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Show how Shakespeare uses Act 3 scene 1, to develop key aspects of plot, theme and character. Refer, where useful to media versions of the scene.

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Introduction

Eileen Burke 11tdn Show how Shakespeare uses Act 3 scene 1, to develop key aspects of plot, theme and character. Refer, where useful to media versions of the scene. In the 16th century, there was great sense of a hierarchical society based upon wealth and status. This century could have been said to have been one of male domination as men were highly favoured over women and had all power and right in that time. These factors play focal points in the plot of 'Romeo and Juliet' along with the underpinning relationships between opposing forces, love and hate, and also sorrow and joy. Act three, scene one, is a great indicator of these principal themes and brings the change in mood of the play into main focus. The prologue clearly states that this story is one of tragedy, so the audience is under no illusions about the plot, still Shakespeare effectively changes the mood in the play from the joviality felt in previous acts, to one of a more dark and sinister nature which confirms more so, that tragic events are about to take place. Benvolio opens the act with dialect such as "we shall not scape a brawl" and "mad blood stirring". ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt enters politely with "Gentlemen, good den; a word with one of you" and Mercutio replies with, "Couple it with a word and a blow" which is offensive, but at the same time funny to the crowd watching. Mercutio is very much an actor in the sense he plays to the crowd, which could also be seen as a front in which he hides his insecurities and cowardice. The relationship between Mercutio and Tybalt is that of a rally of words at the beginning of Act three, scene one, It is only when Romeo appears that their relationship escalates in severity. This Time instead of the polite greeting he gave to Mercutio he resorts straight to insults with Romeo. "Thou art a villain!" When Romeo does not reply with anger, but with love, this fuels Tybalt's rage as he sees his words as mockery as he is unaware of his marriage to his cousin. The audience of the day would have been riveted as fight scenes were not as common as they are today and all the emphasis on the build up will have created a tremendous atmosphere as the audience will have been aware that a fight would take place shortly and they would be eager to see the outcome. ...read more.

Conclusion

He indicates that he must either kill Tybalt, or die, by saying "Either thou or I, or both, must go with him." This has great impact on the audience as it informs them that either Tybalt or Romeo, or even the possibility of both of them perishing in the oncoming battle to the death. When the fight ends Romeo's fit of blinding rage ends and he realises the consequences of his actions. This is signified by Romeo crying out "Oh, I am fortunes fool" This is a focal point in the play as this confirms the fate of both Romeo and Juliet due to the actions of Romeo. This is also a great indication of male dominance as it was purely the actions of Romeo that sealed both his and Juliet's fate. The scene ends with the arrival of the prince and the Montague and Capulet families arriving at the scene of the fight. Benvolio is questioned and Romeo is Banished, This also shows the inevitability of a tragic end to both Romeo and Juliet. In Conclusion I think this is one if not the most important scenes for the audience to grasp Shakespeare's contrast in character and his blatant route to a tragic end for the "Two star crossed lovers", as it goes into depth about the relationships between the characters and the underpinning issues beneath the surface of their relationships and show the relativity of the ending. ...read more.

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