Essay on act 3 scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet
The first scene of act three is a pivotal scene in the play; it is when everything changes for the worst. It is when love and joy turns into anger, sadness and hate. The scene starts out with Benvolio and Mercutio talking; the capulets then arrive and banter between Mercutio and Tybalt ensues. Romeo arrives and Tybalt tries to provoke him into a fight but he refuses to battle his wife’s cousin. Mercutio decides to fight for him but Romeo rushes in midst of the battle in an effort to stop them and only manages to get Mercutio fatally wounded. Once Mercutio expires Romeo runs after Tybalt in a fit of rage and grief to kill him. Only once Tybalt is dead does he realise the graveness of his actions, he cries out “O, I am fortune's fool!” and, hiding Benvolio’s advice, runs away. The prince and the entire town arrive, Benvolio explains what occurred to the prince who decides to banish Romeo rather than have him killed.
First of all Benvolio starts out by expressing his concerns about the day to Mercutio “I pray thee good Mercutio, let’s retire [...] the capulets [are] abroad, and if we meet we shall not scape a brawl; for now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring”. These concerns create tension within the audience as they anticipate the forthcoming events. The mention of the capulets furthermore induces apprehension from an expectant audience, due to their prior knowledge of the feuding families given in the opening prologue. As Benvolio says the day is hot which not only generates tension but is also pathetic fallacy. The hot weather matches the bubbling anger of Tybalt. The warm weather may also be seen as an irony as it is a nice weather but battles and death ensue. The words “hot” and “mad blood” also create tension through the sense of foreboding that they give especially coming from the mouth of Benvolio the character that is always warning the others. Tension is further added by Mercutio’s mocking attitude...
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