benvolio's words make the fight inevitable. Mercutio's mood is a complete contrast to Benvolio's as he is in an indifferent mood and not afraid f the Capulet's and his words suggest as much. ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio challenges Tybalt, "Consort, does thou make us minstrels" Mercutio says this in a sarcastic tone insulting Tybalt making the atmosphere more tense and continues with his insults, "Here's my fiddlestick, here's that shall make you dance." Mercutio refers to his sword as a fiddlestick and threatens to make Tybalt dance this is Mercutio's challenge to Tybalt. And as is typical of Mercutio as he is classed as a joker in the play and in a way the challenge is made to be funny. Tybalt see's Romeo enter. The audience now expects a quarrel between Romeo and Tybalt and Tybalt is ready, "peace be with you sir' here comes my man" This leaves Mercutio feeling angry as he has walked away from his challenge. This leaves the audience excited as there is going to be a fight as expected and the tension rises. When he walks away from Mercutio this leaves him feeling ignored as Tybalt wants to fight with Romeo and this angers Mercutio a lot. Tybalt and Romeo have been expected to fight and Shakespeare prepares the audience for this scene from earlier parts of the play at the Capulet's ball. "I will withdraw this intrusion shall now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest Gall." Tybalt verbally attacks Romeo, "Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford no better term than this, thou art a villain." ...read more.

Conclusion

Mercutio blames Romeo for his death "Why the devil you came between us, I was hurt under your arm." The excitement is then raised again as Romeo knows his mistake and now gets angry. His mood darkens and tension reaches a peak as he makes a threat. "Either thou or I or both shall go with him." This challenge keeps the tension high, and leaves the audience knowing that one of them is going to die, Romeo kills Tybalt and realises that he has ruined all and is "fortunes fool" the audience sense that there is more tragedy set to come. When the prince enters tension is increased as the audience knows that Romeo is about to be punished lady Capulet is straight away angry and shouts for Romeo's death. Her language suggests she's a woman who can be unreasonable. Shakespeare makes benvolio repeat the action of the scene because he wants the audience to know exactly what they have witnessed. Romeo is exiled which to him is worse then death. I think that Shakespeare builds tension in this scene well and prepares the audience in previous events for this to happen. He leaves the audience expecting more tragedy throughout the play because the fight makes more conflicts and deaths inevitable. Shakespeare delays the prince's decree to keep the tension until the end. Act three scene one is definitely the most tense and exciting as indicated above. ...read more.

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