Romeo and Juliet - Act 3, Scene 1 : the Fight Scene Analysis

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Romeo and Juliet is one of the most penetrating love stories ever written , and no other love story will ever match up to quite the same standard, but why? Every sentence is filled with some kind of drama, tragedy, emotion and, of course, love. Some of the themes explored in Romeo and Juliet are: tragedy, love, fate and death. Act 3, Scene 1 is a very dramatic scene, and is the turning point of the story; the climactric. It is at this point that everything changes for the worse and starts going downhill. In the previous scene, Romeo and Juliet were married and that tells us that Romeo must be feeling on top of the world right now. But this all changes, faster than a flash of lightning. In this essay, I’m going to analyse what I have previously mentioned as well as other aspects in Shakespeare’s writing, including his use of language devices to build tension as well as saying what makes this scene dramatically effective. Beginning this scene is none other than Benvolio who is accompanied by his good friend Mercutio as they laze around on the streets of Verona. However, all is not well as Benvolio is feeling a little apprehensive and fretting over the chance of encountering “the Capels” who “are abroad and if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl, for now, these hot days is the mad blood stirring.” This gives the audience the image that there has been some tension between the Capulets and Montagues for quite a while now and if they meet, there will indubitably be a fight. Shakespeare also uses the metaphor about “mad blood stirring” this can be likened to blood boiling which is often associated which anger and rage. It could also be likened to the heat from the sun on that day, making people “mad” easily as the anger boils inside them. Mercutio brushes off Benvolio’s anxiety as if it was nothing, which might tell us that it is Benvolio’s usual behaviour to worry too much about things. Instead, Mercutio jests about Benvolio’s behaviour saying that. “Thou art like one of these fellow that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table and says ‘God send me no need of thee!’ and by the operation of the second cup draws him on the drawer, when indeed there is no need.” This brings Mercutio’s sense of humour into the scene while building dramatic effect within the audience as they begin to think that Benvolio is someone that starts a fight with any kind of mild insult, though this totally contradicts Benvolio’s previous statement. The theme of fighting has also been incorporated into this. Benvolio answers in an amused fashion, “Am I such a fellow?” The audience now know that Mercutio was just joking and Benvolio is someone who can take an insult on the chin. They banter on with mild puns and jokes to build up a cheerful atmosphere in the introduction to this scene. The main image that Mercutio gives during this is that Benvolio is one of those people who keep saying they don’t want to fight, but always ends up fighting in some way or another. “Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat; and yet thy head hath but beat as addle as an egg for quarrelling” Which means that Benvolio’s head is as full of arguments as an egg is full of meat which is the liquid inside the egg. Mercutio then says “And yet thou wilt tutor me from quarrelling!” Mercutio is saying these things because he believes that Benvolio has no right to tell Mercutio to stay away from a fight when he goes and starts fights himself. This would be mocking Benvolio because he is not the type of person that starts fights and Mercutio is teasing him about his previous anxiety. When Tybalt enters, Benvolio panics and immediately tells Mercutio, “By my head, here come the Capulets.” You can tell Mercutio truly does not care because he says, “By my heel, I care not.” This gives the image that he cares for the Capulets as much as he cares for some dirt on the heel of his shoe. This would have...
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