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How does Shakespeare use language and action to make Act 3 Sc I of his play 'Romeo and Juliet' dramatically effective

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use language and action to make Act 3 Sc I of his play 'Romeo and Juliet' dramatically effective? Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's earliest tragedies and was written in about 1595. One of the ways of dating the play is the reference "Tis since the earthquake noe eleven years" which refers to the Earthquake felt in England on 6th April 1580. Before Act 3 starts, there has already been a lot of action to show that the feud between the Montagues and Capulets is serious and violent. At the beginning of the play the Prince warns the heads of both the families "...If ever you disturb our streets again your lives shall pay the forfeit" This is a very heavy penalty showing that the Prince has run out of patience because their problems cannot be resolved and kept off the streets of Verona. The Montagues and the Capulets are both catholic but the Capulets are much more devout and have lots of religious iconography. They also have a stricter life and Juliet's parents have chosen Paris to be her husband. However, in Act2 scene 6 Juliet marries Romeo creating a bond between the Montagues and the Capulets and making it impossible for Juliet to obey her father and marry Paris. ...read more.

Middle

The Princes turns to Benvolio to explain what happened. Benvolio's language favours Mercutio who he calls "brave", "stout" and "bold". He reminds us of Tybalts anger "unruly spleen" and his skill at fighting with a sword "dexterity" and "agile". He also defends Romeo who "spoke him fair" to Tybalts who was "deaf to peace". Lady Capulet is angered by Benvolios words and shouts at the Prince "He is a Kinsman to the Montagues affection makes him false" which means that Benvolio is biased. The Prince has to be fair to all and banishes Romeo. There are moany references to blood and violence and death in the last twenty lines of the scene, "slew", "black strife" but the Princes line "My blood for your rudes brawls doth lie a-bleeding". Blood here also means family so the Prince's family is made to shed blood because of the brawling between the Capulets and Montagues. The word brawl is like a fight that is pointless and lacks the dignity of a proper battle. The language is very important to the drama of this scene but the constant entrances and exits of the characters speeds up the excitiment and action of the scene. Benvolio and Mercutio enter at the beginning. Benvolio is like a tension gauge because we know when Benvolio feels uncomfortable then we should go along with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

HE also uses the entrances and exits of Chracters to build and release tension. Benvolio warns us that the Capulets are abroad and Mercutio is lively and joking, but nevertheless builds Tybalt's anger further. Then Romeo enters, who instead of fighting frustrates Tybalt with his talk of peace. This also affects Mercutio who draws his sword for the first time and is slain by Tybalt. The final calming, judgement by the Prince ends the scene, which has been like a play within a play because there has been so much action. The tension in this scene is built by the entrances and exits iof chracters and is only finallt relieved when the Prince enters and passes judgement but two have died and one is banished. However. Shakespeare's use of language make the action more effective by describing the weather, Benvolio sets the scene for 'hot' tempers. Romeo's peaceful words instead od calming Tybalt aggravate him. They do form a contrast through showing that Tybalt's need to punish Romeo wont go away. The reall dramatic effect is that Romeo's desire for everyone to live in peace led to increased anger from Tybalt and Mercutio, drawing his sword to defend Romeo's honour because, he could no longer listen to Tybalt's insults. It also resulted in his banishment and the 1st od series of events and misunderstandings leading to the tradgic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

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