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Romeo & Juliet Act 2

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Evaluate the importance of Act 3 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" Act Three, Scene One is very important in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. This is because in this scene Mercutio is killed. Mercutio's death comes as a shock and from this point on changes the disposition of the play. Before this scene the aura is light hearted and seems more like a comedy rather than a tragedy. However, the death of Mercutio transforms the 'comedy' into a classic tragedy. The brawl between Tybalt and Mercutio proves to be the climax of the Montague-Capulet conflict as Mercutio's death is followed by Tybalt's death. This essay will also compare two film productions of the play by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli. It will compare how each film handles Act Three, Scene One. Moreover, it will also look at the historical, cultural and social context of the play and will analyse its contemporary relevance. 'Romeo and Juliet' fits the pattern of a classic Greek tragedy because it follows all of the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy. The ending of the play is catastrophic as the two lovers commit suicide. The ending is also inevitable as Romeo and Juliet, who were destined never to be together in life, could only fulfil their destiny in death. The fact that our hero, in this case Romeo, is in deep anguish seems to be unjust and unfair as he and Juliet are not allowed to be together because of a family feud. ...read more.


Tybalt is concerned with his reputation. He feels that Lord Capulet is sympathizing with the Montagues and because of this, he seeks revenge on Romeo in Act Three, Scene One. At the start of the scene, Benvolio says, "The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, and if we meet we shall not 'scape a brawl". This gives the impression that Benvolio is acting cautiously. He does not want a fight to break out as Prince Escalus' new law states that anyone caught brawling would be banished or killed. It also reveals that Benvolio is the sensible one of the family. He knows that it is a hot day and every one will lose their temper much more easily than usual. When Mercutio is about to die, he says, "Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man". This shows Mercutio's joking nature and quick wittedness. He has used a play on the word grave as if tommorow he will be sad and will also be in dead and in a grave. He is always acting comically and this quote shows that he can even joke when he is staring death in the face. Upon hearing of Tybalt's death, Lady Capulet speaks to Prince Escalus. "Prince as thou art true, for blood of ours, shed blood of Montague". This displays Lady Capulet's anger at Tybalt's death. ...read more.


This is because this is the scene in which the play turns into a tragedy. This makes 'Romeo and Juliet' a classic piece of literary material. Renaissance Italy was the perfect setting for the play because in this period fights were breaking out regularly throughout Italy. The language used in this section of the play tells the audience much about the characters and enhances the story. The two films are very different as Luhrmann sets his film in modern times whereas Zeferelli sets his in Renaissance Italy. Luhrmann makes his film relevant to a modern audience by setting the film in Venice Beach, LA, using guns instead of swords and dressing the two families in a current fashionable look. I have learnt much from Act Three, Scene One. I now realize that the way Shakespeare uses dialogue for each of his characters, allows us not only to understand what they are saying but gives us an insight into their personality and psyche. I think that 'Romeo and Juliet' is a classic piece of writing because of its tragic twists. Much like a story, these twists keep the reader enticed. It is good that the play still forms part of our curriculum, as it gives us an insight into us the type of language people would have used in the Renaissance period, that family loyalty was so important and the Church's domination on everyday life. Overall, I think that 'Romeo and Juliet' was a highly enjoyable piece of writing to work on. ...read more.

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