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If you were directing Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 scene 5, what would you want the audience to be aware of, and how might you direct their attention to these things?

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Introduction

YEAR 11 SHAKESPEARE COURSEWORK ESSAY. If you were directing Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 scene 5, what would you want the audience to be aware of, and how might you direct their attention to these things? Romeo and Juliet is perhaps William Shakespeare's most famous play. It is a tragedy that feature themes of love and hate, youth and age, and the close bond between the two pairs. Another strong theme is fate, it is current throughout the whole play and is shown in how Romeo and Juliet seem powerless to stop and oblivious to the destiny that we know they are about to fulfil. We are focusing on Act 1 scene 5 and the strong confrontations and feelings felt and seen in the scene. I would first try to draw the audience's attention to the large scale and overall merriment of the ball, all is bustle in the Capulet Mansion. This is what Shakespeare seems to want when giving his stage directions in the original play. I.e. 'the great hall in the Capulet mansion'. The grandeur of the ball seems apparent as Shakespeare says that 'serving men come forth with napkins'. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt recognises Romeo as a Montague despite his mask and he goes to Capulet to ask him why he is here. This is a fiery encounter with Tybalt standing up to his superior Capulet. Tybalt calls Romeo 'a villain' to Capulet and says in hatred that 'it fits when such villain is our guest.' Tybalt calls Romeo a villain three times in the exchange, as if Romeo has committed a crime against them (the Capulets) by just being a Montague and attending their ball. Tybalt is very aggressive (as he is throughout the play) but by this time Capulet is merry enough from the ball to play with and put down Tybalt by calling him a 'princox' and telling him to 'be quiet'. This is unexpected by Capulet as he is the top man of the warring family to the Montague's but obviously Capulet has recognised the threat from the Prince of Verona 'to keep the peace' and does not want anymore trouble, especially at his ball. Capulet does however fail to recognise the hatred in Tybalt's voice towards Romeo, and perhaps even fuels it by humiliating Tybalt. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point in the novel Shakespeare has the rest of the party-goers leaving, I think that this was included by Shakespeare as a metaphor for Romeo and Juliet's feelings, as at this point (when they find out that they are both members of the opposing families) his mad love feelings being to desert him, as do the guests, as the reality begins to set in. The way this scene ends is in total contrast to the way in which it started, with the end being sad and seeming quiet, with all of the guests gone and Romeo and Juliet feeling quiet lonely. My version of Act 1 scene 5 would be able to be affiliated with either of Baz Luhrman's or Franco Zeferelli with its soundtrack as in both of these remakes they employ similar techniques, as they are trying to create the same effect. The actions by the characters in the different versions, however, are quite different. The Baz Luhrman version has Juliet and Romeo in a more lustful first encounter than the Zeferelli version, Juliet also seems more seductive and teasing in the way she acts. My rendition would tend to lean more to the Franco Zeferelli version as it is more traditional and more true to Shakespeare's original masterpiece, or so I feel. MICHAEL ROACH 10JS ...read more.

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