Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 1

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In this essay I will explore whether Act 3 Scene 1 is an important scene in Romeo and Juliet. This scene is important as bawdy comedy sinks into tragedy after Mercutio`s death. This is seen through the language which becomes darker after this scene. Certain characters change e.g. Romeo becomes violent after this scene. I will also discuss themes that arise and the fact that the play is an oxymoron.
Act 3 Scene 1 is important because the play changes within it from comedy to tragedy. In this paragraph I will explain that the play is a bawdy comedy before the scene. As we can see in Act 1 Scene1 the servants make bawdy jokes “I will cut of their maidenheads” “My naked weapon is out”, we can see that the servants continues to make rude jokes in this scene. These puns would have made the Elizabethan audience laugh. The nurse is also a comic character “Suffer every nerve to use me at his pleasure”, so the nurse makes a double-entendre without knowing it.
Even into Act 3 Scene 1 we can still find comedy. Tybalt makes a pun joke “Mercutio, thou consort`st with Romeo.” Romeo also makes a joke “beat down their weapons.” The Elizabethan audience would have been laughing at these double-entendres. Even when Mercutio is about to die he still makes jokes “Ay a scratch a scratch”, so even if he is hurt he just make people believe it’s a scratch.
In this paragraph I will discuss that Mercutio`s death changed the play. The play pivots on the line” O Romeo, Romeo brave Mercutio is dead.” The play changes from comedy to tragedy because Mercutio is the jester of the play so when he dies all the jokes also die. Characters change at this point, Romeo the Romantic becomes Romeo the violent.Romeo`s revenge on Tybalt shows that tragedy will follow. We must consider the prince’s warning “Your lives shall pay the forfeit of peace.” as Mercutio was the kinsman to the prince he banished Romeo instead of having him killed. Mercutio curses both the families “A plague in both your houses”.

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