“Analyse the dramatic effectiveness of Act 3 Scene 1”
The tragic Shakespearian play “Rome and Juliet” is about two young people who experience true love even though it is forbidden. Against the will of both families they marry secretly. Just when all seems well, everything goes horribly wrong leaving them dead. Even though this play is based on the innocent love between two individuals there are many scenes which involve routine violence and conflict. An example of this would be the plays opening, a fight between the two families, the Montague’s and Capulets. Another sorrowful event would be the ending, in which both Romeo and Juliet perish. The fighting occurs because of an ongoing hatred between the two families which goes so far back that no one knows what even started it. In this essay I will discuss the utter importance of Act 3 Scene 1 and how it changes the tides of the play. In doing this I shall explore the dramatic qualities and discuss them. When Shakespeare geniously created this play Elizabeth the 1st was the Queen of England. She adored the theatre. The Citizens of England in the 16th century would jump at the thought of entertainment, whether this be cockerel fighting to a good ol’ romantic play. Although pleasing them was a different matter. After a couple of pints of extra strong ale, they weren’t going to settle for anything less than spectacular. This meant that Shakespeare had to be on top form when writing all of his plays. Therefore a 16th century audience would love one of Shakespeare’s plays because they include all the things for a recipe of perfection. If they wanted love, drama, passion and action, they certainly got it with Shakespeare. In the final moments of Act 2 Romeo and Juliet have been married in secret by Friar Laurence. To show the delight of Juliet Shakespeare uses a preponderance of words relating to wealth/ value. Words to suggest this include “worth”, “rich”, “substance” and “excess”. This is telling us that her love for Romeo makes her feel on top of the world. It is also saying that people who have all these things are beggars without true love. Act 3 Scene 1 opens with typical old Benvolio being his usual self. He is very similar to Romeo in the sense that throughout the play he tries to avoid conflict. He could be seen as the peacemaker. Benvolio begs Mercutio to “retire” for the day for he can clearly see that he is growing restless. He has two very important reasons for wanting to be home and safe: starting with “the day is hot” which is making “the mad blood boil”. The other reason being that “the Capels’ are abroad”. Benvolio knows that Mercutio will be seeking a brawl. Referring back to Act 1 the Prince said that if either of the family’s caused and trouble he would deal with it severely; meaning death. This justifies Benvolio’s caution as well as foreshadowing upcoming events in this scene. In reaction to this Mercutio begins to taunt and tease Benvolio. The reason this is so dramatic is the irony of what he says. Mercutio begins to tell Benvolio that that he is an angry and “moody” person. The audience and Benvolio know that he is in fact describing himself. Mercutio says things such as “Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts” which is clearly an absurd thing to say. However, he follows this by making a pun “hazel eyes”. This shows more of Mercutio’s character and how he loves to be witty. Following Mercutio’s long winded speech, Benvolio says “An I was so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the sample fee of my life.” Once again Shakespeare is using Benvolio as the cautious character to foreshadow event. Which is not so far away… All of Shakespeare’s foreshadowing comes into play as Tybalt and his men enter the scene. Benvolio is quick on the mark to worry but Mercutio keeps his cool and states “I care not”. Once again showing his cocky nature. Tybalt approaches being very calm and overly polite. Mercutio, feeling...
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