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Romeo and Juliet - Act 1 scene 5

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Romeo and Juliet (Act 1 scene 5) By the end of act 1 scene 4 the audience are full of anticipation. They know about the long running feud between the houses of Capulet and Montague and the warning from Prince Escalus that if they quarrelled again their "lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace". (He threatened to kill them if they ever fought in the streets again). After this the audience see Romeo walking along by himself in melancholy. He's upset because he's in love with Rosalyne but she doesn't feel the same about him. The audience's anticipation dramatically turns to tension and excitement when Romeo and his friends find out about a ball Old Capulet is hosting and that Rosalyne would be going. The audience are full of tension and excitement because they want to find out what Capulets reaction will be when the arrive and what will happen between Romeo and Rosalyne. This however makes the audience wonder about the play because Romeo is in love with Rosalyne when the play is called Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.


By now the audience's tension has gone but quickly comes back when Romeo first sees Juliet. He declares, "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" meaning that she is so beautiful that her light shines brighter than the torches. Shakespeare has put this speech in poetry to show its private and also to put more emphasis on Romeo. He also says she is "As a rich jewel in an Etheop's ear: beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!" he means this that she is a shiny jewel in an Ethiopians ear, too beautiful to touch. This is also a dramatic change in atmosphere; from the way Romeo and Capulet are talking (Happy, pleasant and cheerful) to the language Romeo is using now (Poetry). The audience's tension and excitement is incresed when Tybalt over hears Romeo talking. Tybalt declares, "This by his voice, should be a Montague". He fills up with rage and shouts "Fetch me my rapier". With this the audience are sitting on the edge of their seats. ...read more.


Shakespeare uses the nurse (the nurse is a comic character) to get Juliet away from Romeo so that she can tell Romeo who Juliet is. Romeo finds this upsetting as he finds out she is a Capulet. The masquers leave - this ends the party and creates a different mood on stage. The audience are left with only the nurse and Juliet. Juliet finds out who Romeo is. Before she finds out who he is she says, "My grave is likely to be my wedding bed". She feels the same despair and fatalism as Romeo did. Shakespeare makes this scene dramatically effective by his use of contrast (the atmosphere and tension vary greatly), stagecraft and structure, entrances and exits (he does this so the audience don't get bored and can focus on different things). He also makes good use of character development (each character having their own role) and his use of language (he has a sonnet and Capulets change of attitude. At the end of the scene the audience will be anticipating what Tybalt will do, what will happen between Romeo and Juliet and if this will bring the houses of Capulet and Montague together or set them further apart. ...read more.

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