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Why is Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet an effective piece of drama?

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Introduction

ENGLISH LITERATURE - ROMEO AND JULIET COURSEWORK Why is Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet an effective piece of drama? Chlo� Denis Romeo and Juliet is a play which was written by William Shakespeare in the late sixteenth century. It is about the bitter quarrels of two leading families of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, and the miserable love story of their children, the "star-crossed lovers" (prologue). The play was first played in the Globe theatre. It focuses on two themes, love and society at war. In this essay, I will focus on each part of the scene and analyse them, looking at the social and historical context, Shakespeare's use of language and the dramatic devices, in order to explain why Act 1 Scene 5, of Romeo and Juliet, is an effective piece of drama. Straight from the prologue, we learn that the families are "both alike in dignity" (Prologue). It refers to it yet again in Act 1 Scene 5. The masked ball, shows that the party is held to get younger people together, in this case, to get Paris and Juliet together (Juliet is a Capulet). It is also held for Capulet (Juliet's father) to prove his rank by showing the generosity he has by having the party. The beginning of scene 5 starts by the entrance of the servants. The reason why Shakespeare chose to start with them was to show the audience, the scene shift from the previous scene and to get their attention. ...read more.

Middle

The mood then becomes angry and worrying. This tells us a little bit more about Capulet, that he is aggressive yet an authority figure. We see this later on in the play when Juliet refuses to marry Paris, and he calls her a "green-sickness carrion", "tallow-face" and "hilding" (III.v.156-168). Tybalt's last words leave the audience feeling tense. He shows he is not going to leave Romeo alone, not before he has his revenge. I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, / Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall. (I.v.90-91) As a result of this conversation, Tybalt goes to talk to Romeo, but falls on his best friend, Mercutio. This leads to Mercutio's death, and in the end Romeo's banishment after having killed Tybalt for killing Mercutio. Of course, the audience does not know all this, but they know something will happen, and they want to know what. It was very uncommon at that time to hold the hand or kiss the person that they liked, if they had not been wooed before. Juliet and Romeo's first meeting happens without courtly love, and Shakespeare writes this meeting as a sonnet. Sonnets are poems of fourteen lines, and have a specific pattern. The first twelve lines rhyme alternately and the last two lines are a rhyming couplet. This type of poetry was a popular verse form in Elizabethan England. Also, sonnets are usually written as love poems. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is effective for the audience because they feel sorry that this love story is going so wrong. They know that Juliet doesn't want to tell anyone yet, in case things go wrong, and they want to know what is going to happen. They are also a bit suspicious on the nurse's last words, trying to know If she heard Juliet or not. Overall, Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet is indeed, an effective piece of drama. It leaves the audience with suspense, increasing during each part of the scene, as the play goes along. The dramatic device affecting the audience the most is the setting in which the scene is structured. Shakespeare structured the scene in way to make the audience, try to catch all the things being said at the same time, and end up stressed with an event, and happy for another, all at once. Also, Shakespeare's use of language affects the audience's view of the characters, that they are aggressive or romantic. It also tells us a lot about the characters too, and the way they act towards other characters, causing the audience to be more worried about certain characters than others. At the end of the scene, the audience finishes wanting to know what will happen next with Romeo and Tybalt, what Tybalt is going to do to take his revenge, if Capulet will learn about Romeo and Juliet, and how he will react and what will happen to Paris. But overall, the most important question will be about Juliet and Romeo, how will their love story end? ...read more.

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