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In what ways does the opening of the play prepare the audience for the drama in Act 3, Scene 1?

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31st January 2005 English Coursework In what ways does the opening of the play prepare the audience for the drama in Act 3, Scene 1? Act 3, Scene 1 is very important because it lays the ground for the rest of the play. It signals a turning point and is also central to the play's structure as well as to the drama. The first half of the play is focused on love and romance whereas the second will concentrate on more tragic and calamitous drama. The scene represents a climax to suspense built in the first half of the play and Shakespeare uses this scene to inform the audience of the forthcoming change in drama. He introduces more dramatic irony, a significant dramatic device in the play, and leaves the audience hanging in expectation. The prologue sets the scene and notifies the audience of the content of the play and notifies the audience of the families and the fury between the two, "From an ancient grudge break to new mutiny". Shakespeare uses dramatic irony in the prologue to inform us of Romeo and Juliet, "star-cross'd lovers," it informs us of how they are ill-fated and it is predestined that their love will end in tragedy. ...read more.


He uses rhyme to help Romeo persuade Juliet to kiss him and so he has used this structured form of love poem, to add effect. Shakespeare is using this as a way to introduce more dramatic irony, he is telling the audience that Romeo and Juliet will fall in love. Shakespeare has Romeo compare Juliet to a, "...holy shrine" and he compares himself to a pilgrim. Juliet returns Romeo's compliments saying how, "pilgrim's hands" touch "saint's hands" and she offers to hold hands and they both seem instantly attracted to each other. She repeats the same style of poetry he speaks and using rhymes of "this" and "kiss," she also refers to the same images as Romeo. In this way, Shakespeare is demonstrating how the two are able to understand each other, and he is using it as a source to build up the affection, which can also be felt by the audience. In Act 3 scene 1, there is a lot of drama, which has been built up to an exciting climax throughout the earlier acts. Shakespeare planted seeds hinting at various outcomes. The audience knows of the marriage between Romeo and Juliet although they are also aware that the other characters in the play do not know of the marriage. ...read more.


The clues are finally realised in this scene and the hand of fate is metaphorically black, "This day's black fate." This is a colour associated with sadness and death and hints further at what is in store for Romeo, the rhyming couplet adding impact to his words and hinting at more tragedy yet to come. The audience by that stage is wondering what is in store for Romeo and what his fate will be. Whilst talking to the prince about Romeo and how he killed Tybalt, Benvolio gives a bias account. He is going to protect Romeo, as brothers do and he relates to Romeo as being "young" in order to influence the prince. Benvolio does this so that Romeo isn't killed as a punishment; emotive language is used here, in order to turn the mind of the prince, "O noble Prince." Benvolio talks of how Romeo did not initiate the fight, "manage of this fatal brawl." Mercutio is portrayed as "brave" in an effort to 'win the prince over' as Mercutio is a relation of the prince. The opening of the play prepares us for the drama in Act 3, scene 1 in many ways. Shakespeare uses many different techniques to influence the audience, predict the future and provide unexpected twists in the plot. There is a lot of dramatic irony, imagery, poetic language and also changes of context. 1 ...read more.

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