Analysis of the First Scene of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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Analysis of the First Scene of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare is a famous play writer from the 1500’s. Most of

his plays were tragedies and usually involved rich, lucky, powerful

characters full of prosperity at the start and usually included a

hero. By the end of the plays the hero would have made an act of

courage and love and the characters who were rich and powerful had

usually had a downfall. Although Shakespeare had his plays preformed

in many different venues, nearly all of Shakespeare’s plays were

performed in the Globe which was a theatre in London. As many of the

guests were standing, usually the poorer less educated people referred

to as the groundlings, Shakespeare had to make sure his plays were

interesting and drew people in right from the start.

The first scene of any play is extremely important and the

Shakespearian tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is no different. As in any

first scene, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ plays across many different story

lines and characters to the audience thus keeping them engaged and

interested. It creates tension and lost of action and by the end of

the scene there are many unanswered questions. It also includes

amusement for the groundlings.

The groundlings usually needed humour to keep them thoroughly


The first scene of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ introduces humour when two

Capulet servants are stood talking. ‘’Ay the heads of the maidens or

the maidens heads take it in what sense you wilt.’’ This is a play on

words, a double entendre, as the more educated audience would hear the

literal sense, to cu...

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... passing fair, what doth her

beauty serve as but a note…”. However later on in the play when Romeo

first lays eyes on Juliet he falls straight in love with her. This

helps add to the audiences understanding of Romeos rush commitment to

Juliet and how perhaps they went into things to fast.

Overall Shakespeare’s first scene has a lot for the audience to take

in, work on and think about. This help immensely towards keeping the

audiences attention. With so many plots and characters the audience

can’t look away without later on not understanding something. Perhaps

this is part of the reason why Shakespeare makes his first scenes so

important. Introducing almost every character in the play, including

fighting scenes and important speeches and also some humour helps keep

the vast variety of audience amused and entertained.