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What is the dramatic appeal of this scene, and how does it relate to the rest of the play?

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Introduction

GCSE Assignment - Romeo and Juliet Ruth Moran 10F Act 1, Scene 5 What is the dramatic appeal of this scene, and how does it relate to the rest of the play? This scene is one of the most important in the play. It is the first time Romeo and Juliet meet, and one of the few scenes which they are both in together. It is also significant because it is when Tybalt becomes angry with Romeo, which later causes a fight between them (when Tybalt and Mercutio are killed). This is the scene that begins many events later on in the play. The scene opens with a light-hearted conversation between the servants. The speech is in prose, not verse. This is building up to the grand entrance of the Capulets, which begins the excitement of the scene, and prepares for all of the events that are about to happen. A good indication that something big is about to happen is in the previous scene. Romeo is talking to Mercutio and Benvolio about going to the party. Then, Romeo talks to himself, saying he fears that something bad will happen later that night; "I fear, too early; for my mind misgives, some consequence, yet hanging in the stars." In this scene, we also begin to see another side to Capulet. He appears to be cheerful and friendly on the surface, but when he argues with Tybalt, he becomes violent and threatening. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo then describes her as 'a snowy dove trooping with crows.' By this, he means that she stands out among all the other women. In an earlier scene, when Romeo is talking about Rosaline (his 'crush' before meeting Juliet), Benvolio tells Romeo to come to the Capulets party and he will 'make thee think thy swan a crow'. Romeo believes that he is in love with Rosaline, and replies that he could never see anyone more beautiful than her. So, when Romeo sees Juliet and uses this comparison himself, we see that he was never really in love with Rosaline, more in love with the idea of being in love. It is clear that Benvolio was right, and saw all along that Rosaline was just another of Romeo's crushes (we get the feeling that Romeo is a romantic, fantasising character, and is often quick to believe he is in love with someone). Romeo also sees this, when he says, "Did my heart love till now?" He is questioning whether he ever really loved Rosaline or not. Then, he says he 'never saw true beauty till this night'. He realises that real love is different to how he was feeling about Rosaline. It is obviously love at first sight. When Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time, they begin speaking in a sonnet. This was a popular type of poetry in Elizabethan times. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that Luhrmann's idea to use costumes in this way was clever; it gives us an insight to each character, and how he wants us to see them. In Zeffirelli's version, the singer who performs a love song after all the lively dancing continues to sing whilst Romeo and Juliet talk for the first time (and kiss). However, in Luhrmann's film, the slow singing is gradually replaced with fast tempo music, as Romeo desperately chases after Juliet. In Luhrmann's version, Romeo has just taken some kind of mind-expanding drug. This adds more of a modern touch, as do the guns that are used instead of swords (but manufactured by a company called Sword). Romeo goes to the bathroom. It is on his way back that he meets Juliet. They are facing each other on either side of a large, grand fish tank. They follow each other, but are prevented from touching by the glass. This is different from the original way the play would be performed. Zeffirelli just uses the old idea that they meet across the room while dancing. I think that both films get the idea across well, although in very different ways. Luhrmann's version is good for younger people, and helps them to understand Shakespeare and relate to the play more. Zeffirelli's film is more for older people, and a different generation, because it is a more classic version, which is similar to how it would be performed in the theatre. ...read more.

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