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Romeo and Juliet - Act 3 Scene 1

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Romeo and Juliet - Act 3 Scene 1 The scene can be clearly split into six sections. The first contains Mercutio talking to Benvolio, winding him up. This part of the scene is light-hearted, although Benvolio is worried about the events that may follow due to the hot weather. Mercutio accuses him of being quarrelsome when he himself is the quarreller of the pair. The second section begins when Tybalt enters the scene. He and Mercutio have a battle of words in which Mercutio clearly ties him in knots. The third part starts when Romeo enters and the mood darkens considerably. In the film the tension is built by music and Romeo offers Tybalt a handshake. Tybalt knocks his hand aside and proceeds to beat him. The third, forth and fifth sections are the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, Romeo's revenge and the Prince's judgement. This scene does not develop the plot of Romeo and Juliet's love, but seals the fate of it when Romeo slays Tybalt. Fate carries him along and he exclaims "O I am fortune's fool". ...read more.


Romeo loves Tybalt because they are now related after he married Juliet. This is why he will not be provoked into a fight by Tybalt. The film shows part of the next scene during this one, to contrast Romeo and Juliet's love with Tybalt's hatred. The theme of nature appears quite a lot, as a lot of animal imagery is used. Mercutio calls Tybalt "Good King of Cats" and refers to his wound as "a scratch". Mercutio jokes to his end, saying that he will be a "grave man", meaning both that he will be serious and in a grave. At this point in the film, Mercutio is portrayed as quite delirious and even a trifle insane. In the beginning the mood is quite light, but it darkens across the scene. Even the comedian Mercutio turns serious, cursing "a plague on both your houses". It is quite humorous to begin with, as Mercutio jokes with Benvolio. The film cuts a lot of this out. When Tybalt enters this turns to banter, Mercutio twists Tybalt's words to make it seem as if he is insulting Mercutio. ...read more.


Lady Capulet stirs the feud at the end, demanding revenge and insisting that more of them were there. The film portrays this particularly well as she lunges at Benvolio. Shakespeare uses blank verse, prose and rhyming couplets in this scene. Although Mercutio has great status, he talks in prose, perhaps in order to allow more room for him to play with words. He also uses similes and metaphors such as "my fiddlestick" and "deep as a well". These effectively portray him as a troublemaker who is good with words. Romeo's language is his usual romantic style, even when he is overcome with fury he talks of Mercutio's soul. Benvolio talks in blank verse, as he is something of a boring character, but quite important to the play. The film kept Shakespeare's language, although much of it was cut. Romeo and Juliet as a play was very much influenced by the time in which it was written. Sword fighting was still popular, so Shakespeare included fighting scenes and also some fencing terms, which are no longer in use. Another term that is no longer in use is "fee-simple". This is a legal term from the time, which has no certain definition. The film misses out all of these terms to avoid confusing the viewer. Ashley Hazlehurst ...read more.

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