Foreshadowing In Romeo And Juliet Act 3

Topics: Plays

This sample paper on Foreshadowing In Romeo And Juliet Act 3 offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.

Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play which involves violence and death, but it is also juxtaposed by love, lust, humour and some optimism as well. Juliet is a young girl of thirteen, and is being coerced into a marriage by her mother. Juliet, being an obedient daughter, doesn’t refuse.

However she then meets Romeo, the only son of her family’s enemy: The Montagues’. They fall in love and immediately marry in secret, showing that their relationship is purely on lust and impulsiveness which symbolises the youth in the play. Unfortunately, fate will not let them carry on their lives together in the violent climate of which they live.They both die for each other, bringing both feuding families, the Capulet’s and the Montague’s, together.

Act three scene one, is seen as one of the main climaxes in the play, this is shown by the way Shakespeare uses dramatic techniques to create tension and conflict. He includes puns, dramatic irony, pathetic fallacy and foreshadowing to add to the effect. At the beginning of the scene, Romeo is seen only as a na�ve and poetic lover, and wants only peace with his friends. Tybalt is portrayed as the main man of action throughout the play by using aggressive language and violence. Mercutio, however, is the witty joker and therefore does not take Tybalt’s actions and words seriously, this mistake then costs Mercutio his life and leads to Romeo being banished from Verona.

