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Romeo and Juliet - Act 1 scene 5, Why I think this is an important scene

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Introduction

ACT 1 SCENE 5 WHY I THINK THIS IS AN IMPORTANT SCENE THE GREAT HALL CAPULETS MANSION. I have chosen this scene as I believe it is very important to the play because it is where Romeo meets Juliet for the first time. During the scene we, the audience, witness many changes in both the emotions and the actions of the characters and we also become aware of the contrast between love and hate. These are two emotions that run throughout the play in many forms. Capulet is holding a ball in order to introduce his thirteen year old daughter Juliet to his kinsman Paris. Earlier in Act One Paris asked Capulet's permission to woe and marry Juliet. This subject was broached by Lady Capulet and the Nurse, who gives a rude bawdy significance to marriage. Juliet, being only thirteen, stated that it is not something she has really given much consideration to but she will look at Paris to see if marriage would be acceptable. A very young and na�ve Juliet at this point who has quite an immature outlook on love. Romeo meanwhile has seen the invitations to the ball and has noticed the name Rosaline on the list; she is Capulet's niece and the object of his unrequited love. ...read more.

Middle

We see a big change in Romeo's speech when he first speaks to Juliet. Previously his talk of love had been all doom and gloom. Now he uses religious imagery to convey his feelings. The use of words such as "holy shrine, faith, pilgrims, sin, devotion" give a feeling of deep sincerity to his first talk with Juliet. Likewise she uses similar words and comparisons to convey her feelings. Their first conversation is written as a sonnet, this was a popular option at the time the play was penned. The young couple get together and stand palm to palm. The significance of this gesture is that pilgrims brought palm leaves back from the Holy Land and were subsequently known as "palmers". They use very strong poetic words in the conversation and are both obviously smitten with the other. They use their palms as a symbol of their lips before they kiss, "For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss" (line 98-99). The intimacy of the scene is interrupted by the nurse who calls Juliet's attention to the fact her mother wishes to see her. Both are still unaware of the identity of the person they have fallen in love with, blissfully ignorant of the tragedy that is to follow. ...read more.

Conclusion

If this had not been the case then the lovers may have been able to overcome their parents' hatred with their love. We know from the previous scenes that both sets of parents hold their offspring in high regard. They may have put aside their differences for the sake of their children. Despite the title of this play there are actually very few appearances of the lovers together on stage. Their first meeting in this scene is undoubtedly the most important as we see the beauty of love at first sight unfolding before our eyes. This is in direct contrast to the bawdy remarks made by the nurse and by Mercutio earlier in the play which reduces love to the baser emotion of lust and also to the undercurrent of deep hatred throughout. Witnessing the emotions of the young couple and the outburst of Tybalt the audience are compelled to watch but unable to alter the inevitable outcome. They know the end is tragic (as the chorus right at the start have outlined the plot) but there is still a sense of hope that their love will win through, that everything will perhaps be different this time. That just maybe the families will see sense before the unnecessary deaths of the young couple. ...read more.

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