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What does Shakespeare use to make Act One, Scene Five of 'Romeo and Juliet' an effective piece of drama?

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Introduction

What does Shakespeare use to make Act One, Scene Five of 'Romeo and Juliet' an effective piece of drama? 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of the most well known plays that there has ever been, and included in the play is the very famous line; 'O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?' These legendary plays and lines show just how excellent Shakespeare's works are. William Shakespeare was born in 1564, died in 1616. In his lifetime he wrote thirty-seven plays in total and became a renowned playwright. 'Romeo and Juliet' was the second tragedy written, and it was probably written at about 1599, and was the second of his tragedies. Like all the plays of Shakespeare, 'Romeo and Juliet' was written for a typical Elizabethan playhouse. These theatres came about from 1576, when the first theatre was built. Before this time, plays had been performed by a group of actors (all male) who travelled from town to town, using open places, such as inn-yards, or with permission, the hall of a noble house as a theatre. Shakespeare's own theatre the Globe was quite typical of that period. It was hexagonal in shape, with three roofed galleries that encircled an open courtyard. The stage, which was quite plain and high, projected into the yard, where the standing audience surrounded it. At the rear of the stage were two doors at either side for the entrances and exits of the actors, and above the doors was a balcony that could by used by musicians or for scenes on an upper level. ...read more.

Middle

At the beginning the grandiosity of the party is created through a number of factors. At the very beginning, the servants are rushing around trying to get everything ready. This shows that the party will be huge, seen as they are struggling to get it ready in time. When all the guests enter Capulet speaks to everyone: "Welcome gentlemen. Ladies that have their toes Unplagued with corns will walk a bout with you..." Notice that Capulet speaks in verse. This shows that he is very grand, and so his party must be also. The costume also shows how grand the party is. Dramatic techniques are used especially in the parts that include Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo first sees Juliet he describes her in lots of detail. He praises her for her "beauty too rich for use" and that "Did my heart love till now?" Romeo is saying how beautiful Juliet is, and questions whether he did love before he saw her. This creates a romantic feel to the scene. In the video, when Romeo and Juliet kiss, it happens in an elevator. This gives a sense that they are in their own world, together but free from the outside. Also there is no music or other sounds, which help to give it an increased sense of dramatic intensity, and to show that it is a very special moment of the play. The use of stage directions helps to keep the scene moving, so that there aren't any pauses. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Romeo and Juliet meet they both say sonnet. This gives the feeling that they are one, and that they are finishing lines for each other. It also gives heightened intensity and excitement, and it shows that something important is happening; they are falling in love. Characters of all ranks use prose, which is ordinary language. Mostly uneducated characters use it. It can be used for comical exchanges between characters, for plot development and for speech that lacks dramatic intensity. The nurse speaks in prose because she is quite uneducated, and fills in on some information, like the fact that Romeo is a Montague to Juliet. These techniques would appeal to the audience because it helps define ranks, and puns can be used. This would keep the audience interested and excited. This also helps the audience to feel the emotions that the audience are going through, and it helps the audience to get a vivid picture of what is happening. In conclusion I think that Act One Scene Five is a very effective piece of drama. It combines a range of techniques to capture the audience, and keep them interested throughout. The variation in language not only helps the audience to define ranks, and feel the emotions the characters are going through, but also to keep the audience interested throughout the scene and to give variation to the language. In the video, the scene is presented using modern techniques to enhance Shakespeare's original techniques, and to update it rather. Overall it is an excellent piece of drama. Michael Freeman 10 JEM Page 1/4 ...read more.

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