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"Romeo and Juliet" could be described as a violent play. With specific reference to Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 5, discuss the dramatic impact the violence has on the characters, audience and the outcome of the play.

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Introduction

"Romeo and Juliet" could be described as a violent play. With specific reference to Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 5, discuss the dramatic impact the violence has on the characters, audience and the outcome of the play. Williams Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is often described as the story of "a couple of unfortunate lovers." Some of the story is written in the form of a sonnet (love poem with fourteen lines) which blends in with the theme of the play, a 'love tragedy.' The play was written back in the 1600's when Shakespeare was in his prime. Some other plays of his include Othello and the very famous Macbeth. The play displays many different themes including love, crime, confrontation and violence. The two main scenes I will be looking at to display violence in the play are Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 5. At the start of the play there is a big fight scene between the two families. This sets the scene for the whole play and especially for Act 3 Scene 1. The violence in Act 3 Scene 1 has a huge influence on the outcome of the play. It starts with Mercutio and Benvolio strolling through the hot streets of Verona. Mercutio's humorous side is brought across when he is seen teasing Benvolio - "By the operation of the second cup Draws him on the drawer, when, indeed, there is no, Need." (3.1.9-11) Mercutio is saying that when Benvolio has had a bit to drink he would pick a fight with someone. At the start of the scene Benvolio says to Mercutio - "Good Mercutio, lets retire" (3.1.2-3) If Mercutio had listened to Benvolio then he would not have had to fight for Romeo's honour. As the Capulet's are brought into the scene Benvolio tells Mercutio that they are coming. Mercutio's response shows that he is not bothered - "By my heel I care not" (3.1.36) ...read more.

Middle

Despite this Mercutio is killed 'under Romeo's arm.' Even when Mercutio is on the verge of dying, he still uses his humorous use of play on words - "Ask for Me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man" (3.1.96-97) He uses two meanings for the word "grave." One meaning, to be serious, and the other meaning, the actual thing, a grave. The fight between Mercutio and Tybalt seemed almost 'playful,' it has a huge impact on the audience, because they did not think that anyone would be killed. The curse that Mercutio puts on the two families almost sets the scene for the rest of the scene - "A plague o' both your houses" (3.1.90) The death of Mercutio angers Mercutio who chases after Tybalt. This is an example of when violence (fighting between Tybalt and Mercutio) that affects Romeo in that he chases after Tybalt looking for revenge. "Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him." (3.1.129) The "must" in this quote makes me think that he is absolutely certain that he will kill Tybalt. With his emotions running high after his kinsman's death he fights and does, kill Tybalt. He then releases a cry and regrets his actions - "O, I am fortunes fool" (3.1.136) Romeo realises that he has jeopardised his relationship with Juliet by causing another disturbance in Verona's streets. At the start of the scene it looked as if nothing was going to happen, however the violence escalated, and two men, end up dead. The way in which the audience can actually see this change and effect is by Shakespeare's great use of imagery in language - "The Prince will doom thee death If thou art taken" (3.1.134-135) In Act 3 Scene 5 there is also violence, however it is not physical violence but verbal. The violent scene starts with Juliet crying and her mother, Lady Capulet. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is saying that if the marriage is not delayed then she will kill herself. Although she said this, I do not believe she could kill herself as she is in love with Romeo, but with the help of someone it could be possible to unite the two lovers. At the start of the scene when Lady Capulet is talking to Juliet she says - "We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not" (3.5.87) This line alone almost sets the scene for the rest of the play by saying that Romeo will inevitably end up dead. The violence in this scene effects the outcome of the play as Juliet is forced to do something that will stop her getting married, so she can run away with Romeo. In my opinion, this is the start of the unravelling of the story. The two scenes that I have been focussing on, Act 3, scenes 1 and 5, contrast. I have found this as in Act 3 Scene 1, they the characters start of very calm and even when a fight is imminent, they are very polite to each other, e.g. when speaking they say, "sir". Despite this, at the end of the scene two men end up dead. In Act 3 Scene 5 the violence is brought across in dialect and not by physical actions. However nobody actually gets hurt. These two scenes contrast as in the scene that there is physical violence, there is no violence in the way they are speaking to each other, and in the scene that there is verbal violence, nobody is hurt. It is obvious that the violence throughout the play eventually lead to the deaths of the "star crossed" lovers. The two families had so many fights that eventually Romeo got banished and this ultimately brought across the mistake of Juliet's fake death, as she was forced to do this to be with Romeo. ?? ?? ?? ?? Simon Docking 11GN ...read more.

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