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'Romeo and Juliet' W. Shakespeare, Act One Scene Five and Act Three Scene One, How Does Shakespeare Make These Two Scenes dramatic?

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Introduction

'Romeo and Juliet' W. Shakespeare Act One Scene Five and Act Three Scene One How Does Shakespeare Make These Two Scenes dramatic? Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is first and foremost a play about love. Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love and get married the very next day. This love between two young people is constantly undermined by the underlying hate of their respective families. It is clear from the outset of this play that the story of these "star-cross'd" lovers will not end happily ever after, in fact, only two days after marrying, they are both dead. This fast moving plot of the play allows Shakespeare to zoom in and concentrate on specific activities during the day rather than just giving us an overview of the day as a whole. The two scenes that I will be analysing, Act one scene five and Act three scene one, are both central to the plot of the play as a whole. Act one scene five is the scene in which Romeo first glimpses Juliet and they speak their first fourteen lines together, lines that form a perfect sonnet. Also, Act one scene five lays the foundations for the fight in Act three scene one when Mercutio (Romeo's friend) and Tybalt (Juliet's cousin) are killed and consequentially, Romeo is banished from Verona. Shakespeare's positioning of Act one scene five is very clever because it means there are four scenes in which the mood of the play can be set and all the characters can be introduced to us, the audience, before the two main characters meet each other. ...read more.

Middle

We could believe that Romeo is a very fickle man and that he will soon be denying all knowledge of his love for Juliet but when they talk to each other we know that this is not true. In Shakespeare's time women were not allowed to act so a young boy would have had to play Juliet and because of this, love could not be shown through lots of passionate kissing. Instead, Shakespeare portrays their love in their language. The first fourteen lines that the "star-cross'd" lovers share form a perfect sonnet which was accepted in Elizabethan times to be a sure sign of love and therefore an appropriate way for Romeo and Juliet to express their love for each other. Romeo says the first quatrain, Juliet the second and the last quatrain and ending couplet are shared between Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare does allow one small kiss between Romeo and Juliet but this is not really needed as by this point the desired effect has already been achieved. The imagery that Shakespeare has used in Romeo and Juliet's first meeting is particularly effective. Romeo refers to Juliet as a holy shrine, "If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth this rough touch with a tender kiss", and says that if he has defiled Juliet's hand by holding it in his then he will kiss her, with his lips which he refers to as pilgrims, to remedy this. ...read more.

Conclusion

The differing dynamics between characters in this scene makes it interesting and dramatic. As I have already mentioned, Romeo speaks very politely to Tybalt and wishes him no harm, "I do Protest I never injur'd thee, But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love" This contrasts greatly with the unpleasant and offensive way that Tybalt speaks to Romeo, "Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford No better term than this - thou art a villain" This shows that Tybalt holds contempt for Romeo whereas as Romeo says that he has nothing but love for Tybalt. In conclusion, the two scenes, Act one scene five and Act three scene one are crucial to the plot of the play as a whole. As such, Shakespeare used many techniques to make these two scenes as dramatic and as striking as possible. To hold the audience's attention during these two scenes Shakespeare used his skills as a dramatist to produce effects such as, dramatic irony, tension and suspense and he used language to highlight many emotions. I believe that Shakespeare was an expert playwright and even though I do not live in Elizabethan times I still appreciate his plays. For people living in Elizabethan times the appeal of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' would have been far greater than it is for me because Shakespeare knew what appealed to his audience and wrote his plays so that they would enjoy them. Also, Elizabethan audiences would not have had to analyse the plays in detail and would have been able to enjoy them as pieces of theatrical brilliance! By Jane Garvani ...read more.

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