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Romeo and Juliet - Is Act 1 Scene 5 and effective piece of drama

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Why is Act 1 Scene 5 an effective piece of drama? The purpose of this coursework is to analyse one of the most famous and moving scenes in William Shakespeare's playwrights and for sure the most emotional one in 'Romeo and Juliet'. I will start to give some background information about the play and the social and historical context, afterwards I will continue and try to reflect on the characters, structure and language. It is always important to take into consideration that Shakespeare was a practical theatre writer having in mind the real Globe Theatre in Bankside. The evidence suggests that it was a three-story, open-air amphitheatre that could house around 3,000 spectators. The cheapest tickets cost one penny and were in the yard, this was in front of the stage. The balcony housed the musicians and could also be used for scenes requiring an upper space, such as the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. The difference between the theatres today and the special quality was - apart from the buildings - the proximity from the audience and the actors. Everyone was allowed to see Shakespeare's plays and people liked to see the world of rich families combined with a drama. The play starts with a prologue where the audience finds the storyline out. ...read more.


Capulet talks with his cousin about their youth. How long is't now since last yourself and I were in a mask? People get in mask to the party - like it was in Shakespeare's time. This is a kind of enjoying, fun and mystery. This chat between Capulet and his cousin shows the audience that they are close family members and like each other. In the meantime Romeo sees Juliet for the first time and asks a serving man, who she is - he does not know. Romeo is fascinated by her beauty and starts to speak - about her - in sonnet form. This is a sign of love, in Shakespeare's dramas. He speaks from Juliet as burn bright, what says that Juliet is a girl of lightness and brightness. Beauty too rich for use for earth too dear! Romeo means that Juliet is somehow too good for this world. And he realises that he never felt real love before he met Juliet - Did my heart love till now? For Romeo Juliet has a magic charisma. This reaction makes the audience sceptical, but then they remember the prologue and are interested to find out what will come next. And also after hearing the everyday language spoken by the servants in the beginning and the relaxed wording of Capulet these sayings are magical and they start to take Romeo seriously because he talks of her as his deep love. ...read more.


Juliet goes and Romeo asks the nurse, who her mother is. The audience would like to protect him from the truth, but it is too late - he finds out that Juliet is the daughter of Lord and Lady Capulet. He says O dear account! My life is my foe's debt -the danger remains and is the start of the dramatic ending. Capulet makes the party an end and the guests leave. Juliet finds out that Romeo is a Montague. She speaks with opposites - My grave is like to be my wedding bed and My only love sprung from my only hate - a prophecy for the further scene which ends with a pessimistic note. The audience realises that nothing good will happen and that two such young people will die, because of their true love. Shakespeare structured the scene in eight parts, depending on emotion and plot. This is the only scene in the whole play which contains so many different emotions and changes so fast from hate to love - from peace to revenge. Also this is probably the most important scene, because it covers everything what is necessary to continue the plot. After the end of the scene you know exactly what will happen and you get an insight into the main characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? December 2006 English Coursework Romeo and Juliet Milena Rivka Meixner - 1 - ...read more.

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