How is Act 3, Scene 1 of “Romeo and Juliet” Essay
Act 3, Scene 1 is an important scene in the play “Romeo and Juliet” as it causes a change in the direction of the play. It is called the turning point as everything in the play starts to go wrong, and not how Romeo and Juliet had planned. Everything before this point has gone to plan but one simple mistake changes everything. In Act 1 the capulets have a party which Romeo attends, but with completely innocent intensions. However when he was there he was spotted by Tybalt (a Capulet).He wants to take revenge on him but he is told to calm down and leave it else he will ruin the whole party. So Tybalt leaves the party wanting revenge On Romeo. After Tybalt has left the party Romeo meets Juliet and they fall in love. Before they find out that the other is from their Rival family by this point it is too late. Then in Act 2 Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence in secret. They believed that they could keep the marriage a secret and then tell their families in the future hopefully bringing the two families together. However this does not go to plan; this is why the next Act, Act 3 is the turning point of the play.In Act 3, scene 1 Benvolio and Mercutio both members of the family, Montague, meet Tybalt, a Capulet, who attempts to provoke Romeo into fighting him. Mercutio is angered by this and so, fights Tybalt and as a result is killed. Romeo, seeking revenge then kills Tybalt. As punishment The Prince of Verona banishes Romeo from the town threatening to kill him if he came back. Juliet finds out that Romeo killed Tybalt and despite being torn between her loyalty for her family and Romeo, mourns her husband Romeo’s banishment.This then destroys the plans for Romeo and Juliet’s happy ending, as she cannot be with her husband, as she doesn’t think they will see each other again. She is then told that she is going to marry Paris, but tries to fight her father’s will and prevent the marriage. If she fails to dissuade him then she will commit suicide. Romeo and Juliet weren’t destined to fate by there own fatal flaw. You can’t really judge Romeo or Juliet because it would have been a very human reaction to kill someone who kills a friend of yours. So they were destined by fate but not by the fatal flaw of their character.In lines 1-33 of Act 3, Scene 1 the tension starts to be created with a conversation between two Montagues Mercutio and Benvolio. Benvolio makes out that if they meet a Capulet he is sure that there will be another fight.”I Pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire: The day is hot, the Capels are abroad, And if we meet we shall not scape a brawl, For now, these hot days, is the made blood stirring.”He says that they wont escape a brawl between the Capulets and that blood will be shed from them. Mercutio laughs at him and makes jokes. Mercutio wants to fight Tybalt from the Capulets. Mercutio thinks that Tybalt plays by the book when it comes to fighting and that’s why he is so good, but Mercutio wants to prove him wrong. The audience will probably take Benvolio very seriously as he is trying very hard to stop any fight that could happen. In the very first scene the Audience would have seen a fight and how bad it was. This helps to show why Benvolio doesn’t want another fight. The audience learns that Benvolio is trying to be a friend to Mercutio by telling him not to fight and in affect is a cool-blooded man.”We talk here in the public haunt of men: Either withdraw unto some private place, Or reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart; here all eyes gaze on us.”This shows that he is cool-blooded but we know that Benvolio is cool-blooded because he is always trying to stop a potential fight from happening. This could also show the audience that he is patient.”By my heel. I care not.”Mercutio says this to Benvolio because he wants to fight Tybalt, but the audience couldn’t really have taken what he was saying seriously as he was constantly trying to crack jokes about everything, The audience would have learnt that he likes to joke from Act 1, Scene 4 where he tries everything he can to try and cheer Romeo up (Romeo was sad about a girl called Rosaline that he liked.) Then a little later on Mercutio is fooling around with Benvolio. He mocks Romeo of his love for Rosaline.”If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Now will he sit under a medlar tree, And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit.”Mercutio used sexual innuendo to try and mock him. Today’s audience may like this and find that sexual innuendo would make the play better, When in Shakespeare this was looked upon quite badly, that’s why this character stands out so much for his joking.Mercutio is mocking Benvolio telling him that he is a quick-quarreller. Mercutio clearly makes out that he wants to fight Tybalt.Then Tybalt enters, this adds tension to the play even more as the audience are not sure what is going to happen next, because Mercutio wants to fight Tybalt but Tybalt doesn’t know this.”By my head, here comes the Capulets.”Benvolio says this in panic, which adds tension to the play. Although Tybalt doesn’t know that Mercutio wants to fight, he wouldn’t not fight as the audience learns earlier in the play that he is a hot-blooded man and is hateful towards all Montagues. The audience learns this in Act 1, Scene 1,”What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward.”Benvolio warns them of what the prince said about brawling in the streets, the prince said that anymore fighting would be on pain of death. Tybalt may have had to think about this, but the audience probably thought that Mercutio didn’t care as he was related to the prince and may be able to get away with it.When Romeo enters