Act 3 Scene 1 as a Turning Point in the Play of Romeo and Juliet

Act 3 Scene 1 as a Turning Point in the Play of Romeo and Juliet
The tragicall history of Romeus and Juliet was the name of the narrative poem written two years before Shakespeare was born upon which he based the play ?Romeo and Juliet?. The poem was written by Arthur Brooke and published in 1562. It was translated from Italian prose by Bandello in 1554. A popular story in Shakespeare?s times would be about two opposing families and these types of stories were mostly popular in France and Italy. Protestant and Catholics were in conflict from the basis of religious unrest when the play was written. There was also political unrest in Shakespeare?s times and there were many different people competing for power. He was famous for building the famous Globe theatre, which is still standing. Shakespeare was also the lead figure of a group of actors called the Lord Chamberlains men and later went on to become a famous play write. When Shakespeare was writing Romeo and Juliet, most people believed that the sun went round the earth. They were taught that this was a divinely ordered scheme of things, and that in England God had instituted a Church and ordained a Monarchy for the right government of the land and the populace.At the time, England was a Christian country. All children were baptized, soon after they were born, into the Church of England; they were taught the essentials of the Christian faith, and instructed in their duty to God and to humankind. Marriages were performed, and funerals conducted, only by the licensed clergy and in accordance with the Church?s rites and ceremonies. The prologue of the play has taken a form of a sonnet. The audience already know what the story is about. The prologue tells the audience that in the play love is a victim of violence and that Romeo and Juliet die. Up to the opening of Act 3:Scene 1 the emphasis has been on love. Benvolio seems like a peacemaker all the way through the play and his name also means good will. His behaviour is consistent. He wants to keep the peace and he also sees a threat to the peace, the threat being Tybalt. Mercutio is excitable and fun loving. He also likes to play around with his words quite a lot. Tybalt is out for Romeo?s blood because Romeo undermined him. The audience has already anticipated a fight as soon as he enters on stage. He repeats the words villain several times to Romeo "Romeo line 59". The word villain was an extreme offence back in Shakespeare?s days. In lines 112 ? 120 Shakespeare uses the language of revenge tragedy. He does this to add more action into the scene. Some people argue that line 115 is the point in the play where the tragedy really begins ?This day?s black fate on moe days doth depend?. In line 125 Shakespeare refers to revenge code, which governed the relationship of the Montagues and Capulet?s. A reference for this is the prologue where it states, ?star crossed lovers? in line 132. The scene has a theme of fortune and fate. This marks back to Act 1:Scene 4, when Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time at the banquet. Shakespeare?s audience used to believe in fate and that your life was planned out for you. According to the Romeo and Juliet book fate means ?misadventur?d piteous overthrows? = chance and accident. Romeo is reluctance to fight. This is dramatic irony, as the audience has seen the marriage, and can see Tybalt?s confusion, as they know something that Tybalt does not. Tybalt insults Romeo again: ?Boy,? and uses the party as an excuse to fight: ?Turn and draw.? Romeo?s dilemma causes him a great deal of discomfort during this scene. He does not want to fight Tybalt, Romeo?s dialogue shows this: "And so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied." Romeo tries to sweet-talk Tybalt to diffuse the situation; whilst at the same time insinuates the fact that he loves a Capulet, the irony of the matter is that Romeo is referring to Juliet. This also is linked with Juliet?s speech on the balcony, as regards to their names not stopping their love. "What?s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." (Act 2, Scene 2). She refers to the fact that a rose would smell as sweet whatever word we use for it. This emphasizes how trivial it seems to fight over a name. Romeo now married to a Capulet, now holds this view. This explanation helps to view the scene as a turning point as it reinforces the fact that Romeo and Juliet?s love may be the only thing that can break this age-old feud between the families. Romeo?s reluctance to fight is very apparent. The dramatic irony used by Shakespeare is very effective, as the audience knows two things that the characters do not. Firstly, Romeo is Tybalt?s cousin, as he is married to Juliet, and also, that Tybalt is looking for a fight with Romeo, but as the scene progresses, Tybalt?s dramatic flaw will lead to his own death. In this scene Benvolio tells Mercutio and Tybalt not to fight in public, the effect that this has on the audience is one of trusting Benvolio as they realize something bad will be a result of the fight if it does take place. This shows Benvolio looks out for people and does not want to cause trouble. A surprise for the audience during this scene is that Tybalt, in fact duels with Mercutio, which went against their prior knowledge that Tybalt was out for Romeo. The audience then sees Mercutio insult Tybalt: "Tybalt, you rat catcher, will you walk?" This quote shows Mercutio ridiculing Tybalt?s name, articulating upon the fact that Tybalt?s name has resemblance to that of a cat, only then asking him to fight, an insult to which Tybalt replies: ?What wouldst thou have with me?? Tybalt views Mercutio as a threat but would not like to admit it. As Tybalt is set out to fight Romeo, Tybalt has nothing against Mercutio, other than the fact that Mercutio is a Montague. Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a duel, which he accepts. Shakespeare?s use of language adds tension and dramatic power to this particular scene. For example, when Mercutio challenges Tybalt: "Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out." Shakespeare shows the audience that Mercutio is not scared of Tybalt, this is shown as Mercutio says that Tybalt had better draw his sword quickly otherwise he would cut off Tybalt?s ears before the sword is out. This use of language, which plants fantastic imagery in the audience?s mind helps to build up the tension in the scene. This is another factor, making this scene a turning point in the play. The effect on Romeo is clear and evident. He doesn?t want them to fight and Benvolio is still trying to keep the peace. As the scene draws to a close there is a change from blank verse to rhyming verse in the line 136. This adds drama, ominous tone and seriousness to the tone of the words making a dramatic climax. The seriousness also intensifies as the scene comes to a close. When Benvolio makes his speech at the end it gives images of death "Envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life". Romeo eventually kills Tybalt. Benvolio tells him what happened. The prince decides that Romeo should be exiled. Romeo?s father has a different opinion to the prince. He thinks that Tybalt would have been executed any way for killing Mercutio and Romeo has already done it for them.

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