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

How significant in terms of plot and characters is Act 1 as an introduction to the play, Romeo and Juliet?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How significant in terms of plot and characters is Act 1 as an introduction to the play, Romeo and Juliet? Act One plays a significant role as an introduction to the play, as the summary has been established within the whole act. It provides a backdrop for the rest of the play, as the characters and conflicts are reflected throughout it. Act One Scene One opens with the servants Sampson and Gregory fighting. This provides the first insight to the conflict between the two families, the Capulets and the Montagues "the quarrel is between our masters, and us their men." Sampson and Gregory can be seen as a microcosm of their lords and the audience are automatically provided with the knowledge of the history of conflict between the Capulets and the Montagues. Tybalt's threat to the Montagues is significant in the first scene of Act One, as he creates further tension, "...talk of peace? I hate the word." The "fiery Tybalt's" role in this scene shows the audience that Tybalt is a willing aggressor. His hot temper and his non-pacifist views are significant as the conflicting plot is similarly reflected later on in the play, where the death of Mercutio is the victim of Tybalt's violent nature. ...read more.

Middle

The Nurse is significant as she helps Juliet a lot later on in the novel. She finds out the information about Romeo and helps them to get married. Juliet thinks of her as a helpful but also maternal character, to whom she will always be close to. The premonitions that Romeo feels in the fourth scene are significant as they are true and become very relevant when he falls in love with Juliet, "Some consequence yet hanging in the stars." He feels as though something will happen that night, but not too sure whether they are good or bad. At the party, Tybalt's aggressive threats are revealed once more as he tries to take on Romeo, "'Tis he, that villain Romeo", but is prevented by Capulet, "...be patient, take no note of him." The tension of the party increases under Tybalt's threat, but then is released after Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. Their religious imagery and symmetry is reflected by each other and Romeo uses this imagery flirtatiously to kiss Juliet. "Then move not, while my prayers' effect I take." ...read more.

Conclusion

The phrase quoted above could also be that both Romeo and Juliet were destined to be together, hence "...in the stars" and Romeo's premonitions were that the two lovers were to be cursed with the fact that they were sworn enemies. This is also significant as the consequence hanging in the stars turns out to be at the cost of both of their lives. Act One plays an important role as an introduction to the rest of the play as we are given the insight to the main characters in the play and also to the major plots which are reflected later on "By the old Capulet and Montague, having thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets." By introducing the main characters in the first act, Shakespeare allows the audience to form their first impressions of them as well as giving the chance for the characters and plot to develop. For example, at the beginning of the Act, Romeo was completely infatuated with Rosaline and thought that love was "...too rough, too rude, too boisterous." However towards the end of Scene Five a significant change of heart has arisen in Romeo; Juliet has captured his heart and he describes her as a "holy shrine, the gentle sin is this." Sasha Payagala 10s ...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 Romeo and Juliet 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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work