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Why are Act 1 scenes IV and v and act 2 scene ii important in the play Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Why are Act 1 scenes IV and v and act 2 scene ii important in the play Romeo and Juliet? Act 1 scene iv and v and act 2 scene ii are important scenes in the play Romeo and Juliet because they set the play in motion and set the audience up for a tragic ending. When Romeo, who is a Montague and Juliet who is a Capulet first meet at the ball held by Lord Capulet held in the Capulet household it is love at first sight for the pair. However we are soon reminded of the danger of their love for each other, due to the long-lived family feud, for which there is no known reason. Tybalt's immediate reaction when he spots Romeo at the ball is to attack. "This by voice should be a Montague fetch me my Rapier boy, what dares the slave". This expresses the hatred that Tybalt feels toward the Montague's. Lord Capulet when informed of Romeo's arrival reacts very calmly and refuses to let Tybalt attack him and warns him to be patient, as he does not want any trouble in his home in front of his guests. "You'll not endure him! God shall mend my soul, you'll make a mutiny among my guests!" This response by his uncle only adds to Tybalt's anger and frustration that he is unable to do anything. This reminds us just how dangerous Romeo and Juliet's love for each other really is and at some point something bad will occur. The two opposite emotions love and hate are both shown in these scenes and carry on side by side through out the play. The Montagues and Capulets have a history of feuding and this is established very early and quickly in the play as it begins with yet another family feud. Throughout the whole of the play the real reason as to why such hatred exists between both families remains unknown. ...read more.

Middle

When Romeo and Juliet first meet the language used was religious. When Romeo kisses Juliet's hand he says 'This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,' by this he means Juliet's hand is the sacred statue that he has kissed. He treats Juliet as if she is a saint; Her response is "Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much which mannerly devotion is this." Juliet is asking what kind of devotion is this? She later goes on to say 'Ay, pilgrims lips that they must use in prayer' which means Juliet is not prepared to grant the kiss immediately, but doesn't mean that she doesn't feel for Romeo. The pair use this language to emphasise their love for each other, and that they see each other as more than people, Romeo sees Juliet as a saint and Juliet sees Romeo as a pilgrim. The religious language lifts their love above ordinary love. The poetry he uses to describe Juliet differs from the way he described Rosaline. He speaks of Juliet as if she is a saint "O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do." He thinks of her as a saint however when speaking of Rosaline it was without the passion he has for Juliet. Shakespeare was making the point that the love shared by Romeo and Juliet was real. Shakespeare tries to show that their love for each other is very special. Within minutes of meeting each other they have already shared their first kiss and fallen in love with each other. This shows the audience that a connection between two has happened and a bond formed very quickly. It was not long ago that Romeo was declaring his love for Rosaline and that Juliet was to marry another man. At this point in the play the audience is beginning to realise that Romeo and Juliet have fallen in love with no thought of Rosaline or Paris, which suggests the feelings and attraction they have for one another is something they have never experienced before. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Romeo refuses to fight, Tybalt realises how serious he is about ending the fighting. A fight takes place and ends in tradgedy when Tybalt kills Mecrutio, this infuriates Romeo and in outrage and anger kills Tybalt. The prince then banishes Romeo from Verona forever. "Else when he's found, that hour is his last." Now the question is where does his marriage to Juliet stand? Throughout the whole of the play the events have happened at great speed and even as it nears the end the drama continues with devastating consequences. During Lord Capulet's grieving period for Tybalt, he changes his mind about Juliet marrying Paris. When Lady Capulet gives this news to Juliet she is very upset and tells her parents she could never love Paris but understands that her father has done this dreadful thing because he loves her. Her father is very angry and forcefully tells her when he responds "To go with Paris to Saint Peter's church, or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither." What this means is if she does not agree to marry Paris then she will be taken there on hurdle, which in Shakespeare's time was used to tape traitors to as they were transported to their place of execution. These events continue when Romeo doesn't receive the message from Juliet telling him the plan to prevent her marriage to Paris, We go on to see the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet when they tragically die for one another, which proves to the audience as well as their families just how strong their love is. This proves how the headlong speed of events maintains the same intense theme throughout the whole play. I think that it's Shakespeare's ideas of intense passion that creates the tragedy that begins in these scenes. Being a writer, who at some point in his life would have experienced being in love must have had some inspiration as well as actual knowledge of over powering emotions love can bring. As all generations change who's to say that youthful love is any different to how Shakespeare portrays it. ...read more.

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