Romeo and Juliet is a dramatic and emotional play. Comment on how Shakespeare creates atmosphere in: • Act 1 scene 5
• Act 2 scene 2
• Act 3 scene 5
Romeo and Juliet is a dramatic play which leaves the audience feeling many emotions; happiness, sadness, anger, romance and suspense. It is fast moving and the atmosphere changes between the different emotions suddenly but easily. It keeps you watching to see what will happen between the “ill-fated” Romeo and Juliet.
Act 1 scene 5 is one of the most important scenes in Romeo and Juliet as this is the scene where Romeo and Juliet meet at Capulet’s party and its love at first sight. In Shakespeare’s time many people believed that if it wasn’t love at first sight then it wasn’t proper love at all. The scene starts with 4 servants talking about the upcoming party and how they are going to gatecrash. This is called an anti-climax and makes the audience want to keep watching, as they know something is going to happen. An anti-climax is also put into a play to give the actors a chance to get ready and into costume. When Capulet first appears at the start of the scene he gives the impression of a nice, old man. He is talking to a friend about the good old days and how long it has been since him and cousin Capulet has danced. This is used for an excellent contrast between being friendly and violent anger when Capulet’s mood suddenly changes later in the scene.
Tybalt realizes Romeo is at the party when he overhears Romeo asking a servant who Juliet is. Again Shakespeare uses contrast but this time it is for Romeo to describe how beautiful Juliet is. “So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows”
The effect on the audience is the immediate love at first sight with Romeo. He seems to have instantly forgotten Rosaline the moment he saw Juliet. This is shown by his passionate speech about Juliet, which the audience has never seen him do about Rosaline.
As soon as Tybalt knows Romeo is at the party, he wants to start a fight and tells Capulet. Surprisingly Capulet says no, (despite him and Romeo being foes), and when Tybalt persists on killing Romeo, Capulet suddenly turns and becomes angry. He shows this by belittling Tybalt and making him feel small, “You are a princox, go!”
The atmosphere between Tybalt and Capulet is dramatic and there is a lot of tension between them, so the actors most certainly would be shouting, eyeballing and squaring up to each other. This makes the audience wonder how Tybalt is going to react but the audience is now fearful of Capulet’s violent mood swings. Although this all sounds bad for the audience it is good for the play, because all this tension creates suspense and suspense will keep the audience watching.
After this argument the set suddenly changes and so does the atmosphere. This is the moment where Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. The atmosphere is calm and romantic and the actors would be whispering their parts or saying them in hushed tones. This is again contrast between two moods: anger and love. The sudden change will surprise the audience and this will draw them into the play. It was crucial that the audience was kept engaged and entertained in Shakespeare's time because if an audience member/s got bored at any point they could just walk out and wander off to watch a different play.
Shakespeare makes the first words that Romeo and Juliet say to each other a sonnet. He does this to introduce love straight away to the story, as sonnets are romantic poems. 14 lines long with 10 syllables per line is a typical sonnet. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG; this can be broken up easily into a conversation. The sonnet between Romeo and Juliet is about religion because religion was (and still is) regarded highly and very important. Also the conceit is religion because religion is holy and seen as good, so the sonnet gives the impression that Romeo and Juliet’s love is good too. “My lips, two blushing...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document