• 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 successfully does Shakespeare use Act One to prepare the audience for events that happen later in the play?

Extracts from this document...


Romeo and Juliet How successful does Shakespeare use Act One to prepare the audience for events that happen later in the play? The play Romeo and Juliet is set in "fair Verona", Italy. Shakespeare based his play on a poem by Brooke and brought it to the theatre in 1595. Although it is set in Italy many things mentioned could be found in Elizabethan England for example the Capulet's party. This suggests to me that Shakespeare had little knowledge of Italian life. The play also highlights the position of women in Elizabethan times. At the beginning of Act One we are introduced to Sampson and Gregory who are from the Montague's and the other from the Capulet's and they are in the market place of Verona. They are messing around joking to each other and in the process puns are used such as collier, choler and collar. In the time this was set, this would have being considered very funny to the audience. Sampson and Gregory start to mock each other by biting their thumb, which was considered very rude then. This causes a fight to break out and this shows us that the rivalry and hatred between the Montague and Capulet's also continues at all social levels as well. ...read more.


The audience is introduced to Juliet when she is at the Capulet house and her mother wishes to speak with her about her feelings on marriage and Juliet replies to this by saying "It is an honour that I dream not of", which is ironic because of events later in the play. I think that Juliet is an honest person and will speak the truth given the chance. Finally we meet good Mercutio who is one of Romeo's good friends. In a way he is like a brother to. He is a very witty person and has a quick working mind. Mercutio has a hate fed rivalry going on with Tybalt, but at the same time they have a respect for one another's fighting abilities. Mercutio seems to me as one of the people who likes to be centre of attention as he is always involved in puns, jokes and teases. Shakespeare makes the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet in Act One scene five romantic by the things, which are said to one another like for example "If I profane with my unworthiest hand, this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, my lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand, to smooth the rough touch with a gentle kiss". ...read more.


The irony to this is the way Romeo expresses his love for Rosaline is very similar to the way he declares his love for Juliet. A lot of poetic language is used in the Act, especially imagery that is connected to light and says that Juliet's beauty would make the moon "envious". Which is in a way linked with what the chorus says in the prologue, which is "star cross'd lovers". Juliet is also associated with wealth and luxury because of her family and where she lives. A bit of Antithesis is also used, for example "my only love sprang from my only hate", "death marked love". The association of love and death is present throughout the play. Juliet talks of her wedding bed as being her "grave". The use of puns was popular in the Elizabethan times and is used rather frequently in the play like for example "collier, collar and choler". The jokes in the play were used by Shakespeare to relieve the building tension. Mercutio's is not just in the play to be a mere jester, with his crazy words he punctures the romantic sentiments that exist within the play. Some examples of this are "You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings, and soar with them above a common bound", "If love be rough with you, be rough with love; prick love for pricking, and you beat love down". ...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. Romeo and Juliet How successful does Shakespeare use Act One to prepare the audience ...

    He says this, as he isn't allowed to cause any trouble at the party. This later leads to Mercutio's death and Romeo's exile. There is no sub plot because Shakespeare wants all the attention focused on Romeo and Juliet. The play is a tragedy because we find out from the

  2. How does the prologue and act one interest the audience and prepare Romeo and ...

    In Scene i, we see an ever-increasing use of language so as to keep the attention of the audience. To do this Shakespeare uses a number of references towards the subject of sex. For example: When Sampson and Gregory, the servants of the Capulet family decide to look for trouble

  1. Romeo and Juliet - How does Shakespeare prepare us for the tragedy ahead, during ...

    This temper, this volatility that Lord Capulet shows when disobeyed prepares us for events that follow, as Juliet is to question his authority. She refuses to marry Paris and this causes her father to lose his temper and threaten to throw her out of the family and disinherit her.

  2. Examine how Shakespeare uses language in the Prologue, Act One Scene One and Act ...

    that are going to take place and it also makes the audience wonder how the events will conclude in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The Prologue is written in the form of a sonnet. A sonnet is a fourteen line verse set with a rhyming scheme and with ten syllables in each line.

  1. How does Shakespeare present the character of Capulet to the audience in Act 1 ...

    But the other is that Shakespeare gives Capulet an evil personality. He uses nasty words towards Juliet, which shows he is upset. To show this he may have used a different tone in voice or a different standing posture. I would have put Capulet on the stage, by giving him the dual personality.

  2. How does Shakespeare prepare the audience for the final scene of the play?

    And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, These lines tell us that nothing other than the death of Romeo and Juliet could stop the bickering between the families. The hatred between the two families is shown from the outset, with the first scene opening with a quarrel between Montague's and Capulet's.

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