Comment on Shakespeare’s stagecraft in Act 3 Scene 5 of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. William Shakespeare, the celebrated playwright, wrote many famous plays. Yet few are as renowned as his ‘Romeo and Juliet’, the tragic love story about two star-crossed lovers from feuding families, denied their chance to be together and died rather than be apart. Act 3 Scene 5 is a crucial scene in the play, one with the most dramatic tension and the turning point of the story where things take a turn for the worse for the two lovers. In this essay we will discuss how Shakespeare has used stagecraft in Act 3 Scene 5 to make it thrilling. This scene is full of dramatic tension, as the lovers had a lingering parting, even though they know that Romeo is in danger of being caught by the other Capulet’s and killed as he was already banished the night before, and is not supposed to be in Verona. Juliet foreshadows Romeo’s death as she watches him descend:
“Juliet: Oh God, I have an ill divining soul! / Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low, / as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. / Either my eyesight fails, or thou look’st pale.” 1 She also foreshadows her own death while pleading her mother for help after the argument with Lord Capulet:
“Juliet: Delay this marriage for a month, a week, / Or if you do not, make the bridal bed / In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.” 2 Shakespeare has also used a lot of dramatic irony in the play – especially in this scene, where Lady Capulet announces to Juliet that she will marry Count Paris in a few days when she was already married to Romeo in secret. It adds suspense to a scene as the audience knows what the characters do not know, and also hints towards what will happen next. Lord Capulet’s behaviour adds to the action in the scene. His sudden change of tone from consoling to enraged makes the scene exciting.
“Capulet: How now, a conduit, girl? What, still in tears? / Evermore show’ring?” 3
“Capulet: How how, how how,