The Dramatic Effectiveness and Significance of Act 3, Scene 1 in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare’s second tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was written between
1594 and 1596. The play is set in Verona a city in the north of Italy.
In the play it is portrayed as a small independent country. The prince
of Verona rules the city like a king and everyone obeys him. It is set
over a period of four day. Shakespeare got the idea from a poem by
Arthur Brooke called ‘the tragical history of Romeus and Juliet’ which
had been written in 1562. Shakespeare
’s version of the story is very similar, but differs in the following
ways. He added characters such as Romeos friend Mercutio; he also made
the nurse and Benvolio have larger parts. This play is still popular
today as it has many good atmosphere changes: from the comedy to the
action and the romance and betray. Also many directors have made this
play into new and exciting versions.
Act 3 scene 1 is significant because as in many of Shakespeare’s plays
this is the climax of the play. Acts before this showed the fighting
and the feuding between the family and the romance building with
Juliet and the wedding. In this scene two of the main characters die
in a violent way. This increases tension, feuding and leads to Romeo’s
banishment from Verona. This then has consequences on Juliet as they
only married the day before. This is then the turning point of the
play as it leads to more deaths and tragedy.
This scene has a lot of dramatic impact on an audience as it has a lot
of changes in the atmosphere. This scene starts light hearted with
Mercutio and joking around and Benvolio convincing him he was wrong
wanting a fight. The audience feel anxious and anticipation as they
wait for the fighting to start. The scene then moves to a tragic where
the audience feels foreboding, sympathetic and worried for the future
of Romeo and Juliet.
This scene is also important because the audience learns a lot about
the characters. When Romeo first enters he is happy, peace keeping
type of person. He changes a lot during the scene it starts once
Tybalt has killed Mercutio he changes from peace keeping to an angry
feisty person and wants revenge. He says
“Again, in triumph, and Mercutio slain?
Away to heaven, respective lenity, and fire ey’d fury be my conduct
He then run across the town and finds Tybalt down a back street where
he fights in revenge and anger with Tybalt and for revenge of the
killing of Mercutio. After this Romeo has a feel of guilt and feels
worried about what he has done. He feels like the whole world is
against him. Saying
“O, I am fortunes fool”
Tybalts character adds a lot of dramatic force in the scene. He enters
the scene ready to fight and asks Mercutio where Romeo is.
“Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.”