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Romeo and juliet

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Introduction

Study 3 scenes from act 1 of 'Romeo and Juliet' analyse their importance in terms of plot, character and theme. Roll up, Roll up, the most amazing production around, tragedy, humour, blood, death and love, all on show at the globe theatre, London. Imagine yourself the year is 1594, it's the Elizabethan era and Shakespeare has released his new play, 'Romeo and Juliet', the most successful ever released. The location is south of the river Thames and crowds of people are gathered. The atmosphere is ecstatic, this was the place to be! The scene above is a description of a typical occurrence of a night within the Elizabethan era, crowds of people would flock to the theatre to enjoy plays of many themes, this was considered a social gathering and a time of fun. The play writers, including Shakespeare had great fun presenting plays to audiences, using a variety of humour, images, ideas and themes, this mixture and presentation was particularly true within, 'Romeo and Juliet'. The prologue was a convention of the Elizabethan tragedies, it was not present in all of Shakespeare's plays but was within, 'Romeo and Juliet'. The prologue wasn't considered alien, instead it was a recognisable feature. Before the performance even begins the audience are given an insight into the forthcoming events. The prologue contains a basic and brief overview of the plot. However it doesn't just inform, it also delivers the key themes and ideas of the play. The prologue grabs the audience's attention, diverting them to the action on stage, it calms them down, creating the right atmosphere. Many of the themes of the play are introduced, so even at this very early stage the audience are aware of what to expect. The more able audience members would have been able to make comparisons to the plot given within the prologue to the actual happenings later in the play. ...read more.

Middle

Other techniques are used within the scene and these include, dramatic irony, repetition, rhyme, all used to create different levels of meaning, and to create a 'voice' that speaks trough the writing. The Prince makes a speech within scene 1, which helps to stop the public fighting and riots. The speech gives the audience an insight into later events, as they become aware that a death will happen, the insight comes when the prince says, "Your lives shall forfeit of the peace", the language links to the theme of death, The prince's speech also demonstrates the anger and conflict between the two families, he says, "Purple fountains issuing from your veins", a nice image for the audience to help imagine and picture the scene that Shakespeare wanted to create. The characters within the play of 'Romeo and Juliet' play probably the biggest role, it is their job to convey the plot to the audience in an appropriate way so that both the audience are entertained, and at the same time aware of emotion etc. Within scene 1 the main characters that the audience meet are; Tybalt, Benvolio and Romeo, these characters are all important because they all contribute to the plot, they link to the themes of the play, and they are all individuals, they all have their own characteristics and behaviour, which makes interesting viewing for the audience. Tybalt's short temper leads to a public fight, the audience learns a great deal about his character even though he only says five lines. Before Romeo meets the love of his life, 'Juliet', the audience are exposed to a different emotion from his character, although he has not yet been met or introduced, the audience become aware of his love sickness and his feeling of being unwanted. Montague says, "Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out", the audience are aware of the typical reason for this being done, which links to the theme of love. ...read more.

Conclusion

Metaphors are also used, "Verona's summer hath not such a flower", and this adds imagery allowing the audience to imagine the scene that is being described. This variety of techniques that Shakespeare used adds real emphasis on the characters, the language and the themes of the play. Within Scene 3 there are many contrasting things, an example being the idea of inside and outside, Lady Capulet says, "To beautify him, only lacks a cover", this refers to a belief that beauty within is shown by beauty on the outside, the language links to theme of love as Lady Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris. The opposites are not just isolated to Scene 3, they appear throughout the play, other opposites include the idea of Love and Hatred, black and white, Youth versus age, fast versus slow, and so on, these contrasting ideas coexisting makes the play more interesting and exciting for the audience, making them focus more on the happenings on stage. Scene 3 is important because it leads up to feast, like scene 1 and scene 2 the plot is focused around the build up to the feast at the Capulet's Mansion. The audience can sense a feeling of urgency amongst the characters, Lady Capulet says, "Speak briefly", this follows the sense of urgency adding to the build up to the feast. The build up within scene 3 is important because it introduces ideas to the audience which will be of more relevance at the end of act 1, the audience are also prepared for the upcoming events, this follows the introductory events idea from the prologue and scene 1. The end of scene 3 includes sexual references linked to the theme of love, the nurse says, "Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days", the language links to the theme of love as the nurse talks about Juliet finding true love to make a marriage with. ...read more.

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