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The Role Of Act 1 Of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet In The Entire Play

2902 words - 12 pages

The Role of Act 1 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in the Entire Play

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is an example of a Shakespearean tragedy, which is
the polar opposite of a comedy (This means its totally different in
every way). In other words, it is a drama with an unhappy ending. The
play was also intended for the Elizabethan theatre, which was arranged
in a different way to our theatres nowadays. The stage used to be set
out with three different levels, which was perfect for some of the
scenes in Romeo and Juliet (e.g. the balcony scene) and there were
different areas for the audience to watch the production. There were
seats for the more wealthy people and there was a pit for the
peasants. Having both the wealthy and the peasants watching the show
was good for the performance, because the peasants used to heckle at
the actors along with the rich people and they both used to get
involved in the play. Shakespeare’s plays were written for everyone
that wanted to watch them. His plays were not just written for the
wealthy. Also the actors were just normal people. The actors were not
famous; they had just learnt the lines and put on a performance.
‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a play not a book, it is meant to be performed
not read. Many people refer to it as a book but it’s not, it’s a play.

In act 1 there are a lot events that dramatically effect the rest of
the play dramatically. Some of these events are: The Prince’s sentence
is passed on the two families after another fight in Verona, Juliet’s
rejection of Paris and the Capulet’s promise that he would not force
her to marry him, Peter wrongly informs and invites Romeo, Benvolio
and the other Montagues to the mask ball, Romeo and Juliet meet and
find out who each other are, Tybalt’s grudge and anger with the
Montagues.

Each one of these events in one way or another link to the death of
the “star-crossed lovers” (for example Peter’s invitation of the
Montagues, lead to, Romeo and Juliet meeting, which leads to, them
marrying, which leads to, Romeo being banished, which leads to Romeo
and Juliet dying.) Each one of these events joins with one another and
this is what I will be talking about in this essay.

Before the play commences, an actor comes onto the stage and reads the
prologue. The prologue is similar to a blurb on the back of a book. We
find out the entire events of the play through it. The prologue is a
typical Shakespearean sonnet as it is only fourteen lines. It consists
of three quatrains and it ends in a concluding couplet. The prologue
tells us the main points of the play and it shows us the different
moods put across in the play e.g. “star-crossed lover” and then “death
marked love”. This shows how the mood changes in the play, by changing
the mood in the prologue.

The first of the main events in Act One is the...

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