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Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - Act 3 Scene 5.

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Introduction

English Coursework - Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 5 is a key scene of the play and shows Juliet's dilemma as her parents try to force her to marry Paris, a respectable young man, when she is already secretly married to Romeo. The scene is set on a Tuesday, and Romeo and Juliet only met on the previous Sunday. Furthermore, the scene is described as a pivotal scene. This is because events happening before the scene are to blame for what happens during the rest of the play. The atmosphere in this scene changes throughout, and I think this will have a knock on effect to how the audience feel. The scene would probably affect a modern day audience differently to an Elizabethan audience because times have changed and the way we view things in this day and age is different to then. For instance, when Juliet refuses to marry Paris, an Elizabethan audience would be shocked because children of Juliet's age were supposed to obey their parents. They would see Juliet as disobedient and badly behaved child. Their sympathy would be towards the father who believes he's being a good father by finding a respectable young man for his daughter. As for the modern audience, they would see the situation in a completely different light. They would be sympathetic of Juliet because her marriage was being arranged with someone she may not love and wish to spend the rest of her life with. We must take into account how during the Elizabethan time, marriage was about gaining money and power, not love. Therefore, the Elizabethan audience would have a totally different opinion of the play to the modern. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, I would have a powerful light shining on Juliet to create anxiety for the audience to notice. Lady Capulet should seem shocked by her daughter's revelations. Almost as if she can't be bothered to continue her argument with Juliet, she responds by saying: "Here comes your father; tell him yourself" I would try to make the tone of Lady Capulet's voice seem as though it's a threat towards Juliet, purposely to scare her. Her body language would suggest that it is Juliets problem now, and to sort it out with her father. When Capulet enters, the audience will be worried about how he will take the news of Juliet's refusal to marry Paris. Therefore, the manner in which Capulet strolls into the room is crucial to later see the difference in reaction. I would want him to seem very joyful and carefree. This is because he feels he's been a noble father by finding a wealthy and young man for Juliet to marry. As Juliet is upset over Romeo's departure and uncertainty over whether she'll ever see him again, Capulet suggests that Juliet is crying over the death of Tybalt. Lord Capulet attempts to comfort his daughter by saying: "How now, a conduit, girl? What, still in tears?" This shows Lord Capulet's fatherly concern towards his daughter. At this stage in the scene, I would make sure that Capulet was in some w ay supporting Juliet, possibly by having his arm around her, hugging her, or stroking her face for comfort. Anyway in which will show affection from Capulet towards Juliet. Capulet then asks his wife, "Have you delivered to her our decree?" In Lady Capulet's reply, she creates more drama. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore the audience would expect the nurse to stand by Juliet during her dilemma. Instead, she abandons her and suggests that she marries "with the County". She adds how "he's a lovely gentleman!" This is the first time that the nurse has not stood by Juliet in her desperate time of need. The way in which I would get the reactions from both characters is that Juliet's face would dictate what she is thinking. Juliet at this stage hasn't even considered the nurse letting her down, it's almost as if no one will trust her and support her. She shows how dearly she needs the nurse "Comfort me, counsel me". Therefore, Juliet's facial expressions are very important. She would seem lost and shocked to have listened to the nurse agree with Lord Capulet. The nurse probably is only trying to persuade Juliet to marry Paris due to over stepping the mark earlier on, simply to keep her job. For this reason, she should seem nervous when Juliet asks, "Speak'st thou from thy heart?" She would make direct eye contact for a second and then look away as soon as finished her response. Juliet realises how her trust with the nurse has ended so doesn't feel badly when lying to her, by saying that she will "marry, and this is wisely done". Following on from this, Juliet has a soliloquy, making clear to the audience how she is feeling "O most wicked fiend". She feels betrayed by the nurse. She should be shaking her head at this point in disgust. Juliet continues on to say that "if all else fail, myself have power to die". This is the ending sentence of the scene and I would want the actress to sound out the last word "die" to create suspense leading into the next act. By Scott Rentell Page 1 01/05/07 ...read more.

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