Explain how Shakespeare creates dramatic tension in Act 3 Scene 5?

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Explain how Shakespeare creates dramatic tension in Act 3 Scene 5?

Romeo and Juliet is one of the most popular plays in Shakespearean time and was set in the city of Verona. The play is about a classic love story containing two noble families; Capulet and Montague. This was branded as tragedy along with King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello. In this essay, I am going to analyse Act 3 Scene 5; which arrives when we come across the dreadful disaster of the death for two important characters; Tybalt and Mercutio. Later on, Capulet promises his most favoured Paris; a kinsman of the king that he can marry Juliet. Lady Capulet assures Paris that she will notify Juliet the next morning but none of them had the knowledge of Juliet being married to Romeo secretly. This scene is a very important one as there is so much dramatic tension on behalf of Romeo and Juliet. In this scene, Juliet has to make vast decisions and Romeo is not far from his own death after killing Tybalt.

The scene begins with Romeo and Juliet waking up together in the morning and they both have a quiet argument whether its still night or day because Juliet wants Romeo to stay although she knows that if anyone sees him then he’ll be killed for the murder of Tybalt and the fact that he is Capulet's enemy for being a Montague. When the nurse tells Juliet that her mother is making her way to her bedroom, Romeo bounds through the window while Juliet asks him if they will ever see each other again, Romeo is certain that they will congregate very soon. Juliet starts crying because Romeo has left but as her mother enters the room, she assumes that Juliet is shedding tears for the death of her cousin (Tybalt). Later, Lady Capulet tells Juliet the news of her getting married to Paris; the chosen one by her father as she thinks that the “astonishing” news will make Juliet enliven. Juliet refuses to marry Paris and breaks the news to her father; he builds a dreadful temper in which he calls his daughter: mistress minion, green sickness, carrion and baggage. He also claims that if she does not marry Paris, then he will disown her. The scene ends with Capulet storming out of her room leaving Juliet to weep and plead for mercy from her mother and the nurse.                        

In my philosophy, dramatic tension means building up suspense making sure that the audience grows impatient which leads to a climax.

Dramatic tension is produced at the beginning of Act 3 Scene 5 when Romeo wakes up after sleeping with Juliet in her house, because straight away, the audience is impatient to know whether or not any of the Capulet’s will see him. This carries on as Shakespeare builds up suspense for the audience to see whether or not Juliet will accept the proposal from Paris or confess that she is already married to Romeo when her mother enters her chamber and gives her the news of her marriage proposal.  

As Romeo and Juliet was produced in the Elizabethan times, parts of the play relate to marriage, expectations and parents so it is vital to know key facts about those days.

Elizabethan women had to learn music and dancing skills as these were essential for them. In the play, we see how important it was for the women to have talents in dancing at the Capulet’s feast where all women were anticipated to dance. They were not allowed to go into further education such as university because they were expected to be married at the age of fourteen. The women had to obey their parents and get married to the proposal chosen by her parents, as we see Juliet was expected to do in Act 3 Scene 5 with the proposal of County Paris. Elizabethan women were expected to bring dowry to the marriage which contains an amount of money, goods and property. This was referred to as her marriage proportion. After marriage, they were expected to run households and provide for their children.

Many Elizabethan women made arrangements for the care of their children in case they died themselves during childbirth.

Apparently, Elizabethan audiences would have reacted differently to the opening scene compared to a modern audience. It seems that they would have been able to accept and agree with what the parents wanted Juliet to do with the proposal, because of what women in those days were expected to do as explained above. They believe that Capulet loves his daughter and wants her to be happy after marriage so he and his wife agree to the proposal after making sure that the groom is from a fine background and when Juliet rejects the offer, he gets furious.

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I assume that Elizabethan spectators would think Juliet is still immature and that Romeo is taking advantage of her while she thinks he loves her, also the audience watching would think that Juliet has betrayed her parents trust by getting married to Romeo secretly as well as a murderer of her own family.

On the other hand, a modern audience would have had sympathy for Juliet rather than her parents, I believe that they would support Juliet and think that she has every right to feel affection for Romeo and get married to him. A contemporary audience will disagree ...

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