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In what ways does Shakespeare make Act 1 Scene 5 dramatically effective? How important is this scene to the play as a whole?

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Michael Harper 10C 23rd May 2004 "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare In what ways does Shakespeare make Act 1 Scene 5 dramatically effective? How important is this scene to the play as a whole? "Romeo and Juliet" was a play written by Shakespeare around 1594. It is about two young people from warring families who fall in love, and the consequences surrounding what happens to them. The play is full of violence, and ends with the tragic deaths of both Romeo and Juliet. In this essay, I will discuss the brief history of the play and I will be looking in depth at Act 1 Scene 5- one of the most important and key scenes in the play. The legend of "Romeo and Juliet" had been around for more than one hundred years prior to Shakespeare's play. It appeared as a story called "II Novellino" by Masuccio Salernitano, an Italian author. The story told of secret lovers, deaths, banishment and a helpful friar; much the same features as in Shakespeare's play. The story was later retold in 1530 by Luigi da Porta. It was he who added a lot of details, such as the setting (Verona) and the final suicides of the lovers. ...read more.


Firstly, it is one of the most tension-filled scenes in the whole play. The scene starts off with the Capulet servants rushing around a preparing for the party dance: "Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He shift a trencher? He scrape a trencher?" This hustle and bustle starts the scene off with tension straight away, as well as with a bit of excitement and anticipation, which means that the audience are flung straight into the heat of the party action. This feature alone helps to set the scene for something much bigger to happen later- which it does. The early tension briefly dies down for a few minutes, whilst we see the cheerful and jolly Capulet welcoming the guests to the party, which provides an excellent contrast to the fiery and dangerous Tybalt. But when Tybalt later recognises Romeo at the party, his temper is instantly ignited. He then goes onto have a huge argument with the calm Capulet, about Romeo's presence: "I'll not endure him" "He shall be endured!" This conflict and hatred of Tybalt's is laid to rest for the time being, but the audience know that it will soon spark up again, which helps to keep them on the edge of their seats, and helps to build the tension up again. ...read more.


They start to wonder will what happen, and can't bear to miss a moment, especially with the ever growing tension. This scene in particular helps to spark off a lot of questions in the audiences' mind. The biggest one, would probably be "Will Romeo and Juliet get caught?" They realise how different the play could have been if this scene was not included. Juliet might have ended up marrying Count Paris, Romeo might have continued to brood over his "old flame" Rosaline and most importantly, Romeo and Juliet might not have killed themselves. Is not of these things had happened, the play would have been very different, which proves just how important Act 1 Scene 5 really is the play. In conclusion, Act 1 Scene 5 is very important to the play as a whole. The whole plot of the play seems to revolve and grow from around what happens in this scene, with the most noticeable being the meeting of the two main characters: Romeo and Juliet. The scene is very balanced, so that the tension and drama does not take over the scene completely, which would probably be very boring to the audience. Instead, they get the humour, tension, drama and romance all in a perfect balance, which is what Shakespeare has done so well at, in "Romeo and Juliet." ...read more.

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