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How does Shakespeare make the audience increasingly sympathetic towards Juliet in Act 3 Scene 5, and how would you emphasise this if you were directing this scene?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare make the audience increasingly sympathetic towards Juliet in Act 3 Scene 5, and how would you emphasise this if you were directing this scene? Shakespeare has not only influenced how we speak today, but is widely regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of all time. Although many of his plays involve a large degree of emotion, "Romeo and Juliet" is far more than just another tragic love story. The Elizabethan era was a time where wealth, natural order and status within society were of the utmost importance to the average individual. Shakespeare was aware of how to unsettle his Elizabethan audiences in order to achieve greater emotional impact. He does so by presenting them with realistic and likeable characters, whereupon he forces them into situations that will cast the characters into deep emotional turmoil, heightening the sympathy felt towards them. A modern audience is more used to these feelings presented in this way (they see it in film and TV all the time) but for a contemporary audience of Shakespeare, the play would have a more cataclysmic social impact. Despite this, Shakespeare still has an impact on a modern audience as modern lovers can still relate to the problems in which Romeo and Juliet are encountering in the play. Act 3 Scene 5 is a vital scene in the play, and in due course all will be revealed as to why. Prior to this scene, the feuding remains at large, and in contempt of this, Romeo disobediently goes to Lord Capulet's party, only to find the host's daughter is the love of his life. ...read more.

Middle

Likewise, Juliet addresses her as "Ladyship" and "Madam", so the audience have a sure knowledge of their distant relationship. As Juliet is weeping, Lady Capulet says in a callous tone: "Some grief shows much of love, But much of grief shows still some want of wit," Shakespeare uses emphatic language and complex sentences to show how Lady Capulet is rebuking Juliet's crying. Juliet replies with: "Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss" This use of dramatic irony makes the audience know she is not weeping for the loss of her cousin as Lady Capulet thinks, but she is actually weeping for Romeo. Not only does this make the audience's feeling of sympathy rise as Juliet has so much to grieve, but it also makes them feel slightly on edge that Juliet's alibi may slip up if she gives away too much away about Romeo. Shakespeare reiterates Lady Capulet's impersonal and arrogant exterior as she says: "Well, girl, thou..." In which I would assume the audience would remember what an unloving mother she is. As the director, I would make the actress playing Lady Capulet emphasise the word "girl" to add to the harshness of her character. As Lady Capulet begins to talk about Romeo and her having a dyer need for revenge, aside, Juliet says: "God pardon him, I do with all my heart," At this point, Juliet would be feeling the need to let her feelings out, hence why she says this aside. Also, as the actress would emphasise "all" the audience would feel Juliet's passion for Romeo, reiterating the sympathy for Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would emphasise her loneliness, and would also intensify the drama. The audience would feel unbelievably shocked and concerned that Juliet has turned suicidal. The sympathy felt would be at its greatest here, and I would leave the end of the scene in blackout for a good few seconds, so the tension in the audience could be felt throughout the theatre. So the scene has ended, and the audience's roller coaster of emotions has stopped - for the time being. Shakespeare has presented a scene of lust, sorrow, hatred, and desperation, and ends it on a hugely dramatic note. Yet the audience still wants more, and this is why this scene works so well. The scene begins with the audience feeling so happy for the lovers; which sadly turns to a sympathetic hate of the fact Romeo has to leave; travelling swiftly into a shock of the mothers unloving way, with slight worry that Juliet's alibi would soon slip up. The sympathy then sways backward and forward between Juliet and her father due to her disobedience, and his harsh attitude towards discipline. From then on, the audience's sympathy heightens more and more as Juliet loses everything she has. This just goes to show how if an audience can relate to a certain person, or feeling, as such as the feeling of loss Juliet feels in this play, then it can create such an intense scene. Shakespeare appears to define their love as something to fight for, even if in the end it means it cannot be... ?? ?? ?? ?? Claudia Waller 10N 1 Romeo and Juliet coursework 10/07 ...read more.

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