Why Act One Scene Five Of Romeo And Juliet Is An Effective Piece Of Drama

1575 words - 7 pages

Why Act One Scene Five of Romeo and Juliet is an Effective Piece of Drama

‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a play, telling the tragic story of two lovers
kept apart by their family’s hate for one another. It was written by
William Shakespeare. First published in 1597, the play is set in the
Italian city of Verona and is themed on the love between Juliet, the
daughter of the Capulet household, and Romeo, the son of the Montague
household. Together they are forced to hide their love for one another
due to the Capulet and Montague’s bitter rivalry. Juliet, of the
Capulet household, is being primed for a marriage to Paris, while
Romeo is apparently in love with a woman ...view middle of the document...

The scene is when Romeo and Juliet first meet in the Capulet mansion
at a party held by Capulet. We see that Romeo and other members of the
Montague family have gatecrashed the party, all wearing masks. In
this piece of writing I will explore the scene and explain what are
the particularly effective pieces of drama that make for such an
enthralling, action-packed scene.

Act One Scene V can be split into seven sections in which the mood of
the scene changes vastly. The first of which is before the party takes
off, where the servants prepare for the party. The mood in this
section is of great anticipation and excitement towards the party. The
servants discussion is intended to be comical, Shakespeare achieves
this by using prose, which is predominantly used for comic characters
and those of a low position in society. An example of the excited mood
is when the third servant encourages the others into the main hall:

“Cheerly, Boys! Be brisk a while, and the longer liver take all”

In the second section Capulet and his cousin reminisce about their
youth; perhaps more significantly it is the first time that Romeo lays
his eyes upon Juliet. The mood in this section is quite sombre and
slow in pace; however the pace of this section increases when Romeo
sees Juliet as the audience would be intrigued by his comments that he
directs towards her. We learn that Romeo is instantly attracted to
Juliet, making strong reference of this to the servant by asking:

“What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?”

Section three is when Romeo talks more in depth about his feeling
towards Juliet. The speech is a soliloquy and is used to inform the
audience of Romeos feelings while disguising these from the other
characters. This speech is particularly interesting as, not only does
it return to poetry, but also the consecutive lines end with rhyming
couplets. Poetic devices such as similes and metaphors are also used;
these all combine to increase the speed of the section. A particularly
effective example is line forty-six:

“As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear”

Romeo is implying that, although the Capulet’s are his bitterest
enemies, he sees Juliet as a precious thing; as an ‘Ethiop’ would see
a jewel as being precious. An ‘Ethiop’ is an Ethiopian, however in the
play, Shakespeare used this term of any Negro. Romeo also makes
reference to the fact that Juliet’s beauty makes her stand out beyond
everyone else at the party:

“…A snowy dove trooping with crows”

In section four, we see Juliet’s cousin, the fiery character of the
Capulet household, Tybalt wants to confront Romeo and question him as
to why he is at the Capulet’s party. The audience would find the
entrance of Tybalt quite exciting as he has a tendency to do eccentric
and fiery things; he also speaks...

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