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Act 3, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Good Essays
Act 3, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 1 is very important because it lays the ground for the rest of the play. It signals a turning point and is also central to the play’s structure as well as to the drama. The first half of the play is focused on love and romance whereas the second will concentrate on more tragic and calamitous drama. The scene represents a climax to suspense built in the first half of the play and Shakespeare uses this scene to inform the audience of the forthcoming change in drama. He introduces more dramatic irony, a significant dramatic device in the play, and leaves the audience hanging in expectation. The prologue sets the scene and notifies the audience of the content of the play and notifies the audience of the families and the fury between the two, “From an ancient grudge break to new mutiny”. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony in the prologue to inform us of Romeo and Juliet, “star-cross’d lovers,” it informs us of how they are ill-fated and it is predestined that their love will end in tragedy. At the very beginning of the play we meet Sampson and Gregory, servants of Capulet and also Abram and Balthasar, servants of Montague. They argue and this leads to a fight and so we are immediately shown the rivalry between the two families, the hatred being so strong it is even passed down to the servants of the families. The reaction of key characters to this fight is important because it hints at what might happen in the future. Benvolio is introduced to the audience at the beginning of the play when the fighting starts and he demands for the it to stop saying, “... ... middle of paper ... ...he killed Tybalt, Benvolio gives a bias account. He is going to protect Romeo, as brothers do and he relates to Romeo as being “young” in order to influence the prince. Benvolio does this so that Romeo isn’t killed as a punishment; emotive language is used here, in order to turn the mind of the prince, “O noble Prince.” Benvolio talks of how Romeo did not initiate the fight, “manage of this fatal brawl.” Mercutio is portrayed as “brave” in an effort to ‘win the prince over’ as Mercutio is a relation of the prince. The opening of the play prepares us for the drama in Act 3, scene 1 in many ways. Shakespeare uses many different techniques to influence the audience, predict the future and provide unexpected twists in the plot. There is a lot of dramatic irony, imagery, poetic language and also changes of context.
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