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With Reference To Themes, Characters, Language And Stagecraft, Explore The Ways That Shakespeare Makes Act 1 Scene 5 Of Romeo And Juliet Dramatically Effective.

1047 words - 4 pages

Romeo and Juliet is a play about two young lovers who lose their lives due to their forbidden love. The major themes in this play include the contrast between love and hate and how the Capulet and Montague family rivalry prevents Romeo and Juliet from being together. The play also raises the issues of arranged marriage and love at first sight. Act 1 Scene 5 is central to these issues of the play as some key moments take place during this scene. In this scene Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time which is one of the crucial points. Also, in this scene Tybalt reveals his hatred and anger towards Romeo, which leads to Tybalt's and Mercutio's deaths in Act 3 Scene 1. Shakespeare's use of language in this scene makes it a tense high point in the play. I am going to examine the stagecraft used to emphasis key points and characters and how Shakespeare's language devices are brought together to add to the drama. In this scene the audience expects Juliet and Paris' arranged marriage to go ahead and Romeo to marry Roselyn.In the opening of Act 1 Scene 5 Shakespeare shifts the mood from the fight at the beginning of the play to a happy, party atmosphere. Capulet greets his guests warmly and in a laid back manner by saying, "Welcome gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes Unplag'd with corns will have a bout with you." This brings all the main characters on stage and sets the scene up as fun with dancing. This also provides a different tone from earlier scenes. Capulet is good humoured and welcoming as he reminisces and jokes with his guests.Romeo's soliloquy sets him apart from the speeches of Capulet and Tybalt as he is revealed as a romantic character. He uses figurative language such as, "So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows" to favourably compare Juliet to other women. Similes such as, "As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear" are used to emphasise Juliet's beauty through comparison. This also shows Juliet as light in the darkness, the love and hope amongst the hatred, death and violence. Romeo speaks poetically which further portrays him as a romantic, gentle character. His use of language in his soliloquy manipulates the audience into liking him.Tybalt's speech also has a dramatic effect on the audience. Shakespeare juxtaposes Romeo and Tybalt's speech to reveal their different characters and to build a thematic contrast between love and hate. In comparison to Romeo's romantic, poetic style of speech, Tybalt speaks sharply, using phrases such as, "To strike him dead I hold it not a sin." Tybalt's anger changes the mood from happy and romantic to aggressive and full of hate. The audience respond to Tybalt in a negative way. As they have already warmed to Romeo, Tybalt's hatred towards him makes the audience turn against Tybalt. This part of the scene influences the action in the rest of the play because Romeo turning up uninvited to the party leads to Tybalt's desire to fight him in Act3 Scene 1.Romeo and Juliet's first meeting takes place in this...

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