• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With particular reference to Act 1 Scene v and Act 3 Scene i discuss Romeo and Juliet as a Shakespearean tragedy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With particular reference to Act 1 Scene v and Act 3 Scene i discuss Romeo and Juliet as a Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, but it is a tragedy of circumstances rather than personality. That is to say, circumstances and events conspire against a happy ending for the lovers, rather than the lovers causing their own unhappiness and eventual death. This gives the tragic thrust of the play a Shakespearean dimension. Although it is love that draws the lovers to their fate, it is the actions of people around them that seal their doom. One action leads to another, and a whole series of events arises that lead to an inevitable conclusion. There is a point at which the tragedy could perhaps have been averted. In Act 1 scene v, Romeo has spotted Juliet, but she hasn't yet seen him. Tybalt, a member of the Capulet clan, warns Juliet's father that Romeo is present at the feast: "Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe, /A villain that is hither come in spite, /To scorn at our solemnity this night." Capulet's reaction to the news is relaxed. He tells Tybalt to leave Romeo alone, and even speaks well of him: "Verona brags of him /To be a virtuous and well-governed youth." He also says that he will not insult Romeo when he is a guest in his house. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet commits an even more profound blasphemy in the next scene when she calls Romeo the "god of her idolatry," effectively installing Romeo in God's place in her religious faith (Scene 2, Act i). This first meeting foreshadows their tragic fall at the end of the play. Elizabethans would have recognised the hubris, or inappropriate overreaching passion of the lovers in Scene 1 Act v, and would have expected some sort of tragedy to follow. Later towards the end of the first Act, Juliet asks her nurse if she knows who Romeo is, and she (Juliet) foreshadows the fate of the lovers as Romeo did earlier: "Go ask his name - If he be married. /My grave is like to be my wedding bed." As Juliet's nurse has told Romeo earlier that Juliet is a Capulet; she likewise tells Juliet that Romeo is a Montague: "His name is Romeo, and a Montague; /The only son of your great enemy." Juliet is not discouraged from her new love, but she does recognise the danger in which the lovers are placed: "My only love sprang from my only hate! /Too early seen unknown, and known too late!" Act 3 scene I is passionate in its violence and aggression. This scene is in sharp contrast to the gentle backdrop and the passionate first encounter of the lovers in Act 1, scene v. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, Mercutio's response is to curse the Montagues and Capulets as the agents of his fate. He sees people as the cause of his death, and gives no credit to any larger force. The larger world of Verona arrives with the Prince and angry citizens in Act 3 scene i. Romeo's killing of Tybalt is rash, although it could be seen as self defence. The Prince banishes Romeo from Verona as a result of the killing. This action has compounded the lovers' problems. Not only is their love prohibited by their families, it is also thwarted by the actions of the Prince of Verona. It can be seen from a comparison of Act 1 scene v and Act 3 scene I, that Romeo and Juliet is an example of a Shakepearean tragedy in terms of its movement towards an inescapable and tragic conclusion with the death of the two protagonists. Act 1 scene 5 sets the scene and establishes the relationship between the lovers; it also foreshadows the fate of the lovers at the end of the play. Act 3 scene 1 serves as a contrast to Act 1 scene 5 by thrusting the brutal world of Verona at the audience, which emphasizes the futility of the fragile relationship between the lovers and demands that we recognise the role of fate and the wider world in the lives of individuals. ?? ?? ?? ?? Siobhan Miller English Coursework Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the images of love in: Act I Scene V, Act II ...

    5 star(s)

    Romeo persists in his attempts to get Juliet to kiss him by asking her "Have not saints lips" to which she replies "Ay pilgrim lips that they must use in prayer." Romeo then says "let lips do what hands do.

  2. Discuss the significance of Act 3, scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet with particular ...

    Death is another very exquisite theme. Love, hate and feuds appear to be the cause of particular deaths throughout the story. For instance the death of Romeo and Juliet, at the end of this romantic story was so dramatic that this created a powerful feel and ending towards the audience, the two lover's lives were over.

  1. Romeo and Juliet - How does Act 1, Scene 1 lay the foundations for ...

    By this he meant their maidenheads, which in those times meant virginity. A fight begins when Benvolio and Tybalt enter and it develops into a furious riot. Even Capulet and Montague join in; this shows us that violence is the dominant theme.

  2. Romeo & Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1

    A tragedy will happen, and it is inevitable that something bad will happen. The love between Romeo and Juliet brings the tragedy, as we know that during this scene they are already married. The phrase "these hot days" that Benvolio says reflect on the heat of the day which equals

  1. Explore the way in which Shakespeare dramatises the relationship between father and daughter in ...

    However then Capulet says in his monologue 'and she agreed, within her scope of choice Lies my content and fair according voice' (lines 18-19). The audience interprets this as Old Capulet making her choices for her, for instance when Capulet says 'within her scope of choice lies my content and

  2. Romeo and Juliet is a classic Shakespearean tragedy.

    Why would he be unsure? Was Romeo in love or just in love with love? For in his conversation with cousin Benvolio, they say: Benvolio: In love Romeo: Out- Benvolio: Of love? Romeo: Out of her favour where I am in love. This shows that Rosaline did not love Romeo.

  1. Romeo And Juliet Act 3 Scene 1

    The audience believe Act 3 Scene 1 will continue these moods and feelings; however this scene is a definite turning point in the play. It begins with Benvolio and Mercutio roving in a public place (perhaps a town square). This is when Benvolio begins to worry of a possible meeting

  2. By portraying Act I Scene V in a modern day setting, I believe this ...

    `Will now deny to dance? She that make dainty, she I'll swear hath corns.' Here, in a sense, Capulet is humorously threatening his audience to dance, because if they don't people will think they have corns on there feet. In a Shakespearean audience this would be considered humorous.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work