it adds more Tension because Tybalt is about to fight when he realises that his main enemy has just walked in (Romeo.)”Well peace be with you, sir, here comes my man.”Tybalt tells this to Mercutio because he wants to fight Romeo even though he hates Mercutio as well. The audience becomes tense as they don’t know who will fight, they probably don’t think it matters if Tybalt and Mercutio fight because this doesn’t affect Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo fights then it could affectively change the whole plan for Romeo and Juliet as neither Mercutio, Benvolio or Tybalt know that Romeo has married Juliet. When Tybalt challenges Romeo to a fight the Audiences understand why Tybalt is challenging him, but the other characters do not. Romeo obviously does not want to fight him, as he is now apart of his family,”Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee Doth much excuse the appertaining rage To such a greeting. Villain am I none; Therefore farewell, I see thoust Knowest me not.”Mercutio reacts by drawing his sword on Tybalt instead. He shows that he is angry, with what he says,”O calm, Dishonourable, Vile submission!”When they are fighting Romeo grabs Mercutio to stop him fighting and Tybalt stabs him with his sword, this adds a lot of tension because the audience don’t have a clue whether its serious or not. The audience have to keep guessing whether he is hurt and whether it’s bad or not. But Shakespeare lets the audience know that he is hurt when he says,”I am hurt. A plague a ‘both houses! I am sped. Is he gone and hath nothing?”He also says,”‘Tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door, but ’tis enough, ’twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.”He curses the Capulets, but he also curses Romeo, this is why he says “on both houses” as he thinks it is Romeo’s fault that he was killed. When Mercutio says that he will be dead by tomorrow the audience find out that he has got to be hurt. The tension does drop at the end of the fight but then they want to know what happens next so the tension is still quite high. Benvolio drags Mercutio away and then runs back and says that he is dead. At this point the audience probably want to know the reason for Tybalt killing Mercutio, but his motivation probably came from the fact that Mercutio was a friend of Romeo, or because he was mocking him for how he fights,”Oh Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio is dead.”Romeo is very angry as Tybalt just killed a member of his family. The audience want to know whether he does anything of not as it could affect his marriage with Romeo. Then Suddenly Romeo Draws his sword to fight Tybalt, but Tybalt runs, After Romeo catches him he kills him and then the audience want to know what will happen to him. Romeo realises what he has done and is very sad,”O, I am fortune’s fool.”If Romeo had been cool-minded enough he wouldn’t have killed Tybalt but he reacts harshly to Mercutio’s death because of the blame that Mercutio gave him,”Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.”After Romeo killed Tybalt he is taken away by an officer who takes him to the prince. Shakespeare keeps the audience tense by keeping the princes verdict until the very end of the scene. When the Prince is speaking he takes along time over what he has to say and there are a lot of interruptions from others like Lady Capulet in defence of Tybalt. Then the prince finally decides that Romeo should be banished from Verona and that if he is ever to return then he will be killed. I think the Prince’s verdict is very important because if he chose to kill Romeo then the story would end, but because he doesn’t have him killed the audience are hanging on to see if Romeo and Juliet will see it through. The funny thing is that the audience already know that Romeo and Juliet both end up dieing in the end as they are told in the prologue. The reason that the prince decides not to kill him there is because he killed a murderer,”And for that offence immediately we do exile him hence. Let Romeo hence in haste, else, when he is found, that hour is his last. Bear hence this body, attend our will: Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill.”This quote can be misunderstood as the word “when” in Shakespeare’s day often meant “if” in our day, so this quote doesn’t meant that they are looking for him, it means that if they ever see him again The prince will have him killed.When the audience have found out that Romeo has been banished they want to know whether or not they will spend there wedding night together, because in Shakespeare’s day the wedding night was a sign of marriage.At this point Juliet finds out what Romeo has done. She doesn’t know what to think but eventually decides that if Romeo hadn’t have killed Tybalt then he would have killed Romeo so she decides that Romeo had to kill Tybalt. The tension in this scene of the play constantly goes up, but when they fight the tension drops. The audience is probably most tense when Romeo kills Tybalt, as they know that it has potentially ruined a happy ending for Romeo and Juliet.Shakespeare manages to maintain tension throughout the scene by making everything happen not as the audience had expected and making everything not so obvious so that when it comes to something happening that they didn’t expect, the audience becomes very tense. To conclude I think that Shakespeare manages to create and maintain tension very well throughout the whole scene keeping the audience very tense and on the edge of there seats. The fact that the scene is very long it means that it is harder for Shakespeare to keep tension at a high level all the way through this is why at several points he does keep the tension low but manages to maintain it.