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Shakespeare: 'Romeo and Juliet' - Discuss the dramatic impact of the balcony scene.

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Introduction

SHAKESPEARE: 'Romeo and Juliet' Discuss the dramatic impact of the balcony scene. Romeo and Juliet is a play written by William Shakespeare and was intended for the theatre. The play is set in 'fair Verona' in Italy. Italy was regarded as a wealthy, romantic country, an excellent setting for Romeo and Juliet a tragic love story which involves themes of: forbidden love, hate, tragedy, danger, friendship and death. The play has an ironic twist as; Romeo is heir to the Montague family and Juliet is heiress to the Capulet family. These two families are great enemies, we witness this from the beginning of the play; when even servants of the two households are fighting to throughout the play were we see episodes of fighting and bitter rivalry, which in one case leads to the death of Mercutio Romeo's friend who is killed by Tybalt , Juliet's cousin who Romeo then kills as an act of vengeance for the death of his friend. Therefore it is ironic that Romeo and Juliet should fall in love but it is even more ironic that these two lovers Juliet and her Romeo have it to die in order for their two rival families to settle their feud. The balcony scene is set at dead of night, therefore it is dark and darkness in Shakespeare's times represented evil or something terrible here it is showing the danger open to Romeo as he is outside the Capulet mansion. we are already aware of how viscous the feud between the two families is for example Tybalt discovering Romeo's presence at the ball calls for his sword, therefore if Romeo is caught there is no doubt that he will be killed. Juliet alarms him several times of the danger 'If they do see thee, they will murder thee.', 'the place of death, considering who thou art'. As well as the danger there is also a sense of intimacy as the scene is set outside Juliet's bed chamber and the two lovers are alone. ...read more.

Middle

beg a kiss 'O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do: they pray - grant thou, lest faith turn despair'. Juliet, is only fourteen in the play a young character, at the beginning of the play she is very obedient as her father wishes her to consider Paris as a suitor and asks her to consider Paris at the ball she dutifully agrees 'I'll look to like, if looking liking move, but no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly.' Marriage was considered as an agreement or contract people did not marry for love they married who they were told to marry. When the subject of marriage later emerges Juliet has a very different view she bluntly persists that she will not marry Paris 'I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, rather than Paris.' This refusal of marriage to Paris could cause her to be disowned by her family 'Thursday is near, lay hand on heart, advise: and you be mine, I'll give you to my friend; and you not hang, beg starve, die in the streets, for by my soul, I'll never acknowledge thee'. Juliet is already married to Romeo and so she either has to risk being thrown out of her home and being disowned or causing a sin of polygamy which is a religious sin, and Juliet's soul would be sent to hell. Juliet instantaneously knows that she is in love with Romeo 'my grave is like to be my wedding bed' she believes that he is 'my only love sprung from my only hate.' Juliet is the more practical in the relationship she brings Romeo down to earth and is more realistic as she suggest that they get married 'if that thy bent of love be honourable, thy propose' she is determined Through the language there emotions and characters become apparent. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo and Juliet produces many emotions from its audience. The play is set in Verona in Italy which is important as Shakespeare was trying to describe an exotic place where the audience could believe that this tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet could happen The balcony scene is set at dead of night outside the Capulet mansion which is a very dangerous for Romeo as if he is caught he will surly be killed as he is a Montague. The audience's reaction to this is one of dread and anxiety. The use of the Nurse in the scene calling Juliet and interrupting them reminds the audience and the characters that there is danger what if it is not the nurse but Lady Capulet instead. It also reminds them that there is another world outside there relationship and how will others react. The audience may have mixed feelings and have reservations as there relationship is speedy and impulsive they have just met and decided to get married the next day. The audience may be surprised by there honesty but also by the fact that they are getting married the next day. The audience is also uncertain of there relationship whether it will work out they are fearful of the future; Tybalt has already sworn to get his own back on Romeo for gate crashing the ball, but more importantly Romeo and Juliet's families are great enemies how is it going to work out the audience are foreboding the future and are sympathetic towards Romeo and Juliet. The audience would be charmed and warmed by the love between Romeo and Juliet. The balcony scene is the most famous and important scene of the play and encapsulates it as it involves all of the major themes of the play; forbidden love, danger, friendship, death, tragedy. The scene also develops the characters Romeo and Juliet. The scene has great impact on the audience and produces many emotions. Joanna Aldoori VLADS 1 ...read more.

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