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In Act 3 Scene 5, Shakespeare presents the audience with a compact tragedy. By referring to his characters, in particular Juliet, show how successful he is.

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In Act 3 Scene 5, Shakespeare presents the audience with a compact tragedy. By referring to his characters, in particular Juliet, show how successful he is. Act 3, scene 5, is particularly worth studying because within it Shakespeare cleverly shows a dramatic decline in Juliet's character, and has the audience gripped because of the tension he creates. At the beginning of the scene, Juliet awakes as a happily married bride. However, as the scene progresses, her situation swiftly declines. By the end of the scene, she has been disowned by both her parents and the nurse, with whom she previously shared a close relationship. However, Juliet despite (or maybe because of) her situation shows her maturity by defying her parents for the first time in her life. She also shows her intelligence by cleverly using ambiguous language in order to trick her parents and remain true to Romeo. Shakespeare opens the scene opens with a very tranquil mood. Juliet awakens to her husband, but refuses to acknowledge the danger of Romeo's presence, she tries instead to convince him that it is still night, "It is not yet near day...fearful hollow of thine ear". ...read more.


When Lord Capulet enters, Juliet's tragedy intensifies further. At first, he shows sympathy for Juliet, as he thinks that she is crying for Tybalt. Shakespeare uses metaphors effectively during Capulet's speech by connecting the imagery of boats and sea with Juliet's tears, "It rains downright...thy tempest-tossed body". The first time Paris proposed to Juliet, Capulet refused him permission and appreciated the fact that Juliet should have a say in the matter. In Act 1 Capulet tells Paris "Let two more summers wither in their pride / lest her ready to be a bride". However, Shakespeare shows a great contrast between Lord Capulet's attitude then and now. Capulet now shows no appreciation for Juliet's needs, and tries to control her life for her, insisting that she does marry his "friend", and demands that she "fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next". When studying any historical text, it is important to consider the context; and in this case we must consider the ideology and social meanings of Elizabethan England. A modern audience could infer that Juliet and Lady Capulet do not have a typical mother-daughter relationship of today, by the fact that they don't rationally discuss Juliet's future, Lady Capulet thinks she knows what Juliet wants and refuses to acknowledge that she doesn't. ...read more.


This shows that Juliet is already starting to live her life independently. At the end of the scene, Shakespeare emphasises how desperate Juliet is feeling by having her swear to kill herself, "If all else fail, myself have power to die". Her attitude contrasts greatly to her attitude at the beginning of the scene where she was a happy young bride, making the most of her time with her husband. Now the audience sees her as a young, mature woman who has lost everything and is prepared to die, and for this (despite her tragic situation) the audience respect her enormously. From the beginning of the scene to the end, Shakespeare rapidly shifts the mood as he develops the tragedy. The audience now view Juliet differently than they did at the beginning of the scene. They now feel great sympathy for her, whereas at the beginning of the scene, they saw her as a young woman with good prospects whom could be admired. Her attitude has also changed from na�ve and innocent to determined and independent. The audience knows that a tragedy is developing. They can see Juliet's situation decline as she uncontrollably spins into a desolate situation which they know will only get worse from listening to the chorus in the opening prologue. - 1 - Dominic Harrison 10S1 Romeo & Juliet Essay - 1 - ...read more.

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