Examination of Shakespeare's Use of Dramatic Devices in Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet
Romeo & Juliet is a story of love and hate with a tragic end. Act 1,
Scene 5 is of particular significance as it is where the romantic
adventure between Romeo and Juliet starts, in contrast of hatred from
This scene uses a lot of dramatic devices; A Dramatic Device is
elements of the play, which allow the writer to build up tension or
other effects. These effects influence the actor of the play and the
response of the characters and audience.
Some examples of dramatic devices are; Varying the pace and
atmosphere; developing characterisation through action and speech and
the use of contrast.
Varying the pace helps the audience to understand the characters
feelings. A slower pace shows calm, happy, hopeful and relaxed
behaviour, but a faster pace tends to show anger, excitement and
tension of the character, which rapidly leads to the creation of
tension. The pace can also affect the mood of the atmosphere, for
example; romantic, joyful or aggression. This could immediately show
their feelings. Shakespeare uses a lot of poetry and prose throughout
the scene to indicate many facts about the characters personality and
background. The speech of the characters develops throughout, which
clearly describes the body language. Shakespeare use of simile, in
contrasting people and objects can alert the audience to the
The first dramatic device used and introduced in Act 1, Scene 5 are
from lines 1-14, as the servants fast paced atmosphere. They are use
to bring on props and prepare the audience for the party scene. It is
used into prose to emphasise the contrast between these characters and
servants. This is not to make an impact; they are used only to
entertain the audience. The words used are short, a lot of fast paced
instructions and clear, direct and to the point. During their speech,
the feeling is light-hearted, excitement for the party. It prepares
the audience for the event to follow.
The second use of dramatic device is right after the servants, As
Capulet and Cousin Capulet enter; they greet their guests and
reminisce about the times that they were once young. Capulet shows
that he can be witty and humorous, this shows us how happy and
cheerful he can be. His speech is spoken at a fast pace with short
sentences, showing us his excitement. This is also visible by him
wanting others to dance, for example,
"will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty,
She I'll swear hath corns."
Other wise people would suggest women are infected and would be
embarrassed and ignored by young men.
"I have seen the day
That I have worn a visor and could tell
A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear''