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Romeo and Juliet - How does Shakespeare Make Act 1 Scene 5 Dramatically effective

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet How does Shakespeare Make Act 1 Scene 5 Dramatically effective At the beginning of Act 1 Scene 5 the audience are full of anticipation and expectation. The two feuding families, the Capulets And Montaghue's, had just had a major disagreement resulting in a fight breaking out in the town. The Prince threatened them and stated that if he saw any of the families fighting again they would be sentenced to death!! That same night, Capulet is holding a ball and Romeo (a Montague) decides to go, in order to find his true love Rosalyn. At the end of Act 1 Scene 4 Romeo has had a premonition that the night's events will ultimately lead to his untimely death. This premonition increases the tension and creates a high level of expectation and a feeling of dread and pessimism amongst the audience. Act 1 Scene 5 opens with the servants preparing for the ball. As Shakespeare's theatre did not have any sophisticated scenery, this was a method of signalling to the audience that a new scene was beginning. ...read more.

Middle

We know that Romeo is excited to see Juliet because his language goes from being prose to poetry. We should also remember that he originally came to the ball to see his 'true love' Rosalyn. Romeo waxes lyrical about Juliet's beauty, describing her in many different ways such as 'she doth teach the torches to burn bright', 'it seems she hangs upon the cheek of night as a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear' and likening her to a 'snowy dove trooping with crows'. These references create a fantastic image of Juliet, associating her with light, a precious stone or gem and again as a whiter than white dove that makes those around her seem ugly and crow-like. During all of this, Tybalt (a Capulet) over hears Romeo and then realises that there is a Montague is in the house. Tybalt thinks that Romeo is disrespecting the Capulets so goes and tells Capulet. This sudden changes the atmosphere from a dreamy romantic one to a confrontational one. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is unusual to have two people involved in a sonnet and this makes the audience think that they are meant to be together. Romeo and Juliet continue through the sonnet, each sentence building on the last with Romeo associating Juliet with a shrine, indicating her saintliness, and Juliet likens Romeo to a pilgrim. Their language makes you think that they are alone and being very intimate, their speech is gentle and flowing and their movements gentle and unrushed, in total contrast to the preceding scene. After the first loving meeting between Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare again makes the atmosphere full of foreboding when both Romeo and Juliet find out the true identities of the other. It emphasises the deep feeling between the families and drives home to the audience what they probably already know, that their love will cause them both to put their lives on the line for each other. To summarise, Shakespeare makes the scene dramatically effective by constantly, and sometimes suddenly, changing the mood and atmosphere between jolliness, aggressive and romantic, thereby keeping the audience on the edge of their seats and keeping them in anticipation of what might happen next. ...read more.

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