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How does Shakespeare use dramatic devices in Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet in order to make it such an interesting, exciting and important scene?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use dramatic devices in Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet in order to make it such an interesting, exciting and important scene? Introduction William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet at a relatively early juncture in his career, more probably around 1595. It focuses on two star-crossed lovers who find each other in the midst of their families' everlasting feud and vendetta. The play is classed as a tragedy because both Romeo and Juliet die - which is foreshadowed in the opening passage of the play. The play has a variety of themes, but mainly love and hatred. The scene I am writing about in this essay - Act 3 Scene 1, is seen as the fulcrum of the play - where it turns from comedy to tragedy. How are the characters introduced? Romeo is introduced towards the end of Act 1 Scene 1 and is portrayed as miserable and lonely because of Rosaline, the woman he loves, (but she does not know) and he is hiding away from his family and friends. ...read more.

Middle

This has changed from the last scene (Act 2 Scene 6) because the scene before was more romantic - Romeo and Juliet secretly got married. In this scene, there is fighting and death - completely different. Act 3 Scene 1 links to previous events in the play, because the ruler of Verona, Prince Escalus, had warned the families to stop public brawling; otherwise he would punish them. The dramatic irony in the play, when Romeo refuses to rise to Tybalt's challenge, is that he is now related to Tybalt, and only Romeo and Juliet know (on-stage), as well as the audience. To refuse a challenge in Shakespearean times, the audience would see this as cowardly and feminine, and is seen as Romeo letting down his honour (which embarrasses Mercutio); whereas today's audiences would agree with Romeo and that he did the right thing. Conflicts between Romeo and Mercutio with Tybalt make the audience feel sorry for Romeo because he didn't really want to fight his new relation, so soon after marrying Juliet. Of course, when Mercutio dies, Romeo thinks otherwise and kills Tybalt. ...read more.

Conclusion

This scene is where comedy turns to tragedy and the play changes significantly. In this scene, two characters die (Mercutio and Tybalt) which is unheard of in the Shakespearean age. Act 3 Scene 1 is the turning point in the play because it is where the comedy theme of the play changes and becomes a tragedy, from the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt. The Prince's words at the end of each scene interest and involve members of the audience, because in the time the play was written, the most important person of the scene has the final word, and used rhyming couplets to show authority and that they are most important. I think the scene is the most interesting in the play, because after the previous scenes with romance and comedy, it is good to bring a change in the characters and their behaviour. It shows how Romeo tried hard not to fight Tybalt, but ends up doing so in the end. It also shows where Shakespeare tried something new in killing two characters in one scene. Also, to compare how Shakespearean audiences would react differently to things than we do today. ...read more.

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