• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4

Romeo and Juliet - To what extent do you agree that Act 3 Scene 1 is the turning point of the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent do you agree that Act 3, scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet is the turning point of the play? Some people believe that Act 3, scene 1 marks the transition from the relatively carefree, light-hearted (even amusing) atmosphere of the first two acts, to the gradual and inevitable progression towards the downfall of the two lovers and the ultimate grizzly tragedy. In this essay I will be examining the evidence for and against this point of view. The play is set in the northern Italian city of Verona; the significance of this seems to be that in the minds of Shakespeare's audience, the Italians were associated with hot-blooded and quick tempered behaviour. In this context, the audience is given warning at the very beginning of the play that the subject will not just be a conventional romance but one that is doomed and at the mercy of the extreme passions around it. For example the lovers are referred to as 'star-crossed' and we are told that their love is 'death-marked' (Prologue). In Act 1, scene 4 Romeo ironically foresees his own death being associated with love, 'my mind misgives some consequence ....... by some vile forfeit of untimely death'. Despite the coded warnings to the audience of forthcoming tragedy the mood and tone of the first few two acts is, on the whole, without menace and gives no obvious indication that the romance between the young couple will lead to disastrous consequences. ...read more.

Middle

However in this scene he is only interested in fighting Romeo. Perhaps he thought that there was no point in fighting Mercutio because he had not done enough to offend him, therefore making him a bigger person than he used to be, or perhaps, on this occasion he felt that fighting Mercutio would not be as satisfying as fighting Romeo whom he obviously despises. Tybalt knows nothing about the marriage, although Romeo gives hints, 'I love you more than you can understand until you know the reason why I love you. And so, good Capulet-which is a name I love like my own name', obviously Tybalt does not pick up on this, and even if he did, he could not expect it to be true in any way, because marriage would have been out of the question. Mercutio is a very ambiguous character. Although he is funny, witty and cheeky, he is no mere jester. He is very deep and raises many philosophical issues and dark points in the play. Mercutio ridicules Romeo, for believing in tragic fate, and romantic love. However he is still seen by many as a comic character in the play, and perhaps the comedy dies with him. Another interesting point is the fact that, Mercutio, being such a mercurial (possibly the derivation of his name) ...read more.

Conclusion

When he does go we are also left without his long speeches, therefore the pace of the play spirals and we are forced to concentrate on what is going on. We can see the extent of how bad the fight scene in Act 3 scene 1 really is by referring back to the brawl that took place in Act 1 scene 1. The difference is shocking; of course the first fight scene isn't completely innocent and friendly but it is a lot less vicious. You almost get the sense that they are all rather enjoying themselves. A lot of the fight is just quick-banter and extravagant (but not particularly harmful), shadow fighting. In conclusion, I believe that Act 3 scene 1 is to a large extent the hinge on which the dramatic development of the tragedy develops. Even though as an audience we were given plenty of signs in both the prologue and the first act that calamity was imminent those signs were easily overlooked in the prevailing light-hearted tone of the first two acts. It is only in Act 3 scene 1 that the play and its plot become hard-edged in terms of both character and mood. The death of Mercutio resurrects the bitter feud which in the early part of the play seemed to lie dormant. From now on the protagonists are unmasked, revenge has to be taken and the warnings of tragedy ahead turn into reality. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ollie Marcel LVM ...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. Explore Shakespeares Presentation of Act 3 Scene 1 as a Turning Point in the ...

    This is the beginning of Shakespeare's contrasting use of the word love by Romeo and Tybalt throughout Act 3 Scene 1. The use of the word villain would be very significant and mean that Romeo would be expected to accept the challenge.

  2. ACT 1 SCENE 5 IS A TURNING POINT IN THE PLAY.

    know Juliet is a Capulet and Juliet does not know Romeo is a Montague. The audience would therefore shout remarks to the actors, trying to warn them about what may happen in the future. While Romeo and Juliet are talking, the nurse comes to tell Juliet her mother wants her.

  1. In what ways is Act 3 Scene 1 a turning point in the play ...

    This scene is also a display of the feelings which Romeo feels for Juliet. At the start of the play Romeo tells Benvolio that he is very much in love with a girl called Rosaline. The only reason he is at the party is that he knew Rosaline would be there.

  2. Act 3 scene 1 is a very important part of the play as it ...

    'Tybalt, Mercutio, the Prince expressly hath forbidden bandying in verona streets.' This makes him look all the more pathetic, and the audience could even be possibly booing at him, or cat-calling, because he won't stand up for himself and has somebody else defending him.

  1. Act 3 scene is 1 is certainly a major turning point in the play, ...

    In the next bit of the scene the tension and drama is increased even more. In this part of the scene, Romeo runs in and sees wishes to calm down the situation, Tybalt opens with a killer line saying, "peace be with you, sir, here come my man."

  2. Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene1 as a turning point

    Words that hint there is violence to come are: "Men's eyes were made to look, and let them gaze; I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I." This is stated by Mercutio after Benvolio tries to make him leave by saying there are people watching.

  1. In what way is Act 3 Scene 1 a turning point in the play ...

    The way in which he does this is by using them to cause conflict and tension between each of them. For example Mercutio has no need to quarrel with Tybalt but he wants to stand in to defend Romeo's honour.

  2. Why is Act 3 Scene 1 such an important turning point in the play ...

    Romeo says "O heavy lightness" and "Still-waking sleep", and by using these it shows how confused he is by his unspoken love for Rosaline. This is courtly love. This was a common type of courtship at this time. The role of the women at the time of the play was written were very different from today.

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