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In Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet the lovers first meet and fall in love. Examine closely the ways in which Shakespeare dramatises this moment and explore it's importance to the development of the action of the whole tragedy.

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Introduction

In Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet the lovers first meet and fall in love. Examine closely the ways in which Shakespeare dramatises this moment and explore it's importance to the development of the action of the whole tragedy. In Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 5 is probably the most important part of all. Within this scene Shakespeare gives the audience the first fleeting instance in which the two lovers meet and fall in love. Shakespeare offers this brief but powerful sequence as a symbol of what is to follow and therefore the act becomes probably the most central and thought provoking in the play as a whole. The short and interrupted meeting is interspersed with violence in the form of the fiery Tybalt, and the fact that the lover's dialogue is cut short at the end represents their impending tragedy. This scene holds a selection of important themes and imagery, which are then developed throughout the play, in a dramatic build up to the tragic climax. In response to the question set, I will explore several key points, which illustrate how Shakespeare does this. The lover's first encounter, in Act 1 Scene 5, takes place amidst a flurry of dramatic action. At the opening of the scene, Capulet gives a warm and generous speech, which establishes his character as being wise and considerate, "You are welcome, gentlemen come, musicians play." ...read more.

Middle

It is interesting to study how the language used by other characters fully represents their personality. For example, Tybalt refers to Romeo as a "villain" when actually the young lover has done nothing wrong at this point. There is an aggressive attitude in the way that Tybalt speaks which forewarns the audience that he may be the trigger for violence later in the play, "Fetch me my rapier boy, what dares the slave come hither, cover'd with an antic face." (pg 53) This contrasts with the personality of Capulet, which at this point is very soft and wise, "Content thee gentle coz, let him alone." (pg 53) Shakespeare also uses language to portray Romeo as a lover of love, "Did my heart love till now, foreswear it sight, for I ne'er saw true beauty til this night." By using this method, Romeo is shown to truly believe in love, rather than simply lusting after girls as would be expected of a young man. The character of Juliet, even at this early stage, is set as the bride of death. Once again, Shakespeare uses language to convey this, "My grave is like to be my wedding bed." (pg 56) immediately links Juliet's future marriage to her impending death. Through the language used, Juliet is also shown to be very forward, especially for her time, "Then have my lips the sin that they have took." ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that this is because of the fact that Romeo and Juliet's love is so ahead of its time. These two young lovers were unwilling to conform to the traditional standards of their society and so began change. This is part of the reason why Romeo and Juliet is still so relevant today. Baz Luhrmann's modern day production demonstrates how the play can be moved into a modern day setting without looking out of place. In my opinion, Shakespeare has written a timeless and powerful play, which will always be relevant to young teenagers and will capture the imagination of anyone who believes in the idea of true love. In conclusion I would say that Act 1 Scene 5 is so vital to the development of the action of the play as a whole because it is the real starting point for all that follows. Shakespeare's early preparation for the final drama provokes an atmosphere of tension and impending tragedy and pulls the audience in. This scene manages to be concise but immense in a way that grips the audience and allows them to feel true emotion for Romeo and Juliet, even in their first meeting. Shakespeare also manages to form a basis for several of his main characters during this scene and it is therefore vital for this reason. However, I feel that the central reason for Shakespeare's creation of such a scene was to introduce key themes and issues that he wanted to explore during the development of the play and to show the rarity of Romeo and Juliet's love. ...read more.

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