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How does Shakespeare use conflict to dramatic effect in Romeo and Juliet?

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How does Shakespeare use Conflict to Dramatic Effect in Romeo and Juliet In scene one, act one Shakespeare uses many forms of conflict to dramatic effect. It starts with an example of friendly rivalry, shown between two servants of the Capulet family, Gregory and Sampson. When Sampson says to Gregory that he is "A pretty piece of flesh" which means he thinks of himself as good looking, Gregory replies by saying that "Tis well thou art not fish, if thou hadst, thou hast been Poor John". By saying this Gregory is comparing Sampson's manhood to a small, dried and salty piece of fish. Another example of this friendly rivalry is when Gregory uses a pun to annoy Sampson, "To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand, therefore if thou art moved thou runnest away", Gregory is playing on the two meanings of the word moved, and uses this as a pun. This entertains and amuses the audience, and at the time it was written, it would have kept the audience from becoming restless. In scene one, act one, there are also examples of rivalry between the two families, Montague and Capulet. ...read more.


Here Shakespeare lightens the mood of the audience and gives them a rest. Then in act three scene one there are examples of family rivalry between Romeo and Mercutio, and Tybalt. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony when Romeo says, "Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage". This is ironic because the audience know that the reason that Romeo is referring to is the fact that he is now related to Tybalt, having married Juliet already in secret. The rivalry between Mercutio and Tybalt is shown when Mercutio is trying to provoke Tybalt into a fight when he says, "And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something, make it a word and a blow", this highlights Mercutio's hate for the Montague's and sets the scene for a fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, grabbing the attention of the audience, and leaving them in anticipation of a fight. In act three scene one there is also a point where the conflict between the two families is shown for its seriousness when, following the killing of Tybalt by Romeo, Lady Capulet is seen to be more interested in having Romeo executed, than actually mourning the death of Tybalt. ...read more.


actually crying about the fact that her husband killed Tybalt and has been banished, and she will be unable to see him again, alternatively, Juliet could also be crying over the death of Tybalt. The nurse speaks out of turn, when she says, "May not one speak", whilst Juliet's parents are telling Juliet off, this will surprise the audience as servants where supposed to obey and do what there masters told them to do. The Nurse also uses an insulting metaphor when speaking to Juliet about Romeo when she says, "Romeo's a dishclout to him", by saying this the nurse is trying to comfort Juliet by telling her that Romeo is not as big a loss as Juliet thinks he is. In conclusion, Shakespeare uses a lot of conflict to dramatic effect in his play Romeo and Juliet, he uses much dramatic irony, metaphors, serious and dangerous conflict and friendly rivalry to interest and engage the audience. The mood is often playful and funny when members of just one family are on stage, however when members of both families are present, the tension rises and the conflict becomes serious. There is also a lot of use of dramatic irony mostly involving Romeo's marriage to Juliet. ...read more.

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