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Romeo and Juliet - an Analysis of Act Iii Scene I.

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ROMEO AND JULIET - An Analysis of Act III Scene I. By William Shakespeare This scene takes place immediately after a scene where the audience has watched the innocent and happy marriage of Romeo and Juliet. We are prepared for celebrating events and an atmosphere of joy, when Shakespeare suddenly and tragically introduces this interlude where we witness the death of Mercutio and Tybalt. We see the Prince banish Romeo from Verona as a punishment for killing Tybalt. Now the audience knows that no happy conclusion awaits Romeo and Juliet's love when Romeo, who killed Tybalt when blind with anger at Mercutio's death, is banished. Romeo's banishment means he cannot see Juliet again unless he decides to risk his life. He hates this decision with a great and sincere passion, proved when he says, 'Banishment? Be merciful, say death!' Thus, he conveys to the audience that his love for Juliet is sincere, unlike that of Rosalind, whom he forgot when he first caught sight of Juliet. Banishment is a sentence better than death, as Friar Laurence tells Romeo in Act III Scene III. However, Romeo says that banishment is worse, as he would never again be allowed to see his wife Juliet. He was aware of this fact the moment he killed Tybalt, which is probably why he hesitates to run at once. He seems transfixed, as if the very picture of Tybalt's death reminds him of the laws he has broken, and he stands there, stunned, most probably thinking of his future with Juliet. ...read more.


Tybalt escapes after slashing Mercutio. Mercutio even on the brink of death makes funny and witty speeches. He compares his wound to the depth of wells and the width of church doors. He compares his state to a "grave" mans'. He says, "No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door. But 'tis enough...Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man...Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm." Then all of a sudden his funny mood evaporates and he turns on Romeo and blames him for his injury. After Mercutio dies, Romeo says, 'This day's black fate on mo days doth depend; this but begins the woe others must end.' Here he is trying to imply upon us that he senses tragic happenings. Here Shakespeare again makes use of irony, for when Romeo says this, he unknowingly talks about his own death, that of his wife, and that of Tybalt. Shakespeare now introduces a very fast scene in sharp contrast to the slow scene of Mercutios' death. Romeo rushes after Tybalt and there issues a brawl, which ends in Tybalts' death. In a modern film version, Baz Luhrmann has cleverly wound the themes of Shakespeare's intentions into the colourful and modern settings of Verona Beach. Here, however, after his fatal injury from Tybalt's shroud of glass, Mercutio doesn't say anything but drops on the spot in agony, and only utters, 'A plague' a both your houses', and dies. ...read more.


Four young lives are lost. Now the audience is more than annoyed, it is angry and irritated over what they will now call a futile argument that has no memorable roots. Earlier we might have sided with either the Capulets or the Montagues, but now, as the stage characters realize their folly, so do we. We now realize that Shakespeare has been trying to tell us what hate and bitterness and conflict does. It affects not only us, but everyone around us as well. Our siding with either family was as much a mistake as the characters in the play. The tragedy is heightened because of the 'bad timing'. Had Juliet woken up a few moments earlier, had Romeo lamented a while longer, had Friar Lawrence reached in time to expose the truth, we would have witnessed a joyful ending. However, their death leaves an impression on our minds of the price they paid for what their ancestors were responsible for. Shakespeare has achieved a marvellous effect by leaving the audience to lament their death. Romeo and Juliet's love has thus become a universal theme, but underneath, it conceals an important message: Do not quarrel over ancient grudges. In conclusion, Shakespeare has tried to show us what hate and conflict of can do. He has carefully tuned it in to the love of two innocent people, who had no part whatsoever in this ancient grudge. He has employed tragedy to teach us an important lesson that is very well be reflected in the Holy Bible: "Love thy neighbour as thou loves thyself", and in "Love thy enemy as thou loves thyself". Shakespeare Coursework Subhayan Podder ...read more.

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