How Shakespeare Creates Dramatic Tension in Act 3 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

How Shakespeare Creates Dramatic Tension in Act 3 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

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How Shakespeare Creates Dramatic Tension in Act 3 Scene 5 of Romeo
and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most famous love tragedy. In the
midst of a feud between two families a pair of star-crossed lovers lay
their lives. Tragically from the opening of this scene it appears that
from the outset of the drama the adoring love between Romeo and Juliet
is destined for bad things. This scene is one of the most crucial and
dramatic scenes in the play because it outlines the tension and pain
caused by the disputing families as they get to the peak of their
troubles. This scene explores every emotion that a human can feel,
from ecstatic happiness to the deepest anger which is why it’s so
vital to the play. In this scene at dawn after saying goodbye Romeo
leaves Juliet’s bedroom, the nurse warns Juliet that her mother is
looking for her and Juliet is abhorred to this news that she will
marry Paris which is to her father’s grief.

This scene is the last were we see both Romeo and Juliet alive at the
same time which is one of the reasons why it is so tragic. At the end
of Romeo and Juliet’s passionate night together they are now
emotionally and legally together. In the first paragraph as Romeo is
in danger of being killed and must go the atmosphere is darkened and
there is sorrow because Romeo must part this is in contrast with the
happy and contented mood Romeo and Juliet were in before because of
their consummated marriage. Juliet believes that the bird they are
hearing is a nightingale so its still night time which means Romeo
doesn’t have to go. This scene is dramatic for the audience because
the scene is in a small room for a short amount of time and it’s
intimate between the two characters. The quote “Nights candles are
burnt out” is symbolic as it says Romeo and Juliet’s love will burn
out, it symbolises passion at an end. Romeo is sure that the bird they
are hearing is the lark so he fears that day break is hear, the

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audience are drawn into the play at this point because they are with
Juliet not only because they want her to be right that it is still
night but because through out the whole story she has played the voice
of reason. In this part of the play the romance and intimacy has gone
as very colloquial language is used and when Romeo is faced with the
choice stay and die or go and live the tragedy gains momentum. It is
dramatic for the audience when Romeo says “I must be gone and live or
stay and die” because he usually acts on impulse and would stay but he
knows that if he goes to Mantua he will live. There is high dramatic
tension as the audience are drawn into intimacy because at any moment
Romeo could die, as an audience we are very much on edge. There is an
ironic role of reversal as the traditional symbolism of light is
changed, here it means end, danger and unsafe. The immaturity of Romeo
is shown when he puts his time spent with Juliet before his life; this
is stupid because they will never be together again if he dies, this
tells us that Romeo has very irrational romantic tendencies.

There is a sudden mood change as the audience with Juliet feel that it
is day and Romeo must go. The punctuation gives you a sense of fear,
panic and tension as the speech is disjointed and interspersed with
frequent pauses, this reveals Juliet’s anxiety. The letter ‘o’ is use
many times in this scene of the play, it helps the audience to feel
the distress fear of the characters. At this point in the play the
audience still believe Juliet because she has always been the rational
and sensible one, Romeo tends to act rashly not thinking things
through for example in the killing of Tibolt. When the line reads
“This doth not doth not so, for she divideth us” there is word play on
division this says about the separation of the lovers, and it shows
Juliet’s wit even in times of dread and fear. The time is now morning,
there is also a play on the word morning because it contains the word
morn and there will be a lot of morning after their deaths. There is
symbolism as the larks voice is like a hunter pursuing Romeo-The
closer it gets the more in danger he is but Romeo is relentless and
doesn’t stop. Romeo echoes Juliet’s words and its sets a negative
fearful and gloomy tone for the audience. The contrast between light
and dark has a dramatic effect because as it gets lighter Romeo and
Juliet feel darker as Romeo is in danger. Supporting Juliet the nurse
acts as a messenger as she warns her of her mother’s arrival. The
audience are dramatically pulled in as they want to know whether Lady
Capulet will find out that Juliet was with Romeo.
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