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"Show how Shakespeare creates a sense of tension and excitement for the audience during act one of 'Romeo and Juliet'"

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Introduction

"Show how Shakespeare creates a sense of tension and excitement for the audience during act one of 'Romeo and Juliet'" In the following essay I intend to look at how tension and excitement is created for the audience in act one of 'Romeo and Juliet.' I will do this by looking at how Shakespeare creates an argument between the two rival families by focusing on the main characters. I will also look at the development of Romeo's relationship with Juliet during act one, and how the relationship is set to break barriers evident between the two families. Shakespeare begins to create tension right at the beginning of the play during the prologue. He tells the audience exactly what is going to happen and what will happen at the end of the play. ["From ancient grudge break to new mutiny."/ "Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean."/ "From forth the fatal lions of these two foes."/ "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life."] This makes the audience want to find out exactly how and why the play ends in tragedy with two lovers killing themselves. The Capulet's and the Montague's - "two households alike in dignity."/ "In fair Verona where we lay our scene," are rival families and have a long lasting feud, "ancient grudge." Shakespeare builds up tension in act one, scene one of 'Romeo and Juliet,' by creating a vicious argument between servants from both households. Shakespeare cleverly uses the servants of each household in the argument to show how deep the hatred runs in the families. This argument starts with joking banter between the Capulet side, but steadily builds in to an argument between the 'two households.' Shakespeare keeps his audience on the edge of their seats; he does this by creating tension and excitement as the action unfolds and by leaving the audience cliffhangers at the end of every scene, "I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt."/ "I'll go along, not such sight to be shown, but to rejoice in spendour of my own."/ "Go girl, seek happy nights to happy days."/ "Strike drum..." ...read more.

Middle

But Capulet is not unwilling, he thinks Juliet is too young, he believes that Paris should wait two more years, "My child is yet a stranger in the world, she hath not seen the change of fourteen years, let two more summers wither in their pride." Paris is unhappy at this, so Capulet agrees to ask his daughter if she is willing. Capulet also gives Paris an invitation to the feast he is giving that evening and tells Paris that he will meet Juliet there. This is a huge twist in the plot as Juliet was meant to fall in love with Romeo, not Paris; Shakespeare cleverly uses Paris as a diversion to increase the tension and excitement for the audience. At this point in the play the audience are worried, as they want Juliet to meet Romeo, not Paris. After Lord Capulet and Paris leave the scene...Peter, a clown and servant to the nurse is trying to read the invitation list for the feast, which is being held by Capulet, but Peter cannot read. Now enter Romeo and Benvolio, Benvolio is still trying to persuade Romeo that he should move on from the girl he loves, "one fire burns out another's burning, one pain is lessened by another's anguish." Peter is walking by whilst Romeo and Benvolio are having their conversation, Peter stops and asks Romeo if he can read, "I pray sir can you read." Romeo answers yes, "If I know the letters and the language." Romeo tells Peter to stay and reads the list out to him; Romeo begins to read the list aloud. He realises that the list includes the name of Rosaline, with who Romeo is in love with. Romeo suddenly wakes up and asks Peter where the feast will take place, "Whither should they come." Peter tells Romeo that the feast is at the Capulet's household. Peter invites Romeo to the feast then leaves, "I pray come and crash a cup of wine." ...read more.

Conclusion

I think be young Petruchio."/"What's he that follows here that would not dance?"/"I know not."] This conversation between the nurse and Juliet is a clever way for Shakespeare to create tension, as Juliet asks for Romeo's name three times before she tells the nurse to go and ask for his name. Every time that Juliet asked the nurse for Romeo's name more and more tension and excitement kept building each time. Juliet sends the nurse to discover Romeo's name, the nurse comes back and tells Juliet that his name is Romeo, "His name is Romeo, and a Montague, the only son of your great enemy." Juliet is dismayed to learn that Romeo is a Montague. This creates an amazing amount of tension and excitement as the audience want to know hat will happen between the two 'star-crossed' lovers, after they have learnt that hey are from rival families. The scene finishes after the nurse and Juliet leave because all the guests have gone. Shakespeare has created tension and excitement in act one by not introducing the two key characters of the play, until after the play is in flow and running. Shakespeare cleverly does this to hook the audience into the play, because they will be eagerly waiting for this introduction of one of the key characters; Shakespeare takes this a step further by introducing Romeo but not Juliet. Shakespeare cleverly does this to keep the audience hooked, as they will be anxiously waiting for the involvement of Juliet. The audience probably believes that the relationship between the 'star-crossed' lovers will not be successful, as the couple will have to secretly meet with no one seeing them, because if they do get seen...The couple may have to pay for their lives. The relationship is unlikely to last. The audience are now eager to watch the rest of the play; this is because they want to see what happens to the 'star-crossed' lovers in their adventure of love. Hubaab Aslam Romeo and Juliet Essay 11.6 ...read more.

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