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How Would You Direct Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet for a Contemporary Audience at the Globe Theatre?

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Introduction

Emma Walker 10AGD How Would You Direct Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet for a Contemporary Audience at the Globe Theatre? 'Two star-cross'd lovers', secretly married and so tragically separated in a vile forfeit of their young lives. The ill fated plot of Romeo and Juliet in which act 3 scene 1 plays an essential role in the structure of the play. Shakespeare's decision to kill off Mercutio, a prominent character, not only gives Romeo the rage to kill Tybalt but also removes Mercutio's wit and humour, which may have caused a distraction from the affliction of the play. The scene stimulates the tension seen throughout the play from this point. The scene is full of heat, passion and anger emphasising the turning point of the play. Romeo's banishment and Tybalt's death adds more pressure on his secret marriage to Juliet. The play was written between 1594 and 1596, when theatre and audiences were very different to what they are today. In the 1500's the theatre was one of the only places to socialize and people often visited the afternoon performances frequently. The audience would be rowdy, often drunk and loud throughout the performances, whereas nowadays, audiences are much more polite and respectful towards the actors and the play. ...read more.

Middle

When Romeo will not fight, Tybalt does not understand and will not be satisfied. Like Mercutio, Tybalt is energetic but a major contrast between them is Tybalt has lacks a sense of fun. The audience are aware that Romeo is now married to Juliet and Tybalt being her cousin, he is un-willing to fight a member of his new family, but Mercutio is outraged that Romeo takes Tybalts abuse with such mildness and draws his own sword against the Capulet. Knowing the Prince Escalus's threats, Romeo tries to stop the fighting, 'Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince hath forbidden bandying in Verona streets.' His interference confuses Mercutio and he is fatally wounded. Even as he lies, death almost upon him, Mercutios wit is still present, he comments that if Romeo asks for him tomorrow he shall find him, 'a grave man'. His character is so vibrant and energetic. The audience are always waiting to see what he will do next, perhaps this is why Shakespeare decided to remove him from this point as there is no relaxing of speed or tension from now on. Romeo blames himself for Mercutios' death and filled with, 'fiery-ey'd fury', for a moment he forgets his new bride and seeked vengeance for his dead friend. ...read more.

Conclusion

When it is clear that Tybalt meant the man he was looking for and not one of his associates. The difference in tones throughout the scene all clash. Tybalt comes across as fearless and he is desperately trying to provoke a fight in contrast with Romeo, who is trying to prevent any attack and even proclaiming his love for Tybalt, 'I do protest I never injur'd thee, But love thee better than thou canst devise,' Mercutios' tone would be more lighthearted and teasing. Events move more quickly from this scene and with Romeo's banishment still echoing in everyone's minds, the play moves to Juliet, ignorant of the happenings on Verona streets and longing for her beloved Romeo. The two scenes create a powerful dramatic contrast. The audience are left with a longing to find out what happens next and if Romeo and Juliet will reclaim their love. By using visual aids. The play can be brought into the present and still keep its tragic plot but have more purpose and realism to a modern audience. By inserting racial and religious tensions into the play, today's issues are dealt with and the audience can relate to the story. Shakespeare was a fantastic playwright and his work is adaptable to any time period, which is why it is still so popular today. ...read more.

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