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Romeo and Juliet - How Shakespeare Creates Dramatic Tension

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How Does Shakespeare Create Dramatic Tension? In the previous scene Romeo and Juliet had just gotten married and the following scene takes place immediately after the wedding ceremony. This scene illustrates confrontation between Mercutio and Tybalt with Benvolio, Mercutio's Page and 'men'. This scene, the location Verona, Italy in what is known in the script as a 'public place' - this is quite a precise detail for the reason that The Prince has outlined in a previous scene that if the two feuding families fight in a public place they will be executed. This piece of information of the setting gives the audience a clue to the goings on in this current scene; it builds tension because the audience are aware of the significance and it is quite a subtle effect. Act 3 Scene 1 starts with Benvolio commenting on how hot the weather is, wanting to go home, "Benvolio: ...Mercutio, let's retire: The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring." In this quotation Benvolio is explaining to Mercutio how the hot weather is adding rage to people's characteristics and how he wants to avoid a fight with the Capulets because he doesn't want to die. ...read more.


necessarily always up for a fight, on the other hand Tybalt is an aggressive character willing to battle no matter what the circumstances are. The differences between the personalities of Romeo and Tybalt begin to have dramatic consequences as the scene progresses from Romeo's entrance to Mercutio's death. The previous scene was the scene of the wedding between Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is now related to Tybalt so is being very kind to him and Tybalt cannot understand why Romeo is being so pleasant. "Tybalt: Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford No better term than this: thou art a villain." In this quotation, Tybalt offends Romeo by calling him a villain meaning in this context an evil or common man. Romeo responds to Tybalt's insult with a moderately unusual, but pleasant sentence. "Romeo: Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting. Villain am I none; Therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not." Romeo's reply is quite the opposite of Tybalt's destructive personality. As Romeo attempts to make the atmosphere a whole lot calmer in order to not start a fight and eventually die, but also is unwilling to fight a relative of Juliet's, Tybalt continues to disrespect Romeo by referring to him as 'boy' "Tybalt: Boy this shall not excuse the injuries That thou hast done me, therefore turn and draw." ...read more.


Lady Capulet demands to know about the death of her nephew, Tybalt Benvolio reacts in a truthful manner, "Lady Capulet: Tybalt, my cousin! O my brother's child! O Prince! O husband! O, the bloodis spilled Of my dear kinsman. Prince, as thou art true, For blood of ours, shed blood of Montague. O cousin, cousin!" "Benvolio: Tybalt, here slain whom Romeo's hand did slay. Romeo, that spoke him fair bid him bethink How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal..." The dramatic tension in Act 3 Scene 1 has finally reached its peak; Romeo has been banished and the audience are left at the end of the scene wondering how Romeo and Juliet are going to meet again. The audience of Shakespeare's time would have expected the classic versions of Romeo and Juliet to be performed rather than Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet. Luhrman's version is comparative to Zefferelli's 1968 version - both films contain the same amount of action, but are especially diverse. Both Directors have taken a different approach to each film, which makes them successful. Luhrman's idea may be more successful in a modern day audience because the spectators will be able to relate the play more. This scene is fairly important to the story line because this is one of the many climaxes of the play, Shakespeare thinks exceedingly carefully about the language structure and not just about the events of the play, which makes his plays extremely successful. ...read more.

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