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Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

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Explain how Shakespeare makes act 1, scene 5 such a memorable experience for the audience. To what extent does this scene confirm the status of Romeo and Juliet as "star-crossed lovers"? Act 1, scene 5 is a particularly memorable experience in Romeo and Juliet. Most importantly it marks the first meeting of the title characters to which the play has been building up too all the way till now. Shakespeare has put off the two lead characters meeting up till this point to heighten the expectancy and thus make it a more memorable scene. Shakespeare uses a sonnet to show hoe the characters are in harmony, again adding to the unforgettable nature of the scene. This scene also affirms the status of the characters as star-crossed lovers due too the two characters finding that there the person they have just fallen in love with is actually there sworn enemy. Language in this scene plays a big part in making it so memorable. Shakespeare uses imagery to show how Romeo feels about Juliet; he expresses his wonder upon seeing her in lines 43-52: "Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear" This line ...read more.


Shakespeare, however, saves the best use of his language for the two main characters first meeting. This first exchange of words is in the form of a perfect Shakespearian sonnet and adds to the ease at which this scene is remembered: "If I profain with my unworthiest hand... Then move not while my prayers effect I take" The lines 95-109 form the sonnet. This is particularly impressive as it is the first time the characters have met and along with their speech forming this sonnet it also forms rhyming couplets. All this only emphasise the fact that the two characters are "star-crossed lovers". Shakespeare also creates a spiritual bond between the two using religious imagery such as "pilgrims", "saints" and "sinners". Shakespeare also utilises structure to add to the drama of the scene. Shakespeare takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster which again adds to how memorable the scene is. The scene opens with a light-hearted atmosphere. The serving men appear with some humorous moments: "Save me a piece of marchpane" This humorous opening adds to the importance of the more important issues of love and hate, and makes them more memorable when they come along. ...read more.


When Romeo and Juliet discover that their new love is in fact their sworn enemy they seem to predict a tragic end to there relationship: "My life is my foes debt" (Romeo) "...I must love a loathed enemy" (Juliet) This confirms that Romeo and Juliet are not meant to be, however, they cannot stop loving each other and the journey to the story's tragic end has unstoppably begun. Undoubtedly Shakespeare's audience would have been familiar with the force of fate and this scene clearly show that the two characters are I fact star-crossed lovers. Furthermore, Romeo and Juliet's impulsive actions in this scene, together with their impact on those around them, confirms there status as tragic heroes. Shakespeare's audiences, both today and at the time of writing, would have been familiar enough with the dramatic notion of tragedy to realise that, sadly, as a result of this scene, the forces of fate will mean that the play will end, as indeed it does, with Romeo and Juliet paying the ultimate price for their "death-mark'd love" ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework ...read more.

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