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Romeo and Juliet - How does Shakespeare prepare us for the tragedy ahead, during Act one, Scene five?

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Introduction

Adam Shardlow-Wrest, English 11x3, 16/02/03 Shakespeare Coursework Assignment-Romeo and Juliet. How does Shakespeare prepare us for the tragedy ahead, during Act one, Scene five? The tragedy of 'Romeo and Juliet' is about two families from Verona, the Capulets and the Montagues, who are enemies. However, as the play is entitled 'Romeo and Juliet' you would expect them to be the main characters and this is true. Romeo and Juliet are 'star crossed lovers', who fall deeply in love but because of their family's feud the relationship is not allowed to blossom and, therefore, they use their, 'graves as their wedding bed'. Lord Capulet starts scene five, act one extremely jolly and welcoming as he addresses his guests; he seems only content for his guests to have a good time and to dance. However, this perception of Lord Capulet changes dramatically as the scene carries on. Tybalt, Capulet's nephew, discovers that Romeo, a sworn enemy of the Capulets, is at the party. He says to Lord Capulet, "now by the stock and humour of my kin, to strike him dead, I hold it not a sin". After Tybalt says this, we see the volatility of Lord Capulet. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt provides a fight, which leads to the death of Murcutio. In revenge Romeo kills Tybalt. This also though gives us an insight pf what things are to come are to come if Lord Capulet's authority is ever questioned, this prepares us for a confrontation between Juliet and Lord Capulet later in the play, as Juliet questions his choice of man for her to marry, Paris, as she is already married to Romeo at this stage. Also Lord Capulet's approach to how he spoke to Tybalt relates to the theme of youth as Capulet shows how the vigour of youth and the solemnity of age. When Romeo and Juliet first meet they have a heart-warming conversation in sonnet form. The significance of the sonnet form is that, a sonnet is a short poem with 14 lines and ten or eleven syllables in those lines, and I feel that the sonnet form is significant because sonnets are normally about love. At the time of Shakespeare, sonnets were a highly respected form of writing. Romeo and Juliet use very holy imagery in the conversation and say things like "my lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand" which Romeo says as he is about to kiss Juliet, as if to say I have been looking for this moment and I am worship your beauty I guess so to speak. ...read more.

Conclusion

These images show that Juliet represents hope and goodness. Finally Romeo and Juliet met at night, this suggests that the outcome of their relationship seems bleak. The audience already know that there is a bad outcome to the story; the audience know that Tybalt will not follow Capulet's orders and will start a tragic chain of events. The audience already know that Romeo and Juliet's young love is predestined to end in tragedy and in the prologue we learn, "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives". This means that a pair of lovers are thwarted by fate. As we know what the characters do not, this creates dramatic irony. The irony in Scene one, Act five means that, as Romeo and Juliet meet we are influenced by the dramatic irony and therefore fail to feel the happiness, which is expected and instead feel the sorrow, as we know the outcome, is bleak. We that their affections for each other will never get a chance to blossom, and this therefore influences our emotions. We then look for the signs of tragedy that may occur in the future of the play ahead. Throughout Act one, Scene five there are signs of the tragedy to come. We know that the young lovers will not be given the opportunity to develop their relationship and will use 'their graves as their wedding bed'. ...read more.

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