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Romeo And Juliet; How Do The Events In Act 3 Scene 1 Change The Outcome Of The Play? And How Does This Reflect On The Love And Hate Theme?

1372 words - 6 pages

My initial thoughts of the first two acts in Romeo and Juliet are filled with hope. Despite the initial Act 1 Scene 1 fight, (which the reader is led to expect due to prologue lines 'from ancient grudge break new mutiny'). When I personally read Act 1 Scene 1, I believed that this was the fight the prologue was talking about.From then on a reader could be mistaken for thinking Romeo and Juliet is the tale of a young, handsome, love struck young man. Possibly in love with Rosaline, but Juliet is in love with him? We can then start to guess this story will be a battle of two men for the love of Juliet. This may be the case when we are first introduced at the Capulet's ball to Paris as the ...view middle of the document...

This is a huge moment of tension in the play. The audience are asking themselves 'what is Juliet going to do?' Juliet is faced with the dilemma of Love versus Hate. One particular line in Act 2 Scene 2 can give the audience immediate cause for hope. 'What's in a name?' Juliet says. This is saying that it is only a word that is coming between their love, this convinces Juliet that they are in love. After a few other small moments of tension, mostly involving Paris' love for Juliet, Romeo and Juliet marry at the end of Act 2. This act would leave the audience with a huge sense of relief and happiness as there now is every reason to think the play will end 'happily ever after'. This view will inevitably change during the course of Act 3 scene 1.Act 3 scene 1 is a major fight scene and an extremely important moment of the play. Tybalt (Juliet's cousin) kills Mercutio (Romeo's closest friend). The fight is a major turning point in the play, the death, pain and mutiny in this scene destroys the audiences 'happy ever after' hopes.The scene begins with Benvolio immediately pleading to Mercutio that they should leave before there is any trouble, 'I pray thee...let's retire'. Benvolio is sure that if they were to meet the Capulets, a fight would be inevitable, '...if we meet we shall not scape a brawl'. Benvolio's opening speech is written in blank verse (open ended poetry with no patterns). This is contradictive of Mercutio's teasing. It shows Benvolio trying to take control of the situation and leading the conversation by sounding more sophisticated than Mercutio.Act 3 scene 1, up to line 28, are just Mercutio and Benvolio arguing. Mercutio is teasing Benvolio by saying how boisterous and quarrelsome Benvolio is, 'thy head is full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat'. This is extremely ironic as it is in the end Mercutio who quarrels and fights, and ends up dead.Benvolio's last words to Mercutio before Tybalt's arrival are in lines 27-28. 'And I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter'. This ominously forecasts Mercutio's death and the irony is further enhanced by Tybalt's appearance in two lines. The arrival of Tybalt will immediately bring the audience to the edge of their seats. Benvolio has just forecast Mercutio's death...

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