Act One of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The play Romeo and Juliet is set in "fair Verona" in Italy.
Shakespeare based his play on a poem by Brooke and brought it to the
theatres in 1595. Although the play is set in Italy many things
mentioned could be found in Elizabethan England, for example the
Capulet's party. This suggests to me that Shakespeare had little
knowledge of Italian life and culture. The play also highlights the
position of women in Elizabethan times.
At the beginning of Act One we are introduced to Sampson and Gregory
who are servants of the Capulet's and they are in the market place of
Verona. They are messing around ...view middle of the document...
This later leads to Mercutio's death and Romeo's exile.
There is no sub plot because Shakespeare wants all the attention
focused on Romeo and Juliet. The play is a tragedy because we find out
from the Prologue that Romeo and Juliet are "star cross'd lovers" and
are destined to die. This lets us know that it is tragedy; Shakespeare
has made it a tragic play because it is based on a poem, which was
also very tragic. The chorus rather than a character speaks the
prologue because it is more like a narrator and this distances the
characters. It is written as a sonnet because this gives the prologue
a more formal atmosphere. The prologue introduces us to the play and
what it's about. It tells us that the two lovers die because
Shakespeare wants the attention to be focused on "how they die". The
Chorus at the end of Act One is once again spoken as a sonnet and it
basically summarises what has happened in Act One to give you a better
understanding of the play so far.
The first "main" character we are introduced to is Tybalt. This is at
the beginning in the market place when a fight breaks out. My
impression of Tybalt from this is that he is ruthless and cares only
for himself and other Capulet's; he doesn't hesitate to draw his sword
if his pride has been injured. I think this because when he first
intervenes in the arguments going on he says:
"What art thou drawn among these heartless
Then Benvolio speaks and Tybalt replies with:
"What drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word,
As I hate hell, all Montague's and thee:
Have at thee coward".
This shows that there is a lot of anger flowing inside him and that he
is ready to fight, he doesn't make any attempt to stop a fight from
happening he basically tries to make one happen. We next meet Romeo
who is on his own and is approached by Benvolio, who is trying to find
out why Romeo is so unhappy. My first impression of Romeo is that he
isn't the fighting type, he doesn't believe in all the fighting that
goes on and he avoids it. I think this because of some of the things
that are said about him such as:
"Verona brags of him,
To be a virtuous and well-govern'd youth".
Which is spoken by Juliet's father Lord Capulet and suggests that he
recognises Romeo is not a troublemaker. He also seems so in love with
a girl named Rosaline and is speaking of how he loves her so much,
which becomes ironic later in the Act when he meats Juliet. The
audience is introduced to Juliet when she is at the Capulet house and
her mother wishes to speak with her about her feelings on marriage and
Juliet replies to this by saying
"It is an honour that I dream not of"
, which is very ironic because of her marriage with Romeo later on in
the play. During Elizabethan times it was very common for arranged