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From the very beginning of the play, the Prologue states that there will be violence and death: “Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean”. Shakespeare uses oxymoronic language when describing ‘civil hands’ and ‘civil blood’. This tells the audience that people from noble and respectable blood, will make their hands dirty by involving themselves in violence, blood and death with other honourable people. The prologue also tells the audience that everything in the play all depends on fate and the stars, and that the stars will bring people together but tear them apart too: “A pair of star cross’d lovers take their life”. At the time that Shakespeare wrote this, many people believed that the stars controlled their fate and destiny. Telling the audience this oxymoronic line, and in extension the ending of the play, shows that the prologue itself creates a sense of fate, by providing the end and the violence of which will happen throughout the play, especially the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt, and Romeo and Juliet.Love is again juxtaposed in the Prologue: “The fearful passage of their Death mark’d love.” Again Shakespeare uses oxymoronic language to develop tension. ‘Fearful passage’ indicates that people have a dangerous journey to partake in before their lives end. This foreshadows the many deaths and violent fights that will commence between the two families. ‘Death’ is not written as something that happens, it is personified, this makes death seem like a main character in the play, rather than just a theme. It also overrules ‘love’ as it is not personified, and therefore making it seem less important. This foreshadows how death ends love in the play, with the death of Romeo and Juliet. It also foreshadows of how Mercutios’ love of fighting and for defending Romeo, and how Romeos love of Mercutio gets him killed in Act three, scene one.Shakespeare also shows a much darker, violent side to love, as well as love as a perfect ideal: “If love be rough with you/ be rough with love: Prick love for pricking/ and you beat love down”. Mercutio tells Romeo that love is not sweet; it’s bitter and that if love is being cruel in torturing him; he should do the same. This shows how quickly love can go from seeming sweet to becoming violent and bringing hatred. It juxtaposes love and hate which are inextricably linked throughout the play, and also foreshadows how Mercutio dies after Romeos’ wedding, juxtaposing love and hatred again. Shakespeare also makes us sympathise with both Mercutio and Romeo; Romeos effeminate actions and love of Mercutio kills his best friend.Shakespeare also uses repetitive and oxymoronic language to show the dangers of love: “These violent delights have violent ends”. Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that he’s concerned about how deeply in love he seems to be, he tells Romeo that if he acts entirely on impulse, it will end as swiftly as it started: Romeo needs to control his passionate obsession with Juliet, he instructs him to be sensible with love. This also shows a main contrast in the play: that the elder characters are wise and slow, not rushing anything and wanting violence to end. And the younger characters like Romeo and Juliet are impulsive and reckless; getting married only a day after meeting.The feud between the two families is also based on love:”Here’s much to do with hate/but more with love.” This is said after the first fight in Act One scene one, it implies that the Montague’s and Capulet’s fight because of the loyalty and love they have for their houses, which makes them want to defend it against slander, at the time this was called the Elizabethan Code of Honour: this is what causes the violence.Violence is also made inevitable by feuds being unresolved throughout the beginning of the play:”I will withdraw/ but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet/ convert to bitt’rest gall.” In this quote, Tybalt states he will not fight this time, but delaying the fight will only increase the hatred between both houses. It foreshadows the incredibly violent fight in which Tybalt and Mercutio both die. The short and sharp sentences increase the pace and rhythm of the play, this immediately develops tension. Tybalt also gives the impression that he will not give up the fight till he has avenged Romeo and, being driven by the Elizabethan Code of Honour, gained respect for his family, this makes future violence inevitable.Tybalt is introduced as a very violent character from the first scene. He is young so he will immediately jump at the chance to fight; his presence in a scene adds tension: “…talk of peace?/ I hate the word, As I hate hell/ all Montagues/ and thee.” Shakespeare again shows how Tybalt is motivated by the Elizabethan Code of Honour. Tybalt talking of hating hell could also indicate his fear of death. Shakespeare uses the repetition of the word hate which reveals a very aggressive and dangerous character to the audience.The build up of tension in Act three, scene one makes the violence to follow inevitable. Shakespeare starts by making Tybalt and Romeo fight with words, especially Tybalt who insults Romeo to the very best of his ability: “Romeo/ the love I bear thee can afford No better term than this/ thou art a villain.” Tybalt keeps provoking Romeo by telling him how much he hates him, and in extension, his family. Tybalt expects him to retaliate from being driven by the Code of Honour, but he does not.Romeo protests that he cannot fight him and instead shows a loving nature towards him, increasing the tension in the audience and lets them wonder whether Romeo will tell Tybalt of his marriage to Tybalts’ cousin Juliet: “But I love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know the reason of my love; And so/ good Capulet/ which name I tender As dearly as my own.” Romeo tells Tybalt that he loves him but cannot tell him why, and will not because Tybalt will find out about his marriage to Juliet eventually, which increases tension and suspense. He juxtaposes love and hate again by saying he loves the name of his enemy as much as his own. He is meant to hate the name Capulet, but says he treats his own with the same equality; meaning the he hates his name Montague for that is the reason he cannot openly be with Juliet.Shakespeare elicits the audiences’ sympathy by taking away Mercutio’s flamboyancy and head strong character, and replacing him with a dying man who was caught in the middle of someone else’s fight: “A plague a’both your houses! They have made worms’ meat out of me.” Mercutio curses both the Capulets’ and the Montagues’ for the feud that has led to him dying, he says it three times to ensure it becomes a curse; this foreshadows the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. “They have made worms meat out of me”. A weaker side of Mercutio is revealed; he feels vulnerable and betrayed by both houses, especially the Montagues’ because he has fought for them as he was Mercutio’s best friend.But Mercutio tries to carry on like normal with word play and using puns till the end of his life: “Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man”. Shakespeare makes a pun of ‘grave’ meaning serious and ‘grave’ meaning the grave he will be buried in when he dies. It’s and incredibly bitter joke, being very sad rather than funny and witty: Mercutio is a great comedian, but all of a sudden he’s dying.Romeo gets our sympathy as well when he is banished, not executed, from Verona by the Prince as an act of mercy: “‘Tis torture/ and not mercy/ Heaven is here Where Juliet lives”. Even though the Prince is showing mercy by just banishing him, Romeo isn’t grateful because banishment is equal to death, he is being sent even further away from his only love. Romeo never wanted to fight in the first place, but because Tybalt murdered his best friend, but Romeo felt compelled to act. This again shows the strong dichotomy between love and misery throughout the play.In conclusion, Shakespeare made the violence in this pivotal scene inevitable by the constant juxtaposition of love and hate all through the play. The contrasting characters of Mercutio and Tybalt, Romeo and Benvolio create tension easily. The Elizabethan Code of Honour is what drives them all forward to the scene in which Mercutio dies from his love for Romeo, and Tybalt is murdered from Romeos’ love and guilt for Mercutio. Fate also makes a huge part in bringing about the violence, because it stated in the prologue that fate is against two lovers and therefore the ongoing feud between the families.

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Foreshadowing In Romeo And Juliet Act 3. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Foreshadowing In Romeo And Juliet Act 3
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