Dramatic Effect in Act Three Scene One of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
As soon as you read the opening lines of Act3, Scene 1 you can tell
that they will soon be followed by violence and intensity although it
is quite unexpected after the romantic and blissful wedding scene.
Straight away, Shakespeare prepares us for conflict and brutality as
Benvolio starts the scene, by telling Mercutio to go indoors because
'the day is hot, the Capels are abroad, and if we meet we shall not
scape a brawl'. This immediately creates tension and is dramatically
effective because we already know that fighting is banned in Verona
streets and would lead to ...view middle of the document...
He also seems to be in a confrontational and quarrelsome mood.
He responds with his usual good-natured humour to Benvolio, by joking
that it is Benvolio, and not him who is likely to start a fight; 'Thou
hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street, because he hath
wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun'. But his invention
seems slower than usual; he probably feels hot and rather tired.
Mercutio's lines are dramatically effective because he seems to get
more irritated and brawly the more he speaks. His energy is soon
restored when Tybalt appears and although he is not looking for a
fight with Mercutio, his quick wit and annoying comments start to wind
Tybalt up, which is just what Mercutio wants. This part of the scene
is dramatically effective because you just know that a fight is going
to break out as Mercutio proceeds to taunt and challenge Tybalt, and
it gets edgy as worried Benvolio tries to avoid confrontation, or make
them do it elsewhere. Another dramatically effective line is when
Mercutio is prepared to risk his life by saying, 'Men's eyes were made
to look, and let them gaze; I will not budge for no mans pleasure, I.'
because the prince has threatened anyone found fighting in the streets
with death. As they argue, their sentences are quick and short to
create further apprehension as their comments fire from one to
another. Shakespeare also adds dramatic effectiveness by introducing
more characters to witness the dispute. The scene seems more intense
when there are more than two people there and the rowing men are going
to be more brash and brazen with an on looking audience. Tybalt is
hastier and seems to be holding back because he has no cause to fight
Mercutio and the atmosphere is very tense as Romeo, the man Tybalt is
actually looking for to confront, makes an appearance. Mercutio has
just been a distraction until Romeo appears up to now.
The next section of the scene that follows Romeo's entrance is very
important because this is where dramatic irony comes into play. It is
a very effective way of creating a dramatic environment. Shakespeare
has only used this technique at this point in the play, which shows
how important the scene is and it also has a great effect on us. One
of the first things that Tybalt says to Romeo is 'thou art a villain.'
and yet it does not seem to affect him as it might have before he wed
Juliet. At this point on time, a villain means a lowborn person or
peasant and is therefore very insulting to someone of Romeo's status
and wealth. He replies by telling Tybalt, 'the reason I have to love
thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage to such a greeting' which
shows us that Romeo is uninfluenced and prepared to be civil to Tybalt
because of his love and respect for Juliet, despite being ridiculed,
and even if it means being...