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Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene1 as a turning point

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English Coursework: Romeo and Juliet: Exploring Act 3 Scene 1 as a turning point in the play. Shakespeare's play; Romeo and Juliet was written the time of 1593-1596. But the original story originated 1,200 years before Shakespeare wrote it. It became a popular tale in Italy and when Shakespeare came to know about it he adapted the story. Act 3 Scene 1 is the climax of all the tension which occurred previously in the play. Tension is shown at the very beginning of the play in Act 1 Scene 1 when the servants of the Capulet's and Montague's even though it's their masters who hold the grudge. Sampson and Abram fight but Benvolio stops the fight to keep the peace. But the harmony is short-lived as Tybalt soon causes more tension; "What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee coward" This is the first evidence of tension in the play. It builds up again in Act 1 Scene 5, when Romeo gatecrashes Capulet's party. Tybalt complains to Lord Capulet and when he is told to endure him, Tybalt replies: "I'll not endure him." This angers Capulet; "He shall be endured What Goodman boy, I say he shall, go to!" Tybalt then leaves the party angrily. (Of course, later on in the play Tybalt confronts him and ultimately leads to the deaths of Mercutio and himself). ...read more.


When Romeo appears, Tybalt talks to him with very deep hate in his voice and the word he speaks shows this. This contrasts with the light hearted attitude when he talked to Mercutio. The word "villain" has a major significance as in those days it was a very offensive word to call someone by. Romeo would have been expected to respond with an offensive term (back to him) or to fight him. Tybalt and Romeo both use the word "love" between lines 53 and 65 at the start of Act 3 Scene 1 very differently. Romeo uses it affectionately as Tybalt is now his cousin because he is married to Juliet; "Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage". In contrast to Romeo's us of the "love", Tybalt uses the word to show his deep hatred for Romeo- "Romeo the love I bear thee can afford No better term than this: thou art a villain". Tybalt is insulting Romeo by calling him a villain. Shakespeare is using dramatic irony here because the audience knows that Romeo is now related to Tybalt and that is why Romeo is saying he bears love for Tybalt. Whereas Mercutio cannot understand why Romeo does not accept Tybalt's challenge. This confrontation between Romeo and Tybalt shows the main themes of the play; love and hate. ...read more.


In addition, the language he uses was to woo Juliet is very sweet and polite- "My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready to stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." Once again this contrasts vastly. These lines show Romeo as a very loving, gentle person, where as after his best friend's death Romeo is seen as an angry, vengeful person torn between his family honour, best friend and his wife. After Act 3 Scene 1 much has changed. Mercutio and Tybalt are dead and Romeo's character has changed vastly from a sweet and loving person to a vengeful, angry person. Benvolio has failed to keep the peace between the Montagues and Capulets. Also, it may be argued that the play has lost its comedy after Mercutio's death. The moral viewpoint that has been presented by Shakespeare is that feuds will continue until the people involved realises the futility of their actions. (Of course Romeo killed someone as well so at the end of the play his life suffers as well.) Made values are not being questioned as they were being upheld Romeo eventually challenged Tybalt so he sustained his male honour. This is why Act 3 Scene 1 is such a major point in Romeo and Juliet. (Any audience would find Act 3 Scene 1 appealing. This is because you see so many changes in the scene. In addition, the fight is very appealing as many genres come into it such as: love, hate, comedy and violence.) Kavi Manektalla 10A ...read more.

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