Romeo And Juliet Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 5 Scene 3.

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Sam Rawson E7                                                        Friday 4th July 2003

Romeo And Juliet Task 2

Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 5 Scene 3 are considered by many to be the most dramatic and suspenseful scenes in Romeo and Juliet for a multitude of reasons.  William Shakespeare had to consider the probable drunkenness of his Elizabethan audience whilst writing his plays and subsequently had to make them very interesting.  The position of Act 3 Scene 1 is in the centre of the play, when everything begins to change.  Act 5 Scene 3 is the final scene of the play and had to draw together all the occurrences of the play in a tragic climax of events.  Both scenes are in pivotal places in the play and are therefore the two scenes that have to create the most tension.

Act 3 Scene 1 is longer than the average scene in Romeo and Juliet, which are 4½ pages long.  The length of this scene is approximately 7 pages.  Longer scenes have to create more tension, otherwise the dramatic impact will be lessened and they could seem to drag on.  Shakespeare’s interesting use of language manages to sustain the neurotic atmosphere.

Benvolio – ‘By my head, here come the Capulets.’

Mercutio – ‘My my heel, I care not.’

Act 5 Scene 3 is the longest scene of the play because of the dramatic events that unfold.  The death of our two protagonists opposes the stereotypical ‘happy ending’ that would have been expected by the Elizabethan audience.

A lot of tension is created in this play, particularly in the two scenes I am comparing, by the use of violence.  Whether it is acted out or just spoken, it creates lots of suspense and entices the audience.  Act 3 Scene 1 opens with talk of violence between the Capulets and the Montagues, which denotes to the audience that there will be some later in the scene.  Act 5 Scene 3 focus is on Romeo and Juliet’s tragic deaths, but also includes a fight between the County Paris and Romeo.

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Both these scenes are concluded by Prince Escalus, who is a neutral authority figure.  He ends Act 3 Scene 1 by exiling Romeo to Mantua and Act 5 Scene 3 with the message of the play.  As he is portrayed as someone important, this enhances the importance of the two scenes.  After which, nothing can revert back to normal.  After Act 3 Scene 1, we have lost two vital characters, whose deaths affect our two protagonists.  Romeo has lost his best friend and Juliet has lost her cousin.  We wonder how such grief will affect them both and their ...

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