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In What way has Shakespeare in Act 1 Scene 1 introduced dramatic tension and some of the key themes in Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

In What way has Shakespeare in Act 1 Scene 1 introduced dramatic tension and some of the key themes in Romeo and Juliet? There are many themes in "Romeo and Juliet," the main one is love. The play focuses on romantic love, especially on the concentrated passion that comes up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. In "Romeo and Juliet," love takes over everything for example families, friends and other loyalties. "Deft thy father and refuse my name?" this shows us that Juliet is contemplating her name as a Capulet. Love takes over Romeo as after the party Romeo abandons Mercutio and Benvolio to go to Juliet. Also Romeo risks his on life coming back to Verona when the Prince exiles him because he avenged Mercutio's death. There is also a relationship in the themes of love and death, passion and violence. The connection between hate, violence and death is very obvious in the play. Even in the first scene, we can see the hatred between the Montagues and Capulets. The violence breaks out and one of the Montague servants is hurt. The relationship between love, hate and violence is easily seen in the play as later on in the play, Tybalt and Mercutio fight there is violence, Tybalt hates Romeo and Mercutio is sticking up for him so Tybalt takes it out on him. Mercutio says as he dies "A plague on both your houses they have made worms meat of me" Romeo then goes after Tybalt for he has slain one of Romeo's dearest friends. ...read more.

Middle

He is trying to stand up and be a man as Gregory questioned his bravery earlier in the play: Sampson: "I strike quickly, once my blood boils" Gregory: "But it is not easily roused." In this we see that not only is Gregory saying he can't get aroused but it has two meanings (one sexual) he is also talking about fighting but also the audience would laugh, as they would lean towards the side of humour. Then the tension builds up as they start to argue & quarrel until a fight breaks out. There are many sexual puns used in the play especially between Sampson and Gregory at the beginning. I think Shakespeare did this to question the nature of the action on stage so far. When Abaram enters a tension builds up because they both have hatred for each other but they both don't want to start the fight because the person or persons who start the fight will be punished by the prince (law). It is important that the audience know what the law is at this point because later on in the play, we learn that, the Prince who sets the laws doesn't keep his word when he banishes Romeo from Verona instead of killing him. "if ever you breach the peace again your lives will pay the price." The Prince then changes this when Romeo kills Tybalt. "And for that offence, we banish him immediately." He doesn't kill him like he says before. ...read more.

Conclusion

We can only presume that this was because the rich and powerful had servants to look after their children so there was no bond between them. Lady Montague is concerned with Romeo's welfare, as it seems to be upset. She also wants Benvolio to convince him to come out of his depression. "Black and portentous must this humour prove unless good council may the cause remove" This shows us she can't do it herself she wants Benvolio to convince him to get out of the mood he is in. Benvolio is trying to get Romeo out of him depression Benvolio is trying to find out what is wrong with Romeo why is he in this depression. Romeo is feeling unrequited love for Rosaline. "Out of her favour where I am in love." He is out of favour with Rosaline as she will be chaste and will have nothing to do with Romeo. Romeo is feeling in the depths of depression. Romeo is in a mixed up mood and doesn't know what he is talking about. This would prepare the audience for the rest of the play as we have already had builds up of tension in the play and the audience would know this and expect it more. I think the audience would find the ending of the play really emotional as the lovers die but many audience members would be left with many why's? For example "Why didn't the letter get there in time" I think the audience would find the ending horrible and would want a different ending. ...read more.

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