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Romeo and Juliet - Act Three: Scene One

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet: Act Three: Scene One Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays. It is a heart-rending story of war, rivalry, vengeance, pride and most of all love; a love that will withstand anything; a love that is doomed to end bitterly but a love that will eventually unite two warring families. As the director of this play, I have chosen to set it in the thirteenth-century because I feel this would be a truer representation of Shakespeare's wishes. This is a rehearsal of act three: scene one which is the major turning point in the play and arguably the most important scene. In this scene the play instantly changes from a romantic, light-hearted comedy into a dismal, solemn, moving tragedy. This scene marks the beginning of the end - when all hope is lost. The main characters on stage are: Tybalt, Benvolio, Mercutio and Romeo. Tybalt Capulet is Juliet's cousin. He is hot tempered and vein, a skilful fighter but a bully who is always looking for a fight. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt dismisses his insults, because he is seeking out Romeo. Mercutio replies to this by making more witty remarks after Tybalt speaks. Romeo then enters from centre stage still exhilarated from marrying Juliet. Tybalt insults Romeo and challenges him to a fight. Romeo refuses because they are now related, although Tybalt does not know this. And Romeo is not in any position to be able to tell him and he says: "(I) love thee better than thou canst devise, Till though shalt know the reason of my love; And so, good Capulet, which name I tender As dearly as mine own, be satisfied." Mercutio is disgusted and thinks Romeo to be cowardly even though this is not the case. Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a fight, as he sees it to defend the honour of his house. This fight is a chance to show off rather than to cause any harm. It is a mix of skilful word play and skilful swordsmanship. The fight should be grand, include fanciful sword moves and elaborate footwork - a source of entertainment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Benvolio once again acts as the voice of reason and tells Romeo to flee reminding him of the prince's decree that anyone who spilt blood should die. Romeo hesitates but eventually leaves. The Prince enters from centre stage entrance to address Benvolio, who is still in shock. Both families enter from either side of the stage presenting their dead and seeking revenge. Lady Capulet over dramatically mourns for her nephew and begs for Romeo's blood. The Prince commands Benvolio to speak, and Benvolio gives a slightly biased blow-by-blow monologue of the events that have just taken place. This is a contrast to his earlier conversation with Mercutio when he barely uttered more than two lines. Lady Capulet accuses Benvolio of lying but the Prince, who is still upset by the death because he is related to both families and has lost his kin in the fighting, will not shed any more blood. Instead he exiles Romeo from Verona on the threat of death if he returns. When the Prince has delivered his final rhyming couplet he turns regally and walks off centre stage, the Montagues and Capulets follow to their respective exits. ...read more.

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