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Romeo and Juliet - Explore who is most to blame for the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt? Do you think the prince's judgement was fair? How did the 2 films help you understand these issues?

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Introduction

Explore who is most to blame for the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt? Do you think the prince's judgement was fair? How did the 2 films help you understand these issues? This scene is the pivoting point of the entire play. After the scene the entire play changes mood from happiness of love to tragedy. Much of what happens in this scene also seems to foretell what will happen in following scenes. At the start of this scene, we see Benvolio and Mercutio arguing. Benvolio is trying to draw Mercutio away, for he thinks that if they meet the Capulets, "we shall not scape a brawl." Mercutio is shown at this point to be in a bad tempered mood. He begins to make things up to annoy Benvolio, for example that "thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain in the sun". This show' s Mercutio's bad temper and hints that Mercutio might be to blame for his own death as he seems in a bad mood. This is also hinted at when Benvolio warns that the Capulets are coming. Mercutio fallows this by saying "By my heel I care not." This shows that he seems to be looking for a fight. But then again, it also could be seen that as he is not of either house, he shouldn't have anything to fear from the Capulets. ...read more.

Middle

While it was unlucky for Romeo to have all the blame put onto him for the other two deaths, even though it wasn't his fault, it was what the prince would have to do to keep order in the city. If he killed Romeo then the Montagues would get mad at the death of Romeo and start more brawls for revenge, yet if he did nothing the Capulets would get mad because the prince hadn't killed someone they consider to be a murderer. Also not doing anything would lead the city to believe that the laws are just empty threats. The prince is clever in saying banishment for it keeps Romeo out of the danger of the Capulets, keeps the Montagues happy as Romeo is still alive and also any Capulets who want to try and Kill Romeo will do so out of the city. It was a wise decision, so in that sense it was a just decision, but at the same time Romeo is unlucky to have any punishment as I explained earlier up the page, the deaths of the other two characters was more to do with luck then any particular character. The Zeffirelli version of the film is set in the time period it was written in, in the place it was written to be in. It is an accurate version of the film which means that the costume and locations are used to help add to the period. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Continuing storm is still adding tension in the background at this point. This storm and the silence around Mercutio's lines of "A Plague a'both your houses" seems to hint that Baz Luhrmann is trying to get across the supernatural and fate aspect of the play. When Mercutio dies Act 3, scene 2 lines 20-30 is inserted, the lines where Juliet is waiting for Romeo to come for her. The serenity of this scene is used as a reminder of Juliet's involvement in all this and as a total contrast of the next part which uses a high-speed car crash to start off the fight between Romeo and Tybalt. The continuing storm still adds tension and just as Tybalt is killed (via gun shots from Romeo) a flash of Juliet's face appears on screen. The final thunderclap sounds and Romeo drops his gun to show that Romeo has understood what he has just done. Shakespeare originally wrote this scene many years ago skilfully writing it to keep the way it could be played open. I think he was trying to focus on fate as the culprit for the death of Tybalt and Mercutio, as he does often in a lot of his plays although this scene could be read differently. This is shown in the many different versions of the text which have been performed, whether film or theatre, as they try to help the audience focus on their ideas about the different themes of the text. Peter Sen� ...read more.

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