Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 1 Analysis

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Romeo and Juliet Coursework
In Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare raises the excitement and the tension throughout the scene by using dramatic tension between the characters, provocative and threatening dialogue, strong language effects, and sharp vital violence. The scene begins with Benvolio and Mercutio coming on to stage, with Benvolio suggesting they should go home in case they meet the Capulets and the violence ensues. “The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl, for now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.” This pathetic fallacy and strong image of mad blood creates an expectation in the audience of violent events to come. This expectation seems to be met fulfilled quickly as Tybalt enters with other members of the Capulet family and some servants and immediately a dramatic tension is established between the two factions. We are shown that Mercutio is in a difficult frame of mind. “ ‘By my head here comes the Capulets’ ‘By my heel, I care not.’ ” Clearly Mercutio is in an aggressive mood. Tybalt addresses Mercutio and Benvolio. “ ‘Gentlemen, good den, a word with one of you’ ” Up to this point, Tybalt is courteous – his quarrel is with Romeo, not with Benvolio or Mercutio. However Mercutio is extremely provocatice and he responds to Tybalt, asking a word with one of them with, “Make it a word and a blow.” The audience feels there is a fight in prospect. When Tybalt says that Mercutio consorts with Romeo, Mercutio sees an insult where there is none. “Consort? what, dost thou make us minstrels? an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords: here's my fiddlestick; here's that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, consort!” A gentleman cannot accept being compared to a lowly musician, but this is not what Tybalt meant and the audience feel expectation of fear and violence. Now Romeo enters, and now the focus of the tension shifts as a dramatic tension is established between Romeo and...
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