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Using your knowledge of the range of reasons for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet in what sense does Shakespeare create dramatic tension?

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English Coursework Laura Hogan 10 Sefton Using your knowledge of the range of reasons for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet in what sense does Shakespeare create dramatic tension? There are many reasons for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. For example, fate, the feud, domineering fathers, adolescent passion, Friar Lawrence, Friar John for failing to deliver the letter, or was the tragedy caused by love itself? This creates tension because, although the audience is omnipotent they never quite know what will happen next, or who will be held responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare creates dramatic tension with his creation of the characters and the language he uses pertaining to love, hate and fear. He uses oxymorons, repetitions, metaphors and similes to formulate imagery, puns and sonnets. The prologue is written in the form of a sonnet, a fourteen line, and poetic piece of writing. Shakespeare uses phrases like "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life" and "Death marked love," this helps to create an atmosphere of dramatic tension, which also shows the audience that their love was doomed from the start, their death perhaps, was written in the stars. The audience is foretold the outcome of the play which allows them to have an overview of the actions of Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.


In act 1 scene 1, a fight breaks out between the families and servants of the Montagues and the Capulets. This battle establishes the notion of the age-old feud. We can tell Benvoilio is a peacemaker because of his first words, (Act1 Scene1, lines 55-56) "Part fools! Put up your swords." Laura Hogan 10 Sefton The coarseness the language that the servants use contrasts with Romeo and Juliet's love affair, which is to be played out against a background of hate. The Prince put an abrupt end to the battle, but for how long? There is tension, the audience wander how long the families can contain the hatred and violence that they have against each other. In act 3 scene 1, there is yet another outbreak of violence between the two families, only this time Tybalt kills Mercutio, who is then slain by Romeo. It is a hot, summer's day, which creates tension because the warm weather shortens people's temper and men from both households are looking for trouble. Benvolio's efforts to keep the peace once again fail because of Mercutio's stubbornness and refusal to listen. After being stabbed, Mercutio cries (Act 3 scene 1) "A plague a`both houses!" This, also, is related to fate. Even up to his death Mercutio cannot resist turning this disastrous situation into a joke by using puns, (Act 3 scene 1, lines 89-90) ...read more.


As the audience is omnipotent, we see Romeo and Juliet before they meet, when they meet. This creates tension because we see the struggle both characters have to stay together after the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt. Romeo and Juliet die as a direct corollary of the hatreds in society in which they have found themselves. Their deaths make them permanent symbols of power of love, which is achieved through all adversity. Romeo and Juliet died and are destined to symbolise the waste in all divided societies. "All are punished." Laura Hogan 10 Sefton Shakespeare was aware of the power of individual free will. The characters often ignore the authority of the state, family and church. Daughters should have obeyed fathers, Mercutio should have listened to the rules set by the prince but did not, the Friar teaches about the sin of suicide and yet Romeo and Juliet eventually choose this path to be reunited. The lovers are impelled unstoppably through a sequence of events. They are caught up in circumstances beyond their control. Fate has taken over and the actions they take are written in the stars. It is the pace of events and urgency in the play that creates the dramatic tension and compelling drama. Shakespeare creates dramatic tension and an atmosphere of suspense, by generating a number of reasons for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, such as fate, the feud and the Friar. ...read more.

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