preview

Act One of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Act One of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare The play Romeo and Juliet is set in "fair Verona" in Italy. Shakespeare based his play on a poem by Brooke and brought it to the theatres in 1595. Although the play is set in Italy many things mentioned could be found in Elizabethan England, for example the Capulet's party. This suggests to me that Shakespeare had little knowledge of Italian life and culture. The play also highlights the position of women in Elizabethan times. At the beginning of Act One we are introduced to Sampson and Gregory who are servants of the Capulet's and they are in the market place of Verona. They are messing around joking to each other and in the process puns are used such as collier, choler and collar. In the time this play was shown, this would have being considered very funny to the audience. Sampson and Gregory start to mock the Montague's by biting their thumb, which was considered very rude then. This causes a fight to break out and this shows us that the rivalry and hatred between the Montague and Capulet's also continues at all social levels as well. This introduces us to the fighting that goes on between the two families. We are introduced to Romeo and discover he is in love with a girl called Rosaline. He gate crashes a Capulet party and meets Juliet, the daughter of the Capulet's; he says he has never loved until he meets her which is ironic because before this he was saying how he loved Rosaline. At this party Tybalt sees Romeo and swears revenge at a later stage by saying: "Patience perforce, with wilful choler meeting, makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting: I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall". He says this, as he isn't allowed to cause any trouble at the party. This later leads to Mercutio's death and Romeo's exile. There is no sub plot because Shakespeare wants all the attention
Get Access