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Romeo and Juliet - Comparison of Act 2 Scene 4 and Act 3 Scene 1

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet - Comparison of Act 2 Scene 4 and Act 3 Scene 1 'Romeo and Juliet' is a play of contrasts. It is split into two parts; the first half which includes 2.4, this half is positive full of love and word play, and the second half where the tragedies happen, 3.1 is a pivotal scene in this half. In Act 2 Scene 4 Romeo and Mercutio use puns and jokes to laugh at eachother at the beginning whereas in Act 3 Scene 1 Benvolio makes an ominous comment about anticipating a fight. At this point Shakespeare uses pathetic fallacy "These hot days, is the mad blood stirring" He says the heat is making people angry. He's scared if they stay there will be a fight. The locations in which these scenes take place are significant, Act 3 Scene 1 more so. They both take place in a public place, this is important because in 1.1 Prince declares "If ever you disturb our streets again/ your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace" This proves to be true. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo's kindness changes to hate when Mercutio is stabbed: "Fire-eyed fury be my conduct now." He also blames Juliet for making weak, "O sweet Juliet/ Thy beauty hath made me effeminate" Avenging Mercutio is typical of Romeo's behaviour. He cares about honour and outward appearance. His poetic language towards Juliet "my heart dear love" shows that he believes in love and romance. Shakespeare emphasises this by making name and romance so similar, as if they almost synominous with eachother. In 2.2 Juliet famously says, "wherefore art thou Romeo", she wishes he has a name that isn't Montegue but instead of saying Montegue she says Romeo. If he wasn't a romantic then they wouldn't fall in love and wouldn't die. However she then says "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" names are a strong theme in the play, many of the characters names reflect their personalities, this is the only time Shakespeare suggests names aren't important. The violence and the curse in 3.1 would be shocking to an Elizabethan audience, who would strongly believe in black magic, unlike 2.4 which is the meeting of the two comic characters; Mercutio and the Nurse. ...read more.

Conclusion

She repeats herself, this makes her come across as unintelligent. Juliet, however, is smart and stays in control of her relationship with Romeo. She declares her love first and is the first to suggest "Thy purpose marriage." She's not a traditional woman of the time who would have been subservient to his wishes. She might have been so forward to earn herself a stronger position in their relationship but it's more likely that she recognising how important it was to marry quickly so their families couldn't separate them and make her marry Paris. The structure and writing techniques Shakespeare uses in Romeo and Juliet are very complicated. He writes in iniambic pentameter. He uses both verse and prose depending on the importance of the passage. Romeo and Juliet share lines of sonnets when they declare their love for eachother and Mercutio does his Queen Madge speech in verse. However in less important scenes they speak in Prose In conclusion, the two scenes show that 'Romeo and Juliet' really is a play of contrasts, however, they also show the links between the differences. Comments said in 2.4 predict actions and events in 3.1 despite the very different atmospheres, which proves the effectiveness of Shakespeare's play of contrasts. ...read more.

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