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How does the tone of the play change after the death of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How does the tone of the play change after the death of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet? The mood of the play changes quite dramatically after the death of Mercutio. The reason why Shakespeare added the death of Mercutio was to make the audience feel sad about the death of Romeo's best friend. After he is killed in Act 3, scene 1 the tragedy then begins to gain momentum or pace. This adds to play and makes it far more interesting for an Elizabethan audience which the play was originally designed for. There are also a lot of references to fate during the play which also adds to the build up of tragedy. When we first meet Romeo he is miserable because he thinks he is in love with Rosalind but she does not love him back. (Act 1, Scene 1, line 162) ' 'Not having that which having makes them short.' 'In love?' 'Out-' 'Of Love?' 'Out of her favour where I am in love.' In the quotation it clearly shows Romeos grief saying how his love for Rosalind is making him feel short because she does not love him back, which is also written in the quotation. Romeo thinks that he is in love and it is making him miserable but when he goes to the Capulet's party his mood immediately changes when he sees Juliet. This also shows that he was not truly in love with Rosalind, but is now in love with Juliet, a Capulet. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet says this because she is staring out the window into the dark night waiting for Romeo. There is a very sudden shift in the atmosphere and mood when the nurse arrives. Clues to suggest the nurse is distraught and upset. The nurse uses short syntax and she repeats the words 'he' and 'dead'. This makes Juliet believe that it is Romeo that is dead. When Juliet thinks Romeo has killed himself she believes it to be a judgement from heaven. She uses lots of negative vocabulary and she refers to hell to show her upset for the death or Romeo. She uses words such as 'devil', 'torment' and 'dismal hell.' Juliet's initial thoughts are that Romeo is dead. The nurse then tells Juliet that Tybalt has been killed. She is even more upset now she thinks that two of the people to whom she feels closest to have been slaughtered. (Act 3, Scene 2, Line 67) 'Then dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom, For who is living, is these two are gone?' In the above quotation Juliet is expressing her grief for the two people who she loved the most. She also says about the dreadful trumpet, this is saying that the trumpet has made its sound for doom. Juliet begins to use a series of oxymoron from line 73 onwards. "O serpent heart, hid with a flow' ring face!' and 'Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical' 'Dove-feathered raven, wolvish ravening lamb.' ...read more.

Conclusion

His companion had been found visiting the sick by local health officials. The tragedy rests on the letter not being delivered. During the final scenes there is a lot of death happening which an Elizabethan audience would expect. Romeo and Juliet are found dead which the audience expected would happen from the prologue. In the prologue there it says 'misadventured' 'death bury' and 'strife'. These are in the prologue to get the audience ready for a shocking ending. Justice is not found in tragedy. Good characters are punished out of all proportion and totally innocent characters are destroyed. However, the villain never remains victorious; the forces of good prevail in the end. In a tragedy there is always a sense of a disaster waiting to happen. The atmosphere is always one of doom right from the beginning. An act of free will sets off the train of events but what follows is beyond control; it achieves momentum on its own. The audience should experience feelings of shock, horror, distress and sympathy. I think that the mood of the play changed quite dramatically after the death of Mercutio, everything went downhill for Romeo which eventually led to his death which would have been upsetting for an audience viewing the play. Juliet was really happy when she married Romeo, but when she found out he had been banished after the death of Mercutio her mood changed to a suicidal one seeing as she would have been unable to see the man she loved. The mood of the play definitely changes after the death of Mercutio. 1 ...read more.

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