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To explore this question I am going to examine how Shakespeare creates and maintains dramatic tension in Act One Scene Five.This is a pivotal scene in which Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time and fall in love.

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Introduction

"Romeo And Juliet." By William Shakespeare. English/English Literature Coursework. By Samantha Espin. To explore this question I am going to examine how Shakespeare creates and maintains dramatic tension in Act One Scene Five. This is a pivotal scene in which Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time and fall in love. I am going to discuss the servants' busy preparations for the party, Romeo's passionate soliloquy on first glimpsing Juliet, Tybalt's recognition of Romeo and his subsequent anger and Romeo and Juliet's horrified reactions at discovering that they are enemies. I am also going to study Shakespeare's use of language and imagery, his use of Elizabethan sonnet form and the social and historical context of the play. To start with, I am going to mention that at the end of the preceding scene, Romeo has a premonition. He foresees his own death. Romeo: This would mean that the tension level is already quite high, as a consequence of this scene ending with such a sense of foreboding. This tension is relieved somewhat by the actions of the servants. The servants' busy preparations for the banquet create dramatic tension in that they are frantic and loud. The tension is initially created, and maintained, while the servants' shout and call each other. ...read more.

Middle

Immediately Romeo finishes waxing lyrical about Juliet, we hear Tybalt in a furious rage because a Montague is at the Capulet party. Tybalt: His sudden rage and fury at seeing Romeo causes the dramatic tension to soar as the audience anticipate his actions. His violent, forceful language contrasts greatly with Romeo's gentle, sweet words. However, Lord Capulet intervenes and Tybalt is halted before he can act on his anger. He argues with his uncle because he won't let him fight Romeo, because it would spoil the party. Their dispute is heated and the tension steadily rises. Tybalt: Lord Capulet: Their language is violent and aggressive which would cause the audience to sit up and take notice of the strong emotions involved. The tension drops when Tybalt obeys his uncle and agrees not to act on his anger that night. He does however leave a lingering tension with the threat. Tybalt: In other words, he shall seek revenge at another time, just to please his uncle. It is with these words that he exits the scene. This leaves the audience at a loss as to what is coming next. This would cause an increase in tension because of eager anticipation for the next installment of the blooming romance. The next section of the scene is where Romeo and Juliet meet and share their first (and second) ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare also uses his extensive control of the English language to control the dramatic tension. Using violent language during the heated argument between Lord Capulet and his nephew, and sacred, religious words during the first meeting of Romeo and Juliet. He uses rhyme to emphasise the emotions behind a moment. The servants speak in blank verse, which shows them as low class people using common, coarse language. Romeo speaks in rhyming couplets when he first sees Juliet, this would encourage the audience to take notice of what is happening, and creates an impression of Romeo as a nobleman. Such uses of language and rhyme would have had to be used because in Elizabethan times, there would have been no sophisticated props or such like. Shakespeare had to use different styles of language to differentiate between classes and characters. Throughout this crucial scene, the level of dramatic tension fluctuates. Shakespeare ensures this by using strong contrasts- the noise and frivolity of the party, and the gentle, quiet love between Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare uses various techniques to ensure the dramatic tension is maintained throughout this scene. One of these techniques is to use contrasting language and imagery. Also to use different rhyme schemes to display different feelings. In my opinion William Shakespeare is a very talented writer and has used his mastery of the English language to manage the dramatic tension throughout Act One Scene Five. 1 ...read more.

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