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

Romeo and Juliet - How do the characters add to the drama and excitement in Act 2 Scene 2?

Extracts from this document...


How do the characters in Romeo and Juliet add to the drama and excitement in Act 2 Scene 2? The play Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare's most infamous tragedies, is a very exciting play. Right from the beginning, in the prologue, we are told that there will be "new mutiny" (violence), "civil blood", and that "a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life". This creates tension in the play, because it tells us straight away that Romeo and Juliet, the two main characters, will both die. The phrase "star-crossed" shows that it is destined to happen, as the audience in Elizabethan times would strongly believe that fate is guided by the stars. This creates excitement amongst the audience because although they know that the couple will die, the characters in the play don't. This is an example of dramatic irony. A lot of the vocabulary used in the prologue is imagery associated with death and violence. Examples of this include "grudge", "mutiny", "blood", "unclean", "fatal", "foes", "strife", "death-marked", and "rage". All of these words are used to create excitement as it builds up anticipation of a bloody play within the audience. The phrase "civil blood makes civil hands unclean" is an oxymoron. "Civil" is an ambiguous word, meaning either ordinary citizens of a place, or kind and obliging to help. ...read more.


Romeo's monologue at the beginning is written in iambic pentameter, which gives it a constant rhythm. However, at the end of it, Juliet speaks and finishes the rhythm of the iambic pentameter with the last two syllables. This may be interpreted as there being a connection between the two; even though she is not aware of his presence. This continues throughout the scene, showing the constant connection between the two. When Juliet starts to speak, the audience will be hanging on her words because they are anticipating what Juliet's feelings towards Romeo are, whether she will reveal them, and also whether Romeo will reveal his presence. In fact, Romeo says, after Juliet has spoken a few lines, "Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?" This part in the scene is very tense, because the audience know that this scene is pivotal in the play, and the audience know that what happens now will affect the whole play. All that Juliet speaks of is Romeo, and her annoyance that Romeo is a Montague ("O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?). The exclamation mark may suggest that Juliet is distressed if she is using it without anybody's presence. When Romeo eventually reveals himself, this moment is very exciting for the audience, as they are awaiting Juliet's response. ...read more.


It also shows he has become more decisive. He says in Act 3 Scene 1, "O sweet Juliet, thy beauty hath made me effeminate and in my temper soften'd valour's steel!" This shows that Romeo has lost some of his masculinity through Juliet's love. A lot of Romeo's remaining rationality leaves him after the marriage. For example, when he is told that Juliet is dead, he doesn't even question whether it is true or not, and makes the decision to kill himself almost immediately. This also shows that he has become more decisive; however this is not necessarily a good thing. The climax of the play is right at the end. Romeo takes the poison just as Juliet is awaking from her "death". The deaths of Romeo and Juliet are directly caused by Act 2 Scene 2, as the marriage is arranged in this scene. The play of Romeo and Juliet would still be valued by an audience today, however not as much as an Elizabethan audience. Most of the themes in the play, such as love, luck and fate are just as relevant to a modern audience as they would be to an Elizabethan one. However, the theme of religion and religious imagery and customs would not be as relevant to a modern society. This is because in Shakespeare's time, everybody believed in the religion (which was Christianity) very strongly, the supernatural, and fate. ...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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How Shakespeare portrays Romeo and Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2

    4 star(s)

    Romeo may have presented himself as a pilot because being a captain of a ship was a much respected job. Explorers such as Sir Francis Drake were well known for their efforts discovering new lands; Britain was in competition with countries such as Spain and Portugal to find new sources

  2. Romeo and Juliet - Read carefully Act 3 Scene 2 Trace Juliet's feelings ...

    For him, Juliet was his life, and he felt that he could not live without her. He refuses to accept the initial advice of the Friar and even mocks him later. After the Friar refers to Romeo's banishment as 'mercy', Romeo starts pouring out all his despair into words, complaining

  1. Discus the significance of the balcony scene Act 2, Scene 2 in Shakespeare's 'Romeo ...

    start Juliet knows these are genuine feelings for Romeo and she really does love him, but she also knows that the love would be forbidden due to the family feud. It also shows us that Juliet is confused about love as she isn't an experienced lover and she has some tough decisions to make about her future.

  2. Romeo & Juliet Analysis of Act 1 & 2

    And palm to palm is holy palmers kiss: By using religious theme like Romeo when he spoke to her, Juliet suggests that they should kiss but do it by touching hands. Romeo seems unsatisfied by this and he again proposes to kiss by using their lips: "Have not saint lips, and holy palmers too?"

  1. How does Shakespeare create excitement and tension in Act 3 Scene 1?

    As he says his next lines I want Mercutio to say them with sarcasm as he is mocking Tybalt. I then want him once he has finished to lean forward slightly with his sword pointing out at Tybalt and for Mercutio to be in the beginning stance for a duel.

  2. How does Shakespeare make Act 3 scene 1 of the play, Romeo and Juliet ...

    In act 3, scene 1; Tybalt shows his true aggressive nature and loyalty by challenging Mercutio, then later Romeo, to a fight. Tybalt ends up wounding Mercutio, as Mercutio tries to belittle him in a sarcastic manner. Tybalt's anger and aggression is shown when he says to Romeo; "Boy, this

  1. How does Shakespeare convey the intensity of the new found love between Romeo and ...

    The actors speak with English accents and Juliet looks about 14 with Romeo about 18. The scene is set outside a castle-like stone mansion with a stone balcony and lots of trees and bushes to hide Romeo below. There are closeups of Romeo while he is hiding in the bushes listening to Juliet speak of him.

  2. How and in what way does Shakespeare present the theme of love in act ...

    His love for Rosaline is unrequited (she does not love him in return) and has left him in a great sorrow. Romeo states that he is love sick and describes his sad feelings by saying, "Why, such is love's transgressions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work