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In what way is Act 3 Scene 1 a turning point in the play and how does Shakespeare make it dramatic?

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Introduction

In what way is Act 3 Scene 1 a turning point in the play and how does Shakespeare make it dramatic? The fight is caused because of the bitter feud between the Capulet's and the Montague's, which has been on going for many years. Duelling is a part of life at the time. Romeo shows up at the Capulet party to cheer himself up. Romeo being there infuriates Tybalt. Tybalt thinks Romeo is only there to mock the Capulet's and he wants to defend his family honour. Tybalt cannot fight Romeo there so he sends a letter of challenge to Romeo. Romeo refuses to fight Tybalt and Mercutio steps in. Mercutio is killed and Romeo pursues Tybalt to defend Mercutio's honour and in revenge. Act 3 Scene 1 is set at midday when the sun is at its peak. In the Mediterranean the climate is hot. 'For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.' The atmosphere refers to anger; people have a propensity to become more frustrated in the hot climate. Benvolio is quite anxious and wants to go indoor' to avoid a brawl between the Capulet's, Mercutio and himself, 'I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire: the day is hot, the Capels are abroad, And if we shall meet we shall not scape a brawl,' The youth of Verona, "gangs", tended to wander the streets with nothing to do. At the time of when the play was set there was an ethos of duelling. The youth duelled to entertain themselves. ...read more.

Middle

Tension is built because Tybalt does not understand Romeos meaning. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony once again because Romeo hadn't witnessed the argument between Tybalt and Mercutio before. He is na�ve, he thinks he can walk away from the fight and underestimates Tybalt's anger, 'Therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not.' He infuriates Tybalt: 'Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries . . . therefore turn and draw.' Tension is building up quickly. Romeo says he is not going to fight a member of his own family, 'I do protest I never injuried thee . . . be satisfied.' There is use of dramatic irony - the audience know of the marriage and that is why Romeo has 'love' for Tybalt, but Tybalt doesn't know of the marriage. Mercutio at this point steps in to defend Romeo's honour and tries to provoke Tybalt by drawing his sword and insulting him, 'you rat-catcher, will you walk?' Tybalt remains calm 'What wouldst thou have with me?' Again Mercutio provokes Tybalt with insults, 'King of cats'. Tybalt draws his sword and the tension climaxes. Mercutio then challenges Tybalt and says, 'come, sir, your 'passado'.' Mercutio mocks Tybalt's fencing thrust that he is so proud of. Tybalt and Mercutio fight. Romeo tries stopping them because of the death sentence, 'forbear . . . the prince hath Forbid this bandying in Verona streets.' Shakespeare uses characters effectively, such as Mercutio. Mercutio is used to spark of a fight, which then has implications for the rest of the play. Mercutio is stabbed and Tybalt flees. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tybalt's death changes a lot in the play. But just before the fight between Tybalt and Romeo, Romeo realises that the fatal consequences of the events hang upon what happens in the future, 'this day's black fate on moe days doth depend'. When Tybalt dies decisions have to be made. The Prince's decision is probably the most important decision in the play. If the Prince had decided to execute Romeo rather than exile him the play would not have been the way in which the prologue suggested. After Tybalt's death the mood becomes much darker and the pace is a lot faster. The hatred between the Montague's and the Capulet's intensifies. Juliet has to be strong enough to hide the secret marriage and go along with the marriage set up by her Father. Juliet visits the Friar for advice. The Friar suggests that she takes a potion the night before the wedding. The potion will make her appear to be dead but she is actually in a deep sleep whilst he sends a messenger to tell Romeo to take her away. Unfortunately the message doesn't arrive to Romeo and he hears that Juliet is dead from a friend. He goes to an apothecary and buys some poison. He then goes to the tomb and sees Juliet. He drinks the poison and dies just before Juliet is awoken. She then kills herself. They are later found and the Friar tells everyone the story of the two lovers. Shakespeare makes it dramatic because none of these events would have occurred without the death of Tybalt. Therefore, Act 3 Scene 1 is the most effective scene in the play and a turning point. Antony Seddon 10E6 Mrs. Grimes ...read more.

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