• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Romeo and Juliet analysis: act 3 scene 1.

Extracts from this document...


ROMEO AND JULIET ANALYSIS: ACT 3 SCENE 1 Probably the most prominent and widely-studied text in GCSE English, Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare relatively early in his literary career, in the late sixteenth century. During much of the twentieth century, critics tended to belittle this play in comparison to the four great tragedies that Shakespeare wrote in the first decade of the seventeenth century (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello). Compared to Shakespeare's more mature plays, Romeo and Juliet appeared to lack the psychological depth and structural complexity of his later tragedies. But over the last few decades, scholars and critics have altered their opinions, effectively raising the status of this play amongst Shakespeare's works, by judging Romeo and Juliet as a work of art in its own right. Viewed from this fresh perspective, Shakespeare's tragic drama of the star-crossed lovers is seen to be an extraordinary work. Indeed, Romeo and Juliet was an experimental stage piece at the time of its composition, featuring several fundamental changes from long-standing practices. However, it is these innovative aspects of the play that emphasize the importance of its principal themes. These include the antithesis between love and hate, the correlative use of a light/dark polarity, the handling of time (as both theme and as structural element), and the influential status given to fortune and its expression in the dreams, omens and premonitions that foretell its tragic conclusion. ...read more.


This cleanly divides the play into two parts, with a beginning, a middle, and an end when all the cast reunite on stage. This is important because the first time is after a clash between servants in the two houses, the second is after the fight between Romeo and Tybalt, and the third is after the death of Romeo and Juliet. After the first fight, the Prince warned both the houses that if it happens again, they will have to pay for it with their own blood. This was indeed a prophecy, because when it happens next, Tybalt dies, and Romeo is banished. When they meet again for the final scene, it is Romeo who dies, fulfilling the Prince's prophecy. Act 3 Scene 1 begins with Benvolio and Mercutio sitting in the town square (a public place). Benvolio warns Mercutio that the Capulets could be out on the streets and looking for a fight. He tells him that the day is hot, which can be taken both literally and metaphorically, since Italian afternoons are very hot, and tempers have also been flaring in the last few days after the fight between the Montagues and Capulets in Act 1 Scene 1. ...read more.


If there had been more time, Friar John may have managed to get the message to Romeo in time and he would not have killed himself in Juliet's tomb. If Mercutio hadn't jumped into a fight with Tybalt, he wouldn't have been killed. He may also have survived if Romeo had not stepped between them. In either case, Tybalt and Romeo probably wouldn't have fought, Tybalt wouldn't have been killed, and Romeo wouldn't have been banished. There are several events that could have ended differently if someone had acted in just a slightly different manner or arrived just a moment earlier/later. The results of all these events can be blamed directly on fate. In the end, this action packed scene delivers a punch because it is the first instance where we are reminded of the tragedy of the young star-crossed lovers. The banishment of Romeo ensures that Romeo will return to Verona to get Juliet, and by doing this, he will fulfil the Prince's prophecy of payment by blood. When Mercutio shouts out "a plague a' both your houses", the audience is reminded again that all the events in the play will lead to its inevitable conclusion, when the death of Romeo and Juliet will cause grief and misery to both the houses, and where the joint mourning helps to unite both the families, and acts as a fitting conclusion to the play. 01/05/2007 Abu Shoaib 5A ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work