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Discuss the importance and dramatic significance of Act 1 scene 5 in Romeo and Juliet Essay

In Act 1 scene 5 there us a significance that is not in any other scene because it is where the two main characters meet and fall in love. It is also important because it is where the tragedy is set up to happen.In the opening of Act 1 scene 5 the atmosphere is busy, as the servants get ready for the Capulet ball saying:”Away with the john stools, remove the court cupboard, look to the plate. Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane, and as tho loves me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone and Nell.This is in contrast to the ending of the last scene where instead of the busy and happy atmosphere the audience would have been feeling a scene of foreboding from Romeo’s premonition of his death.As Romeo enters the Capulet’s party, Capulet welcomes his guests and bids them to dance, teasing the women that if they do not, he will proclaim that they have corns. This speech that Capulet gives has significance because it shows more of Lord Capulet’s personality. Also it highlights the differences between the old and the young. He does references to the comparison between the sedateness of age and the energy of youths. Capulet also refers to when he was young when he says:”That I could wear a visor and could tell a whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear, such as would please; ’tis gone, ’tis gone, ’tis gone.”This refers to the overall meaning of the play giving images of all the normal things in life.The reason for Romeo wanting to go to Capulet’s party was so that he could see his “love” Rosaline. However once he sees Juliet he falls instantly in love with her and forgets the unattainable Rosaline. When Romeo first sees Juliet he uses imagery such as,”O doth teach the torches to burn bright” meaning that she is the only light in the room. Before that Romeo’s character showed that he enjoyed being sad, being heartsick; he thinks he is being serious but it is only when he experiences true love that he realises how mistaken he has been to date. He used conventional flowery courtly language, which wraps his sentiments up in so many words it can be difficult to work out what he really means when speaking of Rosaline, however now Romeo is speaking plainly, we know exactly what he means and have no difficulty is understanding exactly what his true emotions are since Romeo is speaking from his heart. But also when Romeo first talks about Juliet he also again gives the audience a sense of foreboding saying:”The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand, and touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.”This beautiful, peaceful poetry, which Romeo uses to express his immediate love for Juliet, is in contrast to the short angry outbursts of Tybalt. Tybalt’s short sentences and anger reveal a pent up frustration, which makes the audience feel anxiety for Romeo. Tybalt reacts like this because he believes Romeo to be there to,”A villain that is hither come in spite, to scorn at out solemnity this night”Lord Capulet, however when he realises that the stranger in his house is Romeo, a Montague, he does not let Tybalt make a fuss and spoil the evening. In his speeches, he is making polite small talk with his guests and at the same time turning aside and speaking quietly to Tybalt telling him to mind his own business, he does not want a fuss made in front of his guests.Tybalt is a very different character, fiery and quarrelsome, ready to fight at the least opportunity, ‘I’ll not endure him,’ and is only just restrained by Capulet from challenging Romeo to a fight. It is obvious that his character is like this in the rest of the play. Tybalt’s outburst also links to the reason why act 1 scene 5 is important. If Tybalt had not found out Romeo was at the party then most of the rest of the play would not of come out the way it did.The first time the two main characters meet; Shakespeare has their words in a sonnet. He does this to show how much Romeo and Juliet are in tune with each other. He also uses Religious images to show this such as:”For saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers kiss” Shakespeare is trying to show here how serious Romeo and Juliet are as well as how compatible they are. Also this relates to the historical context of the play since in Shakespeare times a 14-line sonnet was popular.Juliet’s responses to Romeo’s words in the sonnet are mostly religious images. At the beginning of the play, Juliet seems quite innocent and unaware of love. When her mother first brings up the subject of marriage, she says meekly, ‘It is an honour that I dream not of.’ However, when she falls in love with Romeo, she is willing to risk everything – including her life – to be with him, although she is afraid to take the sleeping draught. She imagines waking in the tomb surrounded by the bodies of the dead, but she is still prepared to go ahead with the plan.When the lovers share their first kiss, the audience knowing the dramatic irony at this point must feel a sense of horror knowing what may become of them through the characters foreboding.Before Romeo and Juliet find out who each other are, the audience would have had a sense of dramatic irony. When Romeo finds out Juliet’s identity, Shakespeare tries to make the audience feel suspense since Juliet was yet to know. This is especially true when Juliet is asking her nurse what Romeo’s name is and the nurse keeps getting it wrong. Even before Juliet finds out, she gives the audience a sense of foreboding where she also sees her own death saying,”My grave is likely to be my wedding bed.”Two videos gave 2 different ways of directing the play Romeo and Juliet. One was done by Baz Luhrman in 1996, and the other by Franco Zeffirelli in 1968. Zeffirelli gave a Shakespearian version of Romeo and Juliet with the costumes and setting and Music. However Luhrman did a modern version. Both versions picked out costumes for the characters to suit their personality in the play. For example in Luhrman’s version Juliet is dressed as an angel to show her purity, furthermore in Zeffirelli’s version Juliet was dress in a long red dress, which could show Juliet to symbolise love. I think the best version were the Luhrmans version. This is because I think the costumes in this version were more effective and meaningful than in Zeffirelli’s version for example, Tybalt’s costume was a devil, this was probably to show his angry character. Also Lord Capulet was dressed as a Roman leader, this may be because of Capulet’s desire to get his own way.In conclusion act 1 is important because it is where the two main characters meet fall in love and sets up the tragedy. As it said in the last scene with Romeo’s foreboding. And also during the scene, where Juliet also has a foreboding. Also in this scene there is a key point where Tybalt say he wants revenge. If he hadn’t of been set on revenge because of Romeo’s intrusion, then the rest of the play would not of happened the way it did.

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