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Look closely at Act 3 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Comment in detail on the dramatic effectiveness of this scene, both through the action and the language,

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Introduction

Carly Ridout English Coursework: Look closely at Act 3 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Comment in detail on the dramatic effectiveness of this scene, both through the action and the language, and the impact that it would have on an audience, both contemporary and in Shakespeare's time. In this essay I will be concentrating on Act 3 scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. I will be commenting on the dramatic effectiveness of this scene, through both the action and the language and also the impact that it would have on an audience, both contemporary and in Shakespeare's time. My main focus is Act 3 Scene 1 because this scene is the climax of the 'Romeo and Juliet'. This scene displays key events such as the death of Mercutio, who is a key comic character. His death is the result of the feuds going on between the Montague family and the Capulet family. Mercutio's death symbolises the end of the romance comedy and shows that the play is going to be a tragedy. Also, there is Romeo being banished, which means the end of Romeo and Juliet's relationship. Tybalt is killed and his body used as a symbol that the play is going to end in disaster. The key message emphasised is the seriousness and consequences of feuds and hatred. This is shown through the death of both Tybalt and Mercutio. ...read more.

Middle

The play is set in Italy, Verona for many reasons. Some of these are because Italy is known as the city of romance which makes Romeo and Juliet meeting at a party and falling in love much more realistic and believable. Also, Italy is a hot country and according to the Elizabethan beliefs, heat is known to promote madness and Italian's are supposed to hot blooded and easy to anger. This is very relevant to Act 3 Scene 1 because both Mercutio and Tybalt are looking for a reason to start a fight which links in with the theory that Italian's are hot blooded and easy to anger. Also the time of day of the fight scene is near mid-day and it says "the Day is hot". When Benvolio says this line the audience would automatically think of the heat and a fight will start which is reinforced by Benvolio saying "And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring". When Shakespeare was writing the play, he changed his source and moved the action from spring to summer so it would tie in with the heat and the theory of Italian's being hot blooded. In this scene, the stage directions don't state how to fight; just says 'they fight'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here he says that Romeo tried to stop Tybalt and asked him to reconsider fighting. This makes it look like it was Tybalt's fault and Romeo was innocent. But it doesn't work because Lady Capulet is angry as she replies, 'Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.' Tybalt's body then remains on stage as a visual reminder of Romeo's crime. The body creates even more tension along with Lady Capulet and the Princes speeches. The importance of this scene is emphasised by the central themes, destiny and fate. People in Shakespeare's time believed that things happened because of fate and they believed in astrology to. 'Two star-crossed lovers take theirs lives'. This gives the impression that all that has happened was meant to happen due to fate to make the two families realise what their arguments were doing to everyone. This scene is the most important in the play as it contains some of the key messages and moments from the play as a whole. This is the scene where the play changes from a comical love story to a serious tragedy. It has a huge impact on the audience. The events that happen in this scene are some of the most important to the overall story. Two of the main characters die (one innocent) and Romeo is banished. It is a fast moving scene which is dramatically effective to audiences in both contemporary and in Shakespeare's time. ...read more.

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