Shakespeare use’s violence and conflict in Act 3 Scene 1 of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, to make the play appeal to an audience by The plot of the play is explained during a short prologue, he gives hints to the audience, in the prologue, to telling them of some of the key themes he is involving in the play. By writing lines like, “from ancient grudge break new to mutiny” and “a pair of star cross’d lovers take their life”, it entices the audience into wanting to find out the details behind the basic plot. It allures the audience by explaining that the parts of the play they love, will be very involved in the many of the scenes to come.

The former of the quotes, explains that there will be violence and fighting ahead, and the latter, that the play is a tragedy as it foresees the love of a doomed couple. It warns them of their inevitable death. A Shakespearian tragedy is a five act play that ends in the death of most of the major characters which could have been prevented. The play fits into this explanation, because entails the events of the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Start with the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio. Mercutio died defending Romeo because he would not fight.

Tybalt died because Romeo became overthrown with grief and anger at the death of his best friend, that he killed him in an out burst and a deserved fit of hysterical emotions causing him to attack Tybalt as a slightly insane moment of weakness. Both deaths could have been prevented if Romeo had just told Tybalt why he would not fight. Therefore, Mercutio would not need to have fought Tybalt, lost, and then have his death avenged, by Romeo, in an ugly rage. There are many themes to the play, one of the key themes are hate, conflict and violence. The very themes involved in the key scene.

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The play itself is about an ongoing war of two families. A new fight begins between the rivals and our story starts from there. There is chaos and uproar around and in all of the characters lives. There is fate and love and romance mixed in between all the awful scenes of war, violence and hate that the audience seem to adore so much. They are also some of the main themes involved in the play. The families end up putting the past behind them and starting fresh due to the love and the bond of Romeo and Juliet, although not until the pair killed themselves because they could not be together.

In Shakespearian times they strongly believed in fate and destiny, “star cross’d lovers… ” makes the play seem much more believable, because an audience of that time would hold the belief that they don’t control what happens to them, they believe that it is practically written in the stars, so that they, and them alone, would be the only ones to know what was to come for anyone. Shakespeare creates mood and atmosphere through out Benvolio’s speech. During the start of Act 3 Scene 1 they play on Benvolio’s feelings of violence, this is shown in many of his lines, like, “For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring”.

This particular line starts off by setting the scene, it’s hot, warm weather is known to add tension in already tense moments and situations, it gets you hot and bothered, and it irritates you when in the wrong mood. The second half of the line insinuates that he is anxious over crossing paths with the wrong type of people; the Capulet’s to be more specific. He is worried of the outcomes if they should meet. The characters are all at each others throats in this particular part of the play and he knows that they are just waiting for one or the other to strike, and for now they are just in alert wait.

The scene has very big contrasts with the one prior to it. Act 3 Scene 1 is busting with bloody fights, cold blooded and hot blooded murder, revenge, avengement and death. Act 2 Scene 6 on the other hand, is all about love and marriage, romance and bonds, bringing people together and making special commitments with someone you deeply care for and cherish. It’s one of the main love scene’s of the tragedy. Unlike the scene that is to come, there isn’t a even a hint that anything could go wrong after a moment like this, no fighting, no hate, and definitely nothing even remotely close to the likes of death.

Not when this slow, heartfelt, loving, romantic gesture and ceremony is going on, it’s like they might as well be living in an air tight bubble, practically separate from the rest of the world. The scene fits in with the play as a whole because of the key themes used and carried out throughout the entire scene, from fate to violence. Take the mid-section of the scene for instance, when they do fight, Mercutio dies and in a fit of rage Tybalt is killed also. This all fits in with play’s themes and follows suit in the form of conflict, violence and eventually death.

Lines like, “You will find me apt enough to that, sir, and you will give me occasion” show the everlasting threats and taunts of conflict going on to build the scene. The first half of the scene is a build up, its there to help transition to the action and events to come a little later in the scene. This so happens to be the deaths of two main characters, which slots the scene in perfectly with the tragedy theme of the play. Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony adds to the suspense for an audience.

