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Looking at Act 3 Scene 1, Which themes appear to be central to the action? How could they be brought out in performance?

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Introduction

21/5/02 Looking at Act 3 Scene 1, Which themes appear to be central to the action? How could they be brought out in performance? The aim of this coursework is to analyse in depth Act 3 scene 1 from Shakespeare's renowned play 'Romeo and Juliet'. The essay should serve to provide a deep scrutiny of the themes and key issues brought up in this scene, as well as dealing with the performance side of the play. Such as setting, sound effects, character presentation staging and atmospheric devices that could be used. Act 3 Scene 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet' is a vital turning point in the play. Anxiety and tension are at its peak between the Capulet and Montague's, while Romeo and Juliet's relationship is made impossible by the fateful events that arise. This scene is necessary in carrying the action, chiefly because we see the death of two important characters. Mercutio being the vivacious, charismatic character; the other Juliet's cousin, the fiery, revengeful Tybalt. The four main themes that are vital to the play are; love, hate, youth and fate. Romeo, in Act 1 Scene 5, believes his providence has directed him to lease his life in return for love. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt and Mercutio on the other side. When Romeo appears Tybalt must stride over to him in an aggressive manner. The lighting can be used as an indication to the audience that tension is building and soon to explode, shifting between the two characters when talking, while the others are in slight shadow. A large spotlight should follow Mercutio across the stage when he comes to defend Romeo, averting the audience away from the other characters. The battle between Mercutio and Tybalt fight is performed in a comic, teasing fashion, the audience uncertain but aware that tension is coming to a climax. A raised platform where Mercutio is fencing with Tybalt, will enable the fatal blow from the sword wounding Mercutio, to be obscured; making it seem accidental. Romeo's arm in a defensive gesture circling the sword moves back when he realizes what has happened. Tybalt is shocked when Mercutio falls, hesitating before his men carry him off to escape. The on lookers are devastated and in a state of shock as lying on the ground before them Mercutio stutters, "I am Hurt. A plague on both your houses, I am sped." ...read more.

Conclusion

The two families give each other a disdainful look signalling the feud is far from over, and more blood shed is on the way. By the end of this scene the atmosphere has completely changed; an air of death and foreboding has replaced the love and optimism at the end of Act 2. Romeo's words, "This days black fate on moe days doth depend", carries the expectation of further tragedy. The end of the scene should leave the audience stunned by the implacable fury of the Prince at this new outbreak of the feud. The dreadful predicament Romeo is in should leave an imprint in the audience's minds wondering the future of Juliet, although they have already been told. The implications for the newly married Juliet, and what she's going to do now that Romeo has been banished. The audience should be able to realize the difficulty the Prince is in. The breakdown of Civic Order would lead to chaos. The individual aspirations of the people would lead to a total corruption of all order. He has to be the keeper of the peace. In order to do this the Prince must be stricter with the rules and judge Romeo harsher than he typically would. By Devon Kennard ...read more.

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