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What dramatic effect is Shakespeare aiming for in Act one Scene five?

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Shakespeare Coursework - Romeo and Juliet Q. What dramatic effect is Shakespeare aiming for in Act one Scene five? "Romeo and Juliet" is a great tragedy written in 1594. The play is remarkable for its fine language and powerful portrayal of character. "Romeo and Juliet" has been popular with audiences for generations and has been made into several successful films. In this essay I am going to look at the dramatic effect that Shakespeare is aiming for in Act 1 Scene 5. An enormous amount of drama is created in Shakespeare's play, 'Romeo and Juliet´┐Ż. There are two main types of drama that are used throughout the play to create drama; these are the use of suspense and the strength of language that the characters use. The themes of this play are explored through a number of oppositions and contrasts. Some of these oppositions are: light and dark, fate and free will, love and hate, death and life, language and reality, public and private. In Act 1 Scene 5, Shakespeare explores many of these contrasts and oppositions through the language and drama of this scene. Act 1 scene five can be divided into six sections: the servants rushing around in disorder, Capulet welcoming the guests, when Romeo first sees Juliet, when Tybalt first spots Romeo and tells Lord Capulet, the lovers' first kiss, and when the lovers discover each other's true identity. The opening of Act 1 Scene 5 is immediately a scene of excitement and people rushing around. There is a strong contrast between the start of this scene and the end of Act 1 Scene 4. The last scene ended on a gloomy and ominous note with Romeo having a prediction of death. Act 1 scene 5 then opens on a different note with servants joking amongst themselves as they clear up from dinner. Shakespeare creates an effect for the audience from this scene by giving them a change from a negative atmosphere to a scene of excitement and activity. ...read more.


The part of the scene creates drama by mainly emphasising Romeo's deep love for Juliet at first sight. Also the opposition of light and dark is used, and he says that Juliet has beauty that is 'too rich for use' and is 'for earth too dear', meaning that she is too fine for the uses of this world and too precious to be on earth. Shakespeare has meant for this to sound rather ominous to reinforce the sense of foreboding. In a dramatic sense this was aimed by Shakespeare to create a type of suspense and apprehension, because the audience can see how perfect Juliet is in Romeo's eyes. The forth section of Scene 5 is when Tybalt spots Romeo and tells this to lord Capulet. In contrast to Romeo's gentle speech, Tybalt arives and shows his anger and spite against Romeo being there. Romeo managed to gatecrash the Capulet's party because it is a masked ball so all the guests were wearing masks to conceal their identity. However, Tybalt recognises Romeo by his voice. He is furious that a Montague should intrude into their party and says he will fight Romeo for this insult. The fact that Tybalt calls Romeo a 'Montague' is very significant. In 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare shows how calling someone a Montague creates hatred and prejudice. Tybalt is blinded by the malice at the very sound of a Montague's voice when he overhears Romeo: 'This, by his voice, should be a Montague.../ What dares the slave.' However, Capulet tells him to calm down because Romeo is known to be virtuous and well behaved: '...Verona brags of him / To be a virtuous and well-governed youth.' There is a dramatic significance in this because Capulet doesn't want a fight in his party when his guests are enjoying themselves: 'Show a fair presence and put off these frowns, / An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast.' ...read more.


The nurse then informs her that he is 'Romeo, and a Montague, / The only son of your great enemy.' Juliet is distraught that she has found her love within the family she has been brought up to hate: 'My only love spring from my only hate!' Juliet claims that it is too late now she has already fallen in love with him and knowing now who he is will not change her feeling towards him: 'Too early seen unknown, and known too late! / Prodigious birth of love it is to me.' The love is now tied up in a feud; she loves a 'loathed enemy.' This underlines the folly of the feud - if the two families would just accept each other as they are rather than as enemies, then the feud would disappear. Sometimes it is difficult to decide if this play is more about the nature of hate than the nature of love, more concerned with death and darkness than with life and light. Shakespeare has created drama in this last part of the scene because of the dramatic change from poetic love to pain and dismay. The mood has changed dramatically at the end and finishes the first act with grief. Throughout Act 1 Scene 5, Shakespeare aims for two main types of drama: suspense and the strength in the language in which the characters speak. He succeeds with this well. The audience are caught between the contrasts of love and hate through this scene. It creates tension and a good spectacle for them to watch. Romeo and Juliet highlights the tension between words and action, between language and life. I also conclude that the character's language was written to suit the image of them to others and to make the play interesting and exciting throughout. The dramatic effect that Shakespeare has aimed for and obtained, is to capture the audience's attention by creating many contrasts and oppositions, and using powerful language to form a feeling of suspense. ...read more.

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