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Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Shakespeare Assignment: "Romeo and Juliet" Examine how Effective is the dramatic impact of Act 3 Scene1 lines 1 to 32. Romeo and Juliet is a play of many themes. Like most of Shakespeare's plays, it has a main plot with many subtexts, the main plot being related to love and tragedy. The story is set in Verona, Italy in the 16thcentury. It is about two young lovers, each from two different feuding families - the Montague's and the Capulets - which have a historical hatred for each other. It is a deeply heart-touching tragedy when two "star-cross'd" lovers, who are desperate to be together, are torn apart by a downward spiral of events. From love to hate and from life to death are the themes Shakespeare has based Romeo and Juliet on, as well as the most important one, fate. Fate is used right from the start of the play in chorus. Fate is used a lot in the play, this is because when the play was written people of those times were incredibly superstitious and believed in curses. "...A pair of star cross'd lovers, take their life:" right from the beginning the audience knows that two people are destined to meet it is fate, something bad will happen to them. Here Shakespeare is using Greek Mythology, the Greeks they also believed in a lot of fate and star crossed lovers, but here again Shakespeare is being optimistic, he also knows that the Elizabethan audience believe in fate and how once things are destined they happen no matter what. Act 3, is right in the middle of the 5 acts that composed the play, containing the climax of the play. It is the pivotal scene. The first two acts build up to the climax and the last two follow down from it. Act 3 is essential to the play as a whole as this is the emotional and action-packed high point of the play, with mixed emotions of love, fate and tragedy. ...read more.

Middle

Mercutio here is saying that Tybalt and his gang can stay because he's not going anywhere; he is again mocking Benvolio and taking no heed from him whatsoever. The "I" is used twice in this quote, which emphasises his stubbornness. After all the tension on stage between the characters, Romeo enters into this scene feeling peace loving and good-tempered. He is not in the mood for fighting with anyone. Whereas Mercutio and Tybalt are both in anger and provocative moods. Romeo is happy because he just got married to Juliet, but obviously the other characters on stage are unaware or this, at this point the audience knows more. The timing of Romeo's entrance is very crucial as it gives the first sign of turning point of the play in my opinion. The mood of the audience changes from tense to worried and sympathetic. The audience now feel sorry for Romeo but also they want to know what he will do giving the thought that he has landed in a situation which has no intention of getting better. They feel sorry because he has to face a fight straight after his marriage, which no newly wed would ever think of doing. But now that Romeo had entered the scene there is no way that he could turn back, the audience is eager to know if he will live up to his reputation or be forgiving to Tybalt because to just married his cousin Juliet. Shakespeare is really building up tension here for the forthcoming tragedy. Here again we can link this to fate if Romeo hadn't entered the scene was not his fault that Mercutio died would we still have the same outcome? Would Romeo still be destined for the same fate, here again the audience are forced to rethink all the possibilities and also that is this really fate or just accidents happening one after the other. Tybalt now tries to provoke Romeo into having a fight; he uses Mercutio's tactics by insulting him. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point Romeo realizes his life is out of control. Right after Mercutio's death Romeo says: 'This day's black fate on mo days doth depend; Romeo knows fate has entered into his life and he wants to blame fortune for the two deaths that have just occurred, rather than to think about what he could have done to stop them occurring. The way in which the play is written perhaps makes us more sympathetic towards Romeo, because we know that he has just married Juliet, whilst the characters on stage do not. Romeo could have acted in a more sensible way to Tybalt's challenge, instead of coming out with the words, which provoked Mercutio into violence. His intervention between Mercutio and Tybalt may have caused his friend's death. His attempts to remain loyal to both his friends and his wife Juliet were doomed to failure. It is clear that conflict plays a major role in this scene of the play. The theme of conflict is expressed through both physical and verbal fighting as well as the interaction between characters and the use of wordplay. In this act of the play you have Juliet's favourite cousin trying to kill Romeo, who is now married to Juliet and also related to Tybalt. By marrying Juliet Romeo has symbolically tried putting the feud behind him, but finds he cannot. When his best friend, Mercutio is killed by Tybalt, Romeo wants nothing but revenge which puts into action a series of events, one of them being his banishment from Verona, leading to a tragic end for the lovers. The Capulets and Montague's hate each other, Juliet has an arranged marriage to Paris, and there is a plague in the city of the messenger. So it is a case of both bad luck and fate that cause the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. This scene is important to the play as it is the pivotal scene and where loves turns into tragedy, misfortune and, of course, death. Where the mood and atmosphere of the play changes. Somaya Umer 10*M*Gy Shakespeare Assignment 1 Mr Buckle ...read more.

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