The masked ball comes in early in the play and from the prologue the audience know that Romeo and Juliet will meet and fall in love even though they are from feuding families. This allows dramatic irony throughout the play. For example: A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life.' (Narrator, prologue, line 6) This means that they meet by chance and that they will die together. After they meet at the ball they do not know who oneanother is and after enquiring they find they are from the rival families. After Juliet finds out Romeo is a Montague she says to herself: My only love sprung from my only true hate!'(Juliet, Act 1 scene 5, line 139) This means that Juliet thought she had found her true love yet she cannot love him as he is a Montague.
The themes that can be found in this scene are: love, marriage, conflict and hate. Love in this scene refers to Romeo meeting Juliet and them instantly falling in love. Marriage in this scene refers to when Paris wants to marry Juliet. Conflict in this scene refers to when Tybalt wants to get Romeo taken out of the Capulet party. Hate in this scene is seen in Capulets party being gate crashed by Romeo Montague and that the families are foes.
The Luhrmann version of the film dramatises this scene as the characters are wearing clothes that reflect there roles in the play. Romeo wears armour and this makes him a knight in shining armour that will come to rescue Juliet. Juliet wears an angel costume to symbolise that she is young and pure. Tybalt wears a devil costume to symbolise that he is looking for trouble.
The Montagues and Capulets fight in the opening scene of the play. This indicates that the romance between Romeo and Juliet is extremely dangerous. In the play Capulet says: My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.' (Capulet, Act 1 scene 1, lines 77 and 78) This shows that both families are willing to fight anywhere and that they hate each other as they are about to have a swordfight which could leave one of them dead.
Before the ball Romeo is infatuated with Rosaline and discusses her with Benvolio. Romeo thinks that he loves her and wants to go to the Capulet ball to see her. When speaking about her he uses rhyming couplets and oxymorons. For example he uses oxymorons: Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!' (Romeo, Act 1 scene 1, line 180) When speaking of Rosaline Romeo uses traditional images of love and later he uses more inventive images for Juliet. Romeo uses these rhyming couplets:
Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!' (Romeo, Act 1 scene 1, line 172 and 173) Romeo uses this language as he is infatuated by Rosaline and he wants to state this to Benvolio.
At the ball the atmosphere is livelier than the slow paced tense atmosphere earlier in the play. The drama is built up earlier in the play as Montague and Capulet are threatening each other. Capulet says: My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.' (Capulet, Act 1 scene 1, lines 77 and 78) This means that Capulet wants his sword as Montague has his sword and he is taunting Capulet. Montague says:
Thou villain Capulet! Hold me not, let me go.' (Montague, Act 1 scene 1, line 79) Montague tells his wife to let go of him so that he can fight with Capulet. This compares to the opening scene of Act 1 Scene 5 as the fight is slow paced and the beginning of the ball is fast paced as the servants prepare to tidy up. The first servant says: Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He
shift a trencher? he scrape a trencher!' (Servant 1, Act 1 scene 5, lines 1 and 2) This has the effect that the play has become livelier as it was tense in the beginning when Capulet and Montague threatened to fight. At the Capulet ball the atmosphere is calmer and everyone is having a good time despite the rush before the ball.
Capulets speech at...
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