Like the line in Act 3 Scene 1, “Villain I am none, therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not. ” It creates suspense because he refuses Tybalt’s offer to fight. This being an unusual response to Tybalt’s comment causes Tybalt to pause before reacting. There is tension in the audience because they known of the reasons as to why he reacts as he does. There is irony because the audience know that if the characters knew of the reasons, like the audience do, as to why he backs down and will not fight, there would be no conflict or battle needed and they would all be living, not dead.

The use of Shakespeare’s poetic and figurative language is helpful alongside the use of punctuation to help create the setting and atmosphere of Mercutio’s death. In a simple two lines, “Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch, marry, ’tis enough. Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon. ” there are large amounts of punctuation and stops in speech. This is used to show that he is struggling to get each word out and suffering from a shortness of breath, meaning he has to keep stopping every few seconds or so to regain any remaining strength he can muster to keep talking.

The plot development adds to the tension of the play by contrasting the scenes and giving the audience false hope that leaves them wondering about the characters, thus making them emotionally attached enough to the characters to become curious as to their future. He starts by ending the last act with a romantic scene between to two lovers. This gives the audience hope of a good ending after all. It makes them believe that things could in fact take a turn for the good instead of for the bad. He makes the scene solely based on the true love expressed between the blinded couple.

The next scene contrasts with the former scene because it is based on a different key theme, violence and hate. Act 3 scene 1 is all about conflict between the two families and the violent deaths it leads to. Where the broken, crooked and deceitful bond between the families, which had just recently, and unknowingly, been rectified. This partnership had been made to bring the families together, and not long after it breaks them apart. The modern version of the film that we studied was the updated film version starring Leonardo Dicaprio as Romeo and Claire Danes as Juliet.

There were many differences in the scene, but they kept the language used in the script the same. The use of guns instead of swords was an interesting factor of the film. Scene’s like Act 3 Scene 1, there is no way you can get around just using the name sword as the make of the gun, to keep to the original script and also the original plot of the film, so they use clever substitutes, like using glass to strike Mercutio instead of using their updated weapons. This creates a version of the play that still focuses on the main themes, like conflict and violence, and portrays them in the same way as originally planned.

Violence and conflict are central and important to this dramatic scene because it fits in with tragedy theme. As mentioned earlier, a tragedy is a play that ends in the death of most of the major characters. This scene is important to the play as a whole because without all the happenings of this scene, the play would neither work nor be the great piece of literature we know today. The fighting and the murder, accidental or not, preventable or not, makes the play the devastating tragedy about love, fate, conflict and hate that is ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

The scene might appeal to a Shakespearian audience because of the entertaining elements to the play. A typical audience would throw rotting vegetables at a play they found boring. So the writers had to keep them entertained, however possible. All the fighting and deaths would appeal to them because they would often get riled up due to the anticipation of the fights, they would jostle and shout aid to their favouring characters and they would not be disappointed because of a lack of plot and events.

The effect on the audience at the end of the scene, because of the prince’s speech, is that they get confused of the future of Romeo and Juliet. They are confused because it means that Romeo and Juliet’s marriage means nothing now because they can’t be together. The romantic, loving and beautiful scene that lay before the prior apparently doesn’t matter now because Romeo is banished, and all is lost for their untainted and unconsummated marriage. Act 3 Scene 1, is a very important scene to the play, it shows many things about love and war, death and hate.

Romeo acts completely out of charter when he dismisses the abuse put to him by Tybalt because of his love for Juliet, but he strikes against that when he proceeds, in a fit of rage, to kill him only moments later because of the grief brought on after Mercutio’s death. The both deaths could have been prevented if Romeo had just confessed the reasons he gave Tybalt for not reacting, his love for, and ultimately his marriage to, Juliet a former Capulet. This scene shows the devastating truth and irony about love, life and all the little things in between. This scene is emotion at its highest and best.


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