The following sample essay on “Romeo and Juliet” tells Why is Act I scene V of Romeo and Juliet an effective piece of drama. The theme of the drama and the development of the plot do not go unnoticed.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is about Romeo from the Montague family and Juliet from the Capulet family who meet and fall in love. But the problem is, their families are feuding. They tragically die because of their love for each other and then their families make up.
I will be analysing Act I scene V of Romeo and Juliet and showing how it is an effective piece of drama, by showing the Dramatic effects, the Themes, and the Plot Development.
In Shakespeare’s time, the audience was live, and there were no special effects in places like the Globe theatre (Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed there), so the actors (or ‘players’) had to work hard in portraying their characters and scenes.
Dramatic effects that could be created were through changes of mood and pace from section to section, and the behaviour of actors, with the emphasis of words, gesture, and movement.
In Romeo And Juliet, Dramatic irony was used a lot, as the audience know that the end is tragic because of the prologue, but the characters do not know.The characters speech in Act 1 scene 5 shows the contrast of characters; with those who speak in prose are lowborn, servants, and those who speak in blank verse or rhyme are noble, higher, main characters.
For example, “Where’s Potpan, that he helps not to take away? He shift a trencher! He scrape a trencher!” In comparison, Tybalt speaks in rhyme; “Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, To strike him dead I hold it not a sin” The only exception would be a comedic character speaking in prose, but this does not apply in this scene.
The use of contrast and similarity between the old and young, aggressive and sensitive, and noble and lowborn reveals their characters in more depth.There are three main themes included in this play. One theme is Hatred. In Act I Scene V this includes the anger of Capulet towards Tybalt when Tybalt tells Capulet of Romeo at the party. “He shall be endur’d. What, Goodman boy! I say he shall. Go to.” He uses short, snappy sentences, imperatives, to show his anger towards Tybalt. Tybalt shows hatred towards Romeo, as shown here; “Fetch me my rapier, boy. What, dares the slave Come hither, cover’d with an antic face, To flee and scorn at our solemnity?” Tybalt uses sibilance so he sounds spiteful.
Tybalt has thoughts of revenge towards Romeo, and says, “I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall.” The hatred shown here affects the rest of the play because without this hatred, later in the play, Romeo would have not killed Tybalt, not got sent to Mantua, and the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet’s death would have not happened.The theme of Love is portrayed when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time. “O, She doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night” He uses rhyming couplets and portrays Juliet as light, and beautiful compared to everything else.
When Romeo and Juliet speak to each other for the first time, they are speaking in a sonnet, mirroring each other’s words. They are literally in a world of their own, as they are separate from all the other characters on stage, and the audience is focused on them, even though there is still a party in the background. Romeo and Juliet are having the same amount of lines and important words, such as ‘hands’ or ‘lips’, which shows their mutual feeling, and their true and pure love is shown by their sensitive behaviour and their speaking of hands and lips.
To some this may seem flirtatious, but there is religious imagery included, such as; “And palm to palm is holy palmers kiss.” Juliet is speaking here of the pilgrims that touch the hands of the saint’s statues in church, and how significant they are, relating them to a kiss. She is literally telling Romeo that he may either touch her hand or kiss her, which makes their love for each other more pure and innocent.The last theme is Fate. Romeo seems to hint a foreboding sense of unease; “Ay, so I fear, to more is my unrest.” And Juliet speaks of love and death; “My grave is like to be my wedding bed.”
These are premonitions, as what they speak of actually happens later in the play. They also show dramatic irony, as the audience already know what will happen in the end from the prologue.The plot shows cultural traditions and setting of the time, with the family honour of the people of Verona. Tybalt is insulted by Romeo’s presence at the party, and is honourable to his family. “Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe; A villain, that is hither come in spite, To scorn at our solemnity this night” his aggression shows that he is an violent and reckless character.At Capulet’s party, they are to introduce Juliet to Paris, but Juliet does not fall in love with Paris, but with Romeo instead.
The party also shows that Capulet has a large house with many servants and a large, full table of food and drink available for anyone who would like to take advantage of this. “Come, lets away, the strangers are all gone.” This tells us that he would invite strangers into his house so they would enjoy themselves. This shows his status as quite high for that time, because people of that time were known for their kindness and generosity.
The development of the plot shows the characters relationships and motivations grow. More action is introduced, and the audience become tense from the storyline. This scene is very significant towards the rest of the play, and is a significant piece of drama in that way, as the whole production of Romeo and Juliet is a very significant piece of drama itself.