The Importance of Act 3 Scene 1 in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
‘Romeo and Juliet’ was first published in 1597 and written by William
Shakespeare when Elizabeth 1 was on the throne. At the time when it
was published women’s parts were played by young boys between the ages
of ten and thirteen because girls and women were not allowed to act on
stage. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ may have been a romance if it were not for
the events of Act 3 Scene 1. Romeo is from the Montague family and
Juliet is fro, the Capulet family, both the families hate each other
due to an ‘ancient grudge’. When Romeo goes to a party hosted by The
Capulets, he gets spotted by Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin) who wants to
fight but is held back by Lord Capulet. After Romeo and Juliet get
married, Tybalt goes looking for Romeo but Romeo doesn’t want to
fight. Mercutio (Romeo’s best friend) fights for him and is killed.
Romeo, as a result kills Tybalt. Romeo’s punishment was only
banishment because Tybalt started the fight. The banishment of Romeo
causes himself, Juliet, Paris and Lady Montague to die. Act 3 Scene 1
is important because the play could have been a romance but turned
into a tragedy however, it also causes the feud between the families
to end as a result of their children’s deaths.
As a result of the ‘ancient grudge’ between the Montagues and the
Capulets, the play begins with a brawl. Benvolio tries to stop the
fight which indicates he doesn’t like fighting and is a peacemaker.
This is linked to Act 3 Scene 1 because he tries to stop Mercutio
fighting Tybalt. To establish this, Benvolio says “I do but keep the
peace.” We are also introduced to Tybalt at the start who says “What,
drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word as I hate hell, all
Montagues, and thee.” This establishes that Tybalt hates the Montagues
and loves to start fights with them. This links to Act 3 Scene 1
because he’s the one who started the fight with Romeo. When the Prince
is introduced, after the fight, he says “If you ever disturb our
streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peaces.” This
is important because it links to Act 3 Scene 1 when Romeo is banished
instead of executed. Romeo says “Here’s much to do with hate, but more
with love.” This indicates that he can see that everybody just loves
fighting and gives the impression that he can’t see the point. This
contrasts with Act 3 Scene 1 because he ends up fighting Tybalt in
anger and seeking revenge.
At the start of the play Romeo is madly in love with Rosaline, but as
far as the audience knows, they have never met. Romeo says “O heavy
lightness” and “Still-waking sleep”, and by using these it shows how
confused he is by his unspoken love for Rosaline. This is courtly
love. This was a common type of courtship at this time.
The role of the women at the time of...