The Dramatic Effectiveness of Act III Scene I of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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The Dramatic Effectiveness of Act III Scene I of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

In this climatic central scene of the play Tybalt kills Mercutio (a

close friend to Romeo.) Romeo kills Tybalt (his cousin in-law.) and is

banished forever from Verona (where his wife- Juliet lives.).

The audience are aware that Romeo and Juliet had fallen in love at the

Capulet ball and have been married by the Friar Lawrence in the

previous scene. The friar wanted to unite the two families and he sees

this marriage as a way to end the "ancient grudge". "For this alliance

may so happy prove, to turn your households' rancour to pure love."

The audience are also aware that Tybalt had issued a challenge to

Romeo, unknown to Romeo, because he hadn't returned home after the

ball. Tybalt, a Capulet, had seen Romeo at the feast and vowed to take

revenge at this insult to his family pride.

Mercutio and Benvolio fear for Romeo's life because he is no match for

Tybalt, an experienced swordsman.

Shakespeare sets III i, in a public place. He establishes at the start

of the scene that "The day is hot, the capels are abroad."

Mercutio is in an argumentative mood and irritable because of the

heat. He makes accusations that are apparent nonsense, that Benvolio

is a troublemaker. "Thou art like one of these fellows that when he

enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table."

We know that this isn't true as Benvolio is a peacemaker.

"I do but keep the peace."

Mercuito is looking for a fight. Benvolio states "For these hot days,

is the mad blood stirring."

Tybalt enters accompanied by other Capulets; he is looking for a "bo...

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series of events that shatter the happiness.

Romeo is drawn into the fight much against his will. His marriage to

Juliet has, in fact started the reconciliation process between the two

families. But a far more basic instinct, the desire of a man to avoid

being thought a coward prevails and Romeo is driven to fight Tybalt.

I prefer Zefferelli's interpretation rather than Shakespeare's as it

contains more space to run about and there is more action.

Shakespeare's play was limited to a theatre stage; Zefferelli's film

moves through Verona's streets.

In conclusion, the deaths the two of the main characters have a great

impact on the rest of the story. Romeo is banished and Juliet's

parents decide that her wedding with Paris should be arranged as soon

as possible. This makes the play more effective and dramatic.
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