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Romeo and Juliet – Act 1 scene 5

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet - Act 1 scene 5 The first meeting between Romeo and Juliet takes place in the middle of a large party. There is an enormous contrast between their discussion and the events that are happening around them. Explain how this is created, looking at the language used, the devices that might be used on stage and the differences between the characters. 'Romeo and Juliet' is the romantic tragedy by Shakespeare telling of two young lovers from feuding families who killed themselves rather than be separated. Romeo and Juliet's first meeting is in a large party. Romeo is there with his friends hoping to see Rosaline who he believes himself to be in love with, and Juliet is there to view Paris, a potential suitor, at her mother's request although so has no wish to marry. The scene opens with four servants all busily making preparations for the dancing. The servant's interchange is all very quick and gives the impression of bustle and excitement. They talk in prose and give the impression of there being a lot more on stage than just the four of them. The guests then arrive onstage and the action switches from the servants to Lord Capulet who speaks in blank verse. ...read more.

Middle

This superior language shows the audience that his feelings for Rosaline were not real, and it is now Juliet whom he truly loves. Romeo also shows this with the line "Did my heart love till now?" which is the audience's anchorage that his feelings for Rosaline were false but his feelings for Juliet are not. This talk of love is then contrasted by Tybalt's hatred for Romeo and all Montagues and his talk of death and killing: "To strike him dead I hold it not a sin." This language is typical of Tybalt, who is always talking of death, violence and hatred: "What, Drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues and thee. Have at thee, coward." Taken from Act 1 Scene 1. As soon as Tybalt hears Romeo he says "This, by his voice should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy." This shows Tybalt's character, he is a man of fewer words and more action, which is a contrast to Romeo who does not join in with the feuding of his family but prefers to talk of love. Romeo admires Juliet at a distance when he first sees her but as soon as Tybalt discovers Romeo he immediately asks for his sword. ...read more.

Conclusion

Benvolio then leads Romeo away. Near the end of the scene when there is only the nurse and Juliet left on stage, Juliet shows how cunning she can be by pointing out and inquiring after the names of many gentlemen when she is trying to find out who Romeo is. She displays how clever she is by concealing the fact that it is only Romeo she is interested in by not mentioning him first. This contrasts to the former displays of her youth and innocence and assumed naivety. The line "if he be married, by grave is likely to be my wedding bed." Makes use of dramatic irony as this is very close to the truth. It is also a contrast to her former feelings before the scene when she told the nurse and her mother that she did not wish to marry. After Juliet discovers that Romeo is a Montague she says "My only love sprung from my only hate!" here she recognises that she loves Romeo and the ominous feelings of horror and dread experienced by both Romeo and Juliet on discovering each others names is another contrast to the feelings of happiness and bustle communicated of the feast earlier. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rebecca Glover 11BX ...read more.

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