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

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Introduction

Essay question - Why is Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet an effective piece of drama? I believe that Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet is an effective piece of drama because of many factors. In this essay I propose to describe ways in which; themes, characterisation and motives, structure, dramatic devices, language, and key speeches help to make this scene an effective piece of drama. There are many themes used in this scene that capture the audience's attention and help them understand what the play is all about. These themes are brought out and made obvious by the words and actions of the characters. There are many different themes in this one act, these include; marriage, love, parents and children, enmity, premonition, chance/fate, and light vs. dark. Marriage is a quite important theme in this scene because this is the scene where Juliet is to meet the man that her parents want her to marry, and the man that she will actually marry. Capulet reassures his cousin that it was only 25 years since they were in masques - "tis since the nuptual of lucentio", he marks the last date that they were in masques by using a wedding. This shows us that marriage was a very important part of peoples' lives in those times and was an occasion that formed the status of both sides of the two families. When Romeo asks the nurse who Juliet is she tells him that the person who marries her "shall have the chinks", meaning that they will become very wealthy. It was considered foolish to marry for love, people had arranged marriages so that their families could pay off debts or get a better status in society. Love was not an issue. The theme of love is extremely important, as it is the basis to the whole meaning of this play. ...read more.

Middle

He puts on such a front when entertaining, and before his row with Tybalt we see that he cares dearly for his daughter when he tells Paris that he cannot marry her until she is 16. After the party I suspect he knows about the way in which Romeo and Juliet met and has a premonition about the future, and so insists that Juliet marries Paris as soon as possible. He is brutal and tells her that he will throw her out of their house and disown her if she does not obey him. This shows that Capulet is also stubborn and believes that he can change fate and destiny. He thinks highly of himself and is very angry that Juliet id not willing to obey him. Capulet gets very angry with Tybalt and speaks to him in a very different way to the way he speaks to his guests; this reveals his other side. This moment uses irony, as Capulet is telling Tybalt off for having a short temper, whereas soon after he is in a rage with Juliet. During his argument with Tybalt he goes back and forth between talking to the guests and then Tybalt, this shows clearly the divide in his personality. "You are a princox, go: be quiet, or" he diverts the guests "more light, more light!" then again drops his fa´┐Żade with "for shame I'll make you quiet." Tybalt - A man to whom pride is very important, and he makes many references to Romeo sneering at them and making fun of their family. He can't stand the thought of any one thinking ill of his family and is proud of himself, not unlike his uncle Capulet. He is very opinionated and strongly believes that the houses of Capulet and Montague should not mix. In Tybalt's soliloquy he is bitter and resentful, he hopes that Capulet will side with him on this view and tries to persuade Capulet to his point of view, and at first it is not clear what Capulet will say. ...read more.

Conclusion

Repetition is used many times with the words "tis gone" to emphasize them. He uses wit and comedy to get the audience's attention, and asks questions to involve them. Romeo makes the second key speech. This is a sonnet that has a regular metre, and uses rhyme. It uses a simile "As a rich jewel in an ethiops ear," this helps the audience understand the emotions of Romeo. It also uses personification "cheek of night." Imagery is used when he is trying to describe the beauty of Juliet, he describes her as a "snowy dove trooping with crows," this gives us a comparison of a pure bird with black and ugly birds. This speech is important because it is the first time Romeo sees Juliet and the beginning of the main plot. Tybalt makes the third key speech. This soliloquy reveals to the audience Tybalt's deepest thoughts and a glimpse of what is to come in the rest of the play. It uses rhyme and lots of words with short vowel sounds so that it sounds harsh and abrupt. This speech symbolises the reason for Mercutio and Tybalt's deaths. The nurse makes the third key speech. This is normal prose and blank verse, the nurse uses the rule of three to describe Lady Capulet - "And a good lady, and a wise, and virtuous." This again highlights the fact that the nurse has dutiful love for Lady Capulet. This is when Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet and the start of Romeo and Juliet's secret relationship. I think that this scene is an effective piece of drama because it captures your attention, the juxtaposition keeps you aware of what is going on at all times and keeps you focused. New characters and personalities keep you interested. Questions are raised in your mind, and this makes you concentrate so that you can get answers to those questions. I think that this play is basically about love, and morals and circumstances that can come between people and societies. ...read more.

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