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The Role Of Act 3 Scene 1 And Act 3 Scene 5 In William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

4863 words - 19 pages

The Role of Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 5 in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

There are several incidents that take place during the course of the
play that prepare us, the audience, for the plays tragic end.
Shakespeare manages to use several devices to prepare us for the plays
tragic end. He uses a prologue at the beginning to give us a brief
idea about the play. Devices such as omens, premonitions, soliloquies
and changes in mood and atmosphere are all very effective when
preparing us for the tragedy. I will be focusing on Act 3 Scene 1 and
Act 3 Scene 5 but I will be referring to other incidents that take
place at different times in the play.

The prologue is a very strong and effective way of preparing us, the
audience, for the plays tragic end. It describes two noble households,
the Montagues and the Capulets, living in the city of Verona. The
houses hold an “ancient grudge” against each other. This grudge has
broke into “new mutiny.” This tells us that the feud between the two
families has been going on for a long time and has now been
‘re-ignited.’ This grudge remains the source of violent and bloody
conflict throughout the play. The prologue states that from these two
houses, “two star-crossed lovers” will appear. It refers to the couple
as ill fated because the use of such words like “star-crossed” means
literally against the stars. In Shakespearian times the stars were
believed to control people’s destinies. Fate also seems to be a strong
element in the prologue and throughout the play. Although fate is not
referred to directly, the prologue creates the sense of fate by
providing the audience with the knowledge that Romeo and Juliet will
die even before the play has begun. The death of these two
“star-crossed lovers” will mend the quarrel between the families. The
story of these two lovers, and the terrible strife between their
families will be the topic of the play. The prologue is therefore very
effective when preparing us, the audience, for the play’s tragic end.

The events that take place during the course of Act 3 Scene 1 are
effective when preparing us for the plays tragic end. This is because
there are dramatic changes in the mood of particular characters and
the fate of Romeo and Juliet takes a grave turn.

In the beginning of this scene Mercutio and Benvolio are in a public
square of the city. Benvolio suggests that they leave and go home, “I
pray thee good Mercutio, let’s retire.” Benvolio knows that they are
likely to encounter the Capulets and a fight may begin. Benvolio says
“…we shall not ‘scape a brawl, For now these hot days, is the mad
blood boiling.” This shows us that Benvolio is aware of the growing
hatred between the two families and knows if the Montagues and the
Capulets meet there is sure to be bloodshed. However Mercutio is
...

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