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Romeo & Juliet - Change in Tension

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Shakespeare essay William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' is a story set in Elizabethan times. It is about two lovers in an unfortunate situation which, from the start, is certain to end in tragedy. In Elizabethan times, the ideas on family life, parenthood and ranking in society were very different to what they are now. This is where Shakespeare took ideas from. For example, children were thought of as small adults and were property of their parents and women were property of their husbands. In act 3, scene 5 the tension, which is already quite high, builds quickly as a number of unfortunate events plague Juliet. The scene in general, is the beginning of the certain tragedy, which comes upon them. It shows how Juliet becomes completely alone and discarded. This creates a growing amount of sympathy, which grows throughout the scene. Shakespeare uses a number of clever techniques in the language of the characters, the link to society at that time and carrying on a general theme throughout the whole play. The first point in which the tension begins to build in the scene is when Romeo and Juliet first wake up. Romeo and Juliet try to postpone their separation as much as they can. Juliet says 'Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day. It was the nightingale and not the lark that pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.' ...read more.


The tension rises because Juliet suddenly bursts with anger and she might strike out at her mother. The audience would feel surprised because she has disobeyed her parents, which is unusual for the time the play is set. And also the audience would worry about her parent's reaction to her defiance and her well being because of that. The tension takes a sudden rise when Lady Capulet says ' Here comes your father, tell him so yourself, and see how he will take it at your hands.' Juliet's mother says that because she doesn't want to tell Capulet herself. This is because men were considered the owners of their wives and they were able to do almost what they wanted to them for example, hit them. The tension could also rise because we know from earlier scenes in the play that Capulet has a short fuse and there is a chance that he will be fuming with anger, or even react with violence. The audience at this point will feel scared for Juliet for that same reason. When Capulet first walks into Juliet's room, he is in a relatively good mood. He asks Juliet why she is crying ' How now a conduit girl? What still in tears? Evermore showering?' The tension drops because Capulet isn't yet in a rage and doesn't look as if he will react badly to Juliet. The three questions is a clever technique used to create sympathy. ...read more.


This links to the theme of fate and destiny because in the prologue it says that they will die. The tension takes a final rise as nurse surprises everybody. She tells Juliet 'I think it best you marry with the county Paris.' The audience would be very surprised at this and the tension also takes another rise because this is not what you would think nurse would say because on previous impressions of nurse this is not in her personality. The most probable reason she would have said this is so she doesn't get thrown into the streets for disobeying her superior, Capulet. Shakespeare uses a wide range of techniques to build tension throughout Act 3, Scene 5 of 'Romeo and Juliet.' He tries to create an intimidating atmosphere to try and signal that there is tension in the scene. This tension at first gradually then rapidly increases as Juliet, a protagonist, becomes involved in more and more threatening and challenging situations which lead to a complete rejection from her family and end with her being in a potentially life threatening situation. In my opinion the tension doesn't really drop at all at the end of the scene as it is left in sort of a cliff-hanger. This leaves an air of mystery as to what Juliet will do next and generally keeps up the tension. Generally, the tension in the scene is created by the thought of death and violence which rises and rises as the scene progresses and never drops as the scene ends in a sort of cliff-hanger. ...read more.

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