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What is the dramatic importance of Act 3 Scene 1, lines 53-134 and how is it important for what is to follow?

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Romeo and Juliet What is the dramatic importance of Act 3 Scene 1, lines 53-134 and how is it important for what is to follow? Romeo and Juliet is quite possibly the greatest love story ever. It has been recognised through many generations, by people of all ages and cultures. There are many themes to this play, however the ones that are most easily recognised are fate, love and hate, all of which are incorporated in to the one scene, which I am going to analyse in the following essay. Act 3 Scene 1 is the pivotal moment in the play. This is significant, as an unaware audience does not know of the outcome of the following events. Due to the prologue the audience knows of the overall end of the play, being that both Romeo and Juliet are fated to die and be together forever, but they do not know of the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, and Tybalt and Romeo and the effects of these actions. The themes of hate and love are juxtaposed in this scene as Tybalt hates Romeo and although Romeo dislikes Tybalt he knows that he must now love him, as they are kinsmen. It is with this juxtaposition that we are reminded that in this play there is no love without hate and there will always be boundaries, which they must not cross. ...read more.


Romeo is being honest with Tybalt, and the audience knows this too, but the three other characters on stage (Tybalt, Mercutio and Benvolio) are becoming confused and Tybalt and Mercutio are growing impatient as both are easily angered men who are both ready to fight. Mercutio attempts to talk to Romeo, as he cannot believe Romeo does not want to fight his own enemy, as he so readily does. Mercutio then tries to provoke Tybalt himself, in order to defend the Montagues honour since a Montague kinsman will not and is allowing the 'good' Montague name be insulted. Mercutio makes a last attempt to encourage Romeo to fight, by insulting him, " O calm, dishonourable, vile submission! Alla Stoccata carries it away." Line 66. Mercutio then draws his weapon, to both intimidate Tybalt and sway Romeo. He then continues to insult and challenge Tybalt, hoping for Tybalt to draw his sword. "Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?" line 68, here Mercutio is being humorous. In Shakespearean times, humour was mostly fabricated of puns (a phrase with two meanings or a play on words). Here Mercutio calls Tybalt a rat-catcher, an insulting name for a cat. A very popular name for a cat in Elizabethan times was Tybalt, which meant king of cats, which Mercutio later goes on to call Tybalt. "Good King of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives; that I mean to make bold withal..." ...read more.


Benvolio is a significant figure in the last part of the scene. Not only is Romeo himself in shock but so is the audience; both parties are upset, as they both know the truth. Benvolio is there to remind not only Romeo but also the audience, of the penalty that Romeo shall pay after murdering a man but not only going against the prince of Verona when he forbade them from fighting on the streets. Benvolio, besides Romeo is the last person on stage. He is the one who tells Romeo to flee, as he does not want to see him dead. The audience can see that Benvolio cares for his cousin and watches over him. We can see this when Benvolio says "Romeo, away, be gone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. Stand not amazed; the prince will doom thou death, if thou art taken; hence, be gone, away!"-Lines 129-132. In conclusion this scene can be seen as one of the most tension building parts throughout the play, as it is the point, which decides if the play continues or ends. It is basically a forked road, which choices are made for the characters without their say, by fate. This scene has many surprising elements and unsuspecting twists. It is constantly building up tension and producing dramatic irony. It shows how fate can be reckless and work in strange ways. Without this scene the play would not be as successful in today, thus proving the importance of this scene to society, history and the play itself. ...read more.

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