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Why is Act I Scene V of Romeo and Juliet an effective piece of drama? How is this an important scene in the drama as a whole? Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time in Act I Scene V, at the Capulet Mansion

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Introduction

Draft Coursework- Shakespeare Why is Act I Scene V of Romeo and Juliet an effective piece of drama? How is this an important scene in the drama as a whole? Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time in Act I Scene V, at the Capulet Mansion. In the beginning of the play, Act I Scene I- Act I Scene IV, Romeo is infatuated with Rosaline. His language is brutal and often militaristic. During speech to Benvolio during Act I Scene I, Romeo states that: "She [Rosaline] will not stay the siege of loving terms." This martial language, and use of military terms, enforces the idea that love, like war, is a destructive, painful and chaotic. The language used also emphasises the fact that the two families of Romeo (Montague) and Rosaline (Capulet) are at war. The language could also link to events at the time; Romeo and Juliet was written in 1594/1595, The Nine Years War between the English military and Gaelic Irish chieftains began in 1594. The Prologue tells the audience beforehand that Romeo and Juliet will fail to find happiness, Tybalt's first appearance emphasises this. In Act I Scene I Line 69, Tybalt speaks for the first time: "Have at thee, Coward." ...read more.

Middle

it crops up again in our first meeting with the nurse, when she jokes that: "women grow by men" and moments later is encouraging Juliet to view Paris sympathetically and "seek happy nights to happy days." Mercutio's conversations frequently employ lewd references that indicate a broad view of the relations between the sexes, though it has to be said that the use of puns adds a little delicacy to the humour. A third expression can be seen in Paris with his relationship, such as it is, with Juliet. This is characterized by the dutifulness of affection that attends an arranged marriage. It is interesting to note the Capulets' differing views of Paris. Initially, Capulet is keen to protect his daughter and assures Paris that Juliet's decision is to be final in the matter. Lady Capulet, by contrast, is intent on the marriage right from the start: we can be quite sure that she herself was married young and quickly pregnant: "I was your mother much upon these years" (Juliet, as near as we can guess, was around 14). The nurse also approves of arranged marriages. What is more, in the moment of Juliet's deepest despair, the nurse counsels the expedient solution of arranged marriage with Paris as a way out of the dilemma. ...read more.

Conclusion

Within seconds, he takes Juliet's hand and their first few moments are celebrated with a sonnet. Juliet's youth is the key factor in forming her character. She is innocent and young, not quite fourteen years old. Her father is keen to protect her since she is his only surviving child. When her mother broaches the question of marriage, Juliet avoids a direct answer: "It is an honour that I dream not of." She consents to considering Paris but promises to make no commitment without her mother's approval. When she meets Romeo, She is no longer passive. At first she allows Romeo to kiss her but she encourages him to kiss her again and compliments him into the bargain: "You kiss by the book." By the end of the scene as she endeavours to discover the identity of the stranger, we note the charming indirectness of the manner as she includes Romeo as one of the three men whose name she wants. Her next response to the nurse shows how she is beginning to hide her feelings as she describes her dismay at realising Romeo's family connections as "a rhyme I learnt." There is a grim truth in Juliet's view that her "grave is like to be [her] wedding bed." Juliet's indirectness in telling the nurse which man interests her also displays her youth and shyness. Harry Roper 10SR ...read more.

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