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Why is Act 3, Scene 1 a turning point in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

Why is Act 3, Scene 1 a turning point in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet? In this essay I am going to be contemplating why act 3, scene 1 is a turning point in William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet", believed to have been written in 1595. Since then, it has be referred to again and again in numerous plays and novels. In act 3, scene 1, Benvolio, Mercutio, Romeo and Tybalt meet on a hot day and thing inevitably become heated. Mercutio teases Tybalt, and they start to duel. Romeo tries to stop the fight however Mercutio is stabbed and killed from under his arm by Tybalt. Romeo is furious and seeks and kills Tybalt as revenge, however when Price of Verona comes, he exiles Romeo on pain of death for his doing. One of the reasons act 3, scene 1 has such impact is the build up of dramatic tension up until the actual scene. ...read more.

Middle

Their is an immense sense of dramatic irony created in the play from the prologue, as the audience know what events are to come and yet the characters appear blissfully unaware. Another vital point which dramatically increases the impact of act 3, scene 1 is the huge contrast between the terrible events of the actual scene and the optimistic feeling left from the previous scene. A mere scene before, Romeo and Juliet had succeeded in meeting and marrying in secret, and this was hopeful for them; their parents were considerable more likely to accept their relationship. In addition to this, up until this scene their had been no actual violence and although they had conflicts there had been no actual harm done, which was actually relatively good for two feuding families in a time when dueling was common. The whole change of outlook made the turning point much more defined. The personalities of Tybalt (Juliet's cousin), Mercutio (Romeos close friend) ...read more.

Conclusion

This a perfect example of Shakespeare's distinctive writing style in tragedies; one initial event or problem transforms the entire play. The main problem was that Romeo had been exiled from Verona on pain of death. This made their relationship very difficult; their communication was limited to using messengers unless Juliet was prepared to move. This put Juliet in a very difficult position; she was being asked to chose between her husband and her family. She also received pressure from her father; the death of Tybalt caused him to realize how short life could be, and insist on Juliet marrying Paris, unaware she was already taken! In conclusion, act 3 scene 1 is a turning point because from that point Romeo and Juliet's relationship spiraled downhill; Before that point the situation was positive and light-hearted.. It also triggered the start of a string of unfortunate events, and completely changed the play. The events from this scene almost decide the play; if Tybalt had not killed Mercutio, Romeo would not have seeked vengeance by killing Tybalt nor been exiled, and Romeo and Juliet would not have died in such unjust circumstances. ...read more.

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