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Investigate the impact of the first act in Romeo and Juliet, upon the audience, in relation to the rest of the play.

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet The purpose of this essay is to investigate the impact of the first act in Romeo and Juliet, upon the audience, in relation to the rest of the play. Four hundred years ago William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, a popular play which continues to capture the imaginations and emotions of people around the world. The drama shows the passion, violence and desperate lives of the youth ion Verona. In this play, Shakespeare explores the pitfalls of young love and the consequences of their actions. They said they had to be together even though there parents were sworn enemies over a long standing feud, or as it was put in the prologue 'An ancient grudge'. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare shows how love can create and end many of life's great problems. The background story is of the long standing feud between the two leading families of Verona, the Capulets and the Montagues. Romeo is a love sick young man who can't seem to get over his beloved Rosaline who wants nothing to do with him and ignores him. ...read more.

Middle

After the brief but violent fight between the Capulets and Montagues and with the townspeople of Verona joining in and chanting 'down with the Montagues down With the Capulets' we know that they have had enough. Prince Escalus arrives to stop the quarreling. He represents the law in Verona and issues an ultimatum. 'If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace'. This meant if ever there should be an outbreak of violence between the Capulets and Montagues again, they shall be killed. This first scene give the audience its first impression of the magnitude of hatred between the households, that even indirect members despise one another. When Prince Escalus warns the households of what is to come if they start any more violence, the audience expects Romeo to be killed when he kills Tybalt in vengeance of Mercutio, however Prince Escalus instead of killing Romeo banishes him from Verona. With this the audience are relieved and they cling to the hope that he might maybe, survive after all. ...read more.

Conclusion

A question we might ask her is 'Would Romeo have killed Tybalt if Old Capulet had been more sympathetic to his nephews' claims?' The scene ends with Romeo and Juliet meeting. Rosaline is immediately forgotten and Romeo compares Juliets' beauty in a series of new and vital images which center around light. Here of a torch burning in the darkness. Chillingly Juliet makes a fatal inadvertant prediction of her fate; '...If he be married my grave is like to be my wedding bed'. This use of dramatic irony serves to create even more tension for the audience who expect the prediction to be realized, as it finally is. How does the first scene first scene prepare the audience for what is to happen later on in the play? Each individual scene contains a vital prediction of what is to happen later. It immediately makes the audience aware of the hatred between the households and of its magnitude. The chilling predictions in scene 5 and before are hidden messages to the audience and the dramatic irony runs right through the play. I think this Act was intended to prepare the audience for what is to happen later on in the play by the sheer amount of clues. ...read more.

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