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Why is Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet such an important scene in the play and how does Shakespeare make it dramatic and exciting?

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Introduction

Why is Act 3 Scene 1 of "Romeo and Juliet" such an important scene in the play and how does Shakespeare make it dramatic and exciting? Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet is a tale of the 'star-crossed lovers' who take their lives for each other when their love is suppressed by their feuding parents. The audience already know exactly what is going to happen in the play as they have heard the prologue which tells the story in advance, adds pathos to the play and allows the audience to have an overview of the play. The previous scene is in complete contrast to Act 3 Scene 1 because Shakespeare creates a scene of love and romance, then follows with a scene of violence and hatred. By the end of the previous scene, Romeo and Juliet have fallen in love and secretly married. Friar Laurence married Romeo and Juliet and the Nurse is like a mother figure to Juliet so she also knows about the wedding. Shakespeare effectively uses dramatic irony to create mood and atmosphere in this scene because the audience are aware of the marriage whilst the rest of the characters are unaware with the exceptions of: Friar Laurence; Romeo; Juliet and the Nurse. ...read more.

Middle

The dramatic irony of this is that Tybalt sent Romeo a letter challenging him to a duel but Romeo did not receive the letter as he was in bed with Juliet at the time. The mood at this point in the play is very intense as the language that Tybalt uses is quite aggressive. Although Romeo tries his very best to avoid any trouble, Mercutio cannot resist and so draws his sword whilst shouting: "Alla stoccata carries it away. Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?" Here Mercutio is showing his love for Romeo and his hate for Tybalt as he is offering to fight instead of Romeo. Mercutio makes another clever play on words and provokes Tybalt again when he calls him "Good King of Cats" and a "rat-catcher", to say someone is the King of Cats could be a compliment meaning that they are agile and swift with a sword but it could also be an insult meaning that they are sly like a cat. This could also be taken as an insult because it could be referring to an old story medieval story about a cat called Tibalt. When Mercutio is stabbed by Tybalt under Romeo's arm, he shouts, "A plague a' both your houses!" ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of Act 3 Scene 1, the Prince is telling the people of Verona about Romeo's punishment and says, "Immediately we do exile him in hence". Being exiled is worse for Romeo than death and so when the audience hear the word "exile"; they are gain interest and become majorly involved in the scene. In conclusion, Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet is such a dramatic, exciting and important scene in the play because Shakespeare uses many different and effective methods such as dramatic irony, pathetic fallacy, contrast between different scenes, prose, play on words, and of course death. All of these methods contribute to make the scene more dramatic and exciting along with the variety of language and exhilarating plot which also help to interest and involve the audience more. The consequences of the killings in Act 3 Scene 1 are simply that they lead to more deaths in the play and finally the deaths of the son of the Montague's and the daughter of the Capulet's. Act 3 Scene 1 is the key turning point in the play as it contains the event which twists the play from romance to tragedy. Everything in the play builds up to this scene and this is where the plot reaches a climax. ...read more.

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