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Why is Act 3 Scene 1 such an important turning point in the play 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Introduction

Why is Act 3 Scene 1 such an important turning point in the play 'Romeo and Juliet'? 'Romeo and Juliet' was first published in 1597 and written by William Shakespeare when Elizabeth 1 was on the throne. At the time when it was published women's parts were played by young boys between the ages of ten and thirteen because girls and women were not allowed to act on stage. 'Romeo and Juliet' may have been a romance if it were not for the events of Act 3 Scene 1. Romeo is from the Montague family and Juliet is fro, the Capulet family, both the families hate each other due to an 'ancient grudge'. When Romeo goes to a party hosted by The Capulets, he gets spotted by Tybalt (Juliet's cousin) who wants to fight but is held back by Lord Capulet. After Romeo and Juliet get married, Tybalt goes looking for Romeo but Romeo doesn't want to fight. Mercutio (Romeo's best friend) fights for him and is killed. Romeo, as a result kills Tybalt. Romeo's punishment was only banishment because Tybalt started the fight. The banishment of Romeo causes himself, Juliet, Paris and Lady Montague to die. Act 3 Scene 1 is important because the play could have been a romance but turned into a tragedy however, it also causes the feud between the families to end as a result of their children's deaths. ...read more.

Middle

There is a build up of tension before Romeo appears as Tybalt and Mercutio are acting strangely and Benvolio has already suggested there could be trouble. When Romeo enters the scene he is challenged by Tybalt and refuses to fight him because he has just married his cousin, Juliet, and is now related to him. He tries to calm Tybalt down by saying "I do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise." The reason Mercutio fights is because he feels that Romeo not fighting is a slur on the Montague name. "O calm, dishonorable, vile submission." The fight could have been avoided because they could have walked away; Perhaps Romeo shouldn't have gone to the party. Possibly Mercutio should have taken Benvolio's advice and left or Romeo could have told Tybalt the truth about his marriage. In the two filmed versions of the fight they show the situation differently. In Zeffirelli's version the setting is in Old Verona and the characters are traditional but contemporary for the time. They only play music, when Romeo goes after Tybalt and the atmosphere is mainly filled with laughter and the fight seems like a joke. The weapons used are the traditional swords and the weather is sunny as it adds to better atmosphere. Tybalt's death in Zeffirelli's version is more accidental as he falls on Romeo's sword and Mercutio's death by the sword was seen as a joke, Tybalt didn't even know about Mercutio's death until Romeo chased him. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Come, cordial, and not poison, go with me to Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee." Lady Montague's death could have been avoided because she died because she was upset at Romeo's banishment, so if he didn't get banished she would still be alive. Romeo's and Juliet's deaths could have been avoided if Friar Lawrence's plan had gone well. Tibet and Mercado's link back to Act 3 Scene 1 because they had the fight and Tibet killed Mercuric and Romeo killed Tibet out of pure revenge. Paris' death links back to Act 3 Scene 1 because if it was not for Romeo's banishment then Romeo wouldn't be there in the first place. Lady Montague's death links back to Act 3 Scene 1 because if Romeo wasn't banished she wouldn't have been upset and died. Romeo's death links back to Act 3 Scene 1 because if he wasn't banished then Juliet wouldn't have taken the potion and he wouldn't have thought she was dead in result to killing himself. Juliet's death links back to Act 3 Scene 1 because she wouldn't have taken the potion and Romeo wouldn't have killed himself so she wouldn't have killed herself with his dagger. "Oh happy dagger, this is my sheath." So in all the consequence of the tragedy were Tybalt, Mercutio, Paris, Lady Montague, Romeo and Juliet dying. There was, however, some good out of the tragedy because it ended the 'ancient grudge'. At the end the Prince says "For never was story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo." The rhyming couplet brings the play to a close. ...read more.

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