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How does Shakespeare make Act One Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet dramatically effective?

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet coursework Walk down a busy high street today in England and almost everybody will have heard of those two famous names, "Romeo and Juliet." A twisted love affair between two sparring families, this very famous Shakespearean play was one of the cornerstones of British culture today. Riddled with its main themes of love, tragedy and violence, the celebrated story is still just as current today as it was back then, and is still incredibly effective in many ways. Performed throughout theatres nationwide in the Elizabethan era, the play has been altered quite dramatically through the years, as has the perception of the audience. The Elizabethan theatre was a place of social gathering, with a very lively atmosphere and at times so loud it was almost impossible to hear the actors; the play itself was seen as a backdrop, with more attention focused on socializing. However, the contemporary audience see the play in a whole new light. With much more importance put onto the play, they may find the highly dramatic storyline and plot devices much more exuberant than other more modern plays. ...read more.

Middle

This dramatic irony, teamed with Romeos romantic imagery provides a huge change in tension and atmosphere. Romeo uses many poetic devices in his speech, one of which is oxymorons, to represent his love for Juliet. He begins by stating that she is a "rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear" and that she's a "snowy dove trooping with crows". The first oxymoron would be seen as quite radical in Elizabethan times, as an "Ethiope" - a black person - was seen as the lowest and poorest class in society, and for Juliet to be a rich jewel for a black person, something quite uncommon in those times, would mean she must be extremely rare and beautiful. The second oxymoron is very effective in showing that Juliet outshines the other girls at the party, as doves are seen as pure and beautiful, whereas crows are uglier and less pure. The dove is a symbol of peace and purity, and also fits in with some religious imagery; in the story of Noah's Ark the two doves were sent out as messengers of peace. This religious imagery not only made Juliet seem pure and heavenly, but also identified with the Elizabethan audience as the majority of the audience were religious and understood the purity of Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, what appears to be "true love" between these two youngsters may not be as it seems; is this relationship true love or true lust? The fact that both Romeo and Juliet use words such as "dear" and "good" whilst speaking religiously - "holy palmer" - could show that even though they have just met they are destined to be with each other, already regularly using words such as "dear" and "good", and the religious comparisons equally show their love for each other. However, the fact that after only just seeing each other could show that this relationship is based on appearance and looks, and putting each other on pedestals would show infatuation, not love. This is also backed up with the fact that when Romeo first sees Juliet he exclaims she is "Beauty too rich for use", showing that he is very shallow and cares solely for her appearance - pure lust. The end of the scene is perhaps the most dramatically effective part of the scene - when Romeo and Juliet finally find out that they are sworn enemies. A new change of beat increasingly creates tension as Romeo, after only seconds after kissing Juliet, finds out that she is in fact a Capulet. ...read more.

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