• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Shakespeare Prepare the Audience for the Tragic events of Act 5 Scene 3?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Shakespeare Prepare the Audience for the Tragic events of Act 5 Scene 3? Shakespeare opens 'Romeo and Juliet' with a love sonnet; a prologue that tells the end; a portent of things to come. The prologue tells the audience about the tragic ending so instead of wanting to know what happens in the end, we want to know how it happens. It is in this sonnet that there is the first mention of fate; 'a pair of star-cross'd lovers' meaning that their love is to be directed by fate. Shakespeare follows it with the word 'fatal'; this word encapsulates fate and death; fate meaning the unstoppable force acting on the lovers and death being what their love results in. In this opening fourteen lines Shakespeare introduces the idea that love will end in death and nothing can stop it because the stars and therefore fate are in control. This theme of fate reoccurs throughout the play- it is a constant reminder of the helplessness of Romeo and Juliet's love and the lack of control they have over the events that lead up to their inevitable death. This opening speech is then followed by the first scene- a fight between the Montagues and Capulets. The crudity of the language used is a direct contrast of the following part of the scene in which Romeo is first introduced. The men in the fight use sexual innuendos to show their masculinity, 'Ay, the heads of maids or their maidenheads,' maidenhead meaning virginity. Shakespeare does this throughout 'Romeo and Juliet' he intermixes scenes of complete vulnerability and purity with ones with crudity and bawdy language. This creates an even sharper contrast between the lovers and reality; it separates them from the rest of the world making their love almost divine. When Romeo enters the play the language changes- it becomes poetical and magical as Benvolio describes when he saw Romeo: 'An hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth the golden window of the east...' ...read more.

Middle

At first Juliet thinks that she means Romeo is dead and the audience is left in suspense. When she does find out Juliet goes through a mass of different emotions from relief to anger to complete disbelief. At first the nurse conceals part of the truth yet this just antagonises Juliet even more. Throughout the scenes the nurse turns from a comic character to a tragic one very quickly. From when she teases Juliet about her knowledge of Romeo to where she does not tell Juliet whether Romeo is alive or dead. But still the nurse does not see to what extent she is hurting Juliet. Juliet's initial reaction to the news is anger at Romeo for, as she says, fooling her into loving him. This speech mirrors Romeo's paradoxical discourse on love, and its effects. 'Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical! Dove-feather'd raven, wolvish-ravening lamb.' Juliet's speech explores the gap between appearance and reality and deception of the external. Yet when the nurse tries to agree Juliet turns on her and suddenly she is eager to defend Romeo; she is a whirlwind of emotion. 'Blister'd be they tongue For such a wish! He was not born to shame...' Juliet then bursts into a speech which is soon repeated by Romeo in the following scene. Juliet picks up the word banished and suddenly all thoughts of Tybalt have gone. ''Romeo is banished': to speak that word, Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet, All slain, all dead, 'Romeo is banished!'' Juliet's moods change very rapidly with sudden outbursts of emotion and uncontrollable tempers. Juliet seems to calm a little but she ends the scene on another personification of death as a lover. 'Come, cords, come, Nurse, I'll to my wedding bed, And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead.' The next scene is between Romeo and Friar Lawrence, the connection between the two men is similar to that of Juliet and her nurse. ...read more.

Conclusion

A dramatic panic breaks out and each person shows part of their character from their reaction to Juliet's death. Everyone seems to be more worried about their own loss rather than Juliet having lost her life. Capulet puts a disturbing edge to the mess; he repeats the characterisation of death as a seducer and a lover. But he talks as though he has stolen everything from himself and not just Juliet. 'O son, the night before they wedding day Hath Death lain with thy wife? There she lies, Flower as she was, deflowered by him. Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir, My daughter he hath wedded. I will die, And leave him all; life, living, all is Death's.' This speech is repeated in the words of Romeo when he sees Juliet's body. Friar Lawrence interrupts their self-indulgent sorrows like a voice of reason. Throughout the play he is the control over the characters and sometimes the only sane one. He calms Romeo down and makes him see sense; he even tries to tell him to slow his love for Juliet down. Friar Lawrence's links with god make him trustworthy and a source of comfort to the lovers. The differences between the reaction of Romeo and Juliet's family to her death are vast. Whereas the nurse and Juliet's mother seemed to give up in their self-pitying, dramatic dejection; Romeo reacts completely differently. He shows great heroic composure in the face of tragedy. Romeo seems to gain a grim determination that brings him back from his optimistic thoughts and gives him strength. 'Is it e'en so? Then I defy you, stars!' Romeo's passion bursts from him and he seems to have the power to fight against the fate that has killed his lover. Yet his recklessness and lack of thought is to be his downfall. Before he leaves Romeo asks Balthasar 'hast thou no letter to me from the Friar?' but once again fate conspires against him. The final scene is set in the darkness; an equivalent to Romeo and Juliet's first meeting. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Is The Nightingale and the Rose (Oscar Wilde) just a child's fairy tale or ...

    "Give me a red rose," she cried, "and I will sing you my sweetest song." But the tree shook its head. "My roses are red...but the winter has chilled my veins...and I shall have no roses at all this year."'

  2. How does Shakespeare build up dramatic Tension in Act III Scene I of Romeo ...

    Therefore we can tell that the Elizabethans were easily entertained but more sophisticated than twentieth century audiences. William Shakespeare was born on the 23rd April 1564 and later died on the 23 April 1616. Overall Shakespeare wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets.

  1. How is Shylock presented in Act IV Scene I in The Merchant of Venice?

    Nevertheless, a modern audience may find that he is using tactical techniques to side step Portia's questions, so that he doesn't have to give anything away or reveal his plans. He also fight's off his opponents good points, for example, when Portia recommends to having a surgeon to seize the

  2. Compare and contrast the mother-daughter relationship in 'A Taste Of Honey' by Shelagh Delaney ...

    Both Jo and Cathie feel as though they are not receiving enough care and attention - they want to feel loved. This is another similarity found in each relationship. During the car journey Cathie and her mother made home, they remained silent (as previously highlighted).

  1. Discuss How The Nature Of The Relationships Between Catherine, Eddie and Rodolfo Are Made ...

    Therefore the audience would empathise with Eddie trying to hang on to his daughter. However it shocks the audience when his parental love is revealed as perhaps, something more sinister, this adds to their pity for him and keeps the audience gripped and guessing what he'll do next.

  2. Romeo and Juliet

    She has realised that they are on the verge of a catastrophe. She says "It is, it is, hie hence, be gone, away!" She has realised that she has been blind, and that if Romeo is to live he must leave straight away.

  1. The Blind Date

    Interestingly, that more and more often he would catch himself remembering his first girlfriend who had eventually chosen to join hippies - the style of life which in no way could have become his path, not at least, at that period of time when he was studying towards A levels exams.

  2. In its day

    There, there, mother, he said hastily. Sit down, and don't jump to conclusions" some what trying to calm her down and making it easier for the visitor to tell the problem "You've not brought bad news, I'm sure, sir and he eyed the other wistfully." this gives a feel that Mr White knows what the news

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work