A critical essay based on three scenes Essay
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Consider the importance of these scenes in the play as a whole. You should write about: Dramatic effect The language of the scenes Presentation of character Changes in mood and tone Key themes within Romeo and Juliet are conveyed to the audience within the prologue. These themes help the audience to understand the first meeting between Romeo and Juliet and also their later meetings. Within the prologue, it is written by Shakespeare that from these two families, Romeo and Juliet are destined to fall in love; it also conveys the hatred of both families:
” From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life”.
The audience has already been told that they are destined to fall in love, it is written in the stars and also are destined to take their own lives. The first impression that helps the reader to understand Romeo is that he is in love with a girl called Rosaline, however Romeo has been rejected. Consequently, Romeo feels very lonely and isolated, and he has also become depressed. This prepares the audience for his meeting with Juliet.
Juliet does not come into the story until Act 1 Scene 2, where Capulet, her father, and Paris who wishes to marry Juliet are discussing her. The first impression of Juliet that the audience understands is that she is a very dutiful daughter to the Capulet family. Juliet has also become very obedient. The adults control her in her life, all of her decisions are made for her and she is protected form the outside world. These impressions tell the reader that both Romeo and Juliet are very vulnerable. Juliet has never loved anyone whereas Romeo has been depressed from falling out of love.
These all lead up to Act 1 scene 5 where Romeo and Juliet meet. Romeo and Juliet are destined to meet because the servant cannot read and asks Romeo for help. Benvolio persuades Romeo to go so that he can see other woman, however destiny has facilitated Romeo and Juliet’s meeting. Act 1 scene 5 is the first scene is the first scene where Romeo and Juliet meet each other. There is a mascarade party within the Capulet household. This is the scene where Romeo and Juliet first kiss. Everything builds up to this scene.
Firstly, the beginning of the scene shows the presentation of the characters wearing masks to cover their faces. Within this scene, when Romeo and Juliet first meet, Shakespeare changes the language, which they both speak to each other. The language used by Romeo and Juliet speak is very poetic, and also very religious, also Romeo speaks first: ” This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this”. The layout of the way Romeo and Juliet speak is very poetic, and is also in the form of a sonnet. This quote shows that Romeo is comparing Juliet to a shrine and pilgrims: ” My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand”.
This play has a strong religious base, as it shows signs of death and marriage. Religion also conveys purity and key elements within life. Romeo and Juliet both speak in a manner of a sonnet. They both speak a full stanza, and then two lines each, and then a couplet, which they both share. Juliet gains confidence as the conversation goes on. As both Romeo and Juliet’s responses become much shorter, they also move closer to each other ready to kiss. Within the sonnet, the use of a couplet which Romeo and Juliet both share, suggests that they are meant to be:
Juliet: ” Saints do not move, though grant for prayer’s sake. Romeo: Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take”. This couplet adds an effect that they are meant to be, love at first sight and are immediately attracted. Fate has dictated that they would die together which allows many moments of dramatic irony due to the audience already knowing that it is written in the prologue. The dramatic effect within this scene is the use of religion. Later on in the scene, dramatic irony is shown again as Juliet speaks to the nurse: “My grave is like to be my wedding bed”.
This is dramatic irony, as the audience already knows from reading the prologue that this will come true, as it is their destiny. Act 2 scene 2 is the second meeting where Romeo and Juliet meet. This is one of the most famous scenes in Romeo and Juliet, and also the most romantic scenes in the history of drama. This is the balcony scene where the destined lovers engage in a very poetic and romantic conversation. The mood and tone of this scene is built up by romantic conversation, firstly, Romeo speaking aloud. Romeo dominates this scene, as he is the one who pursues her.
He begins the conversation in the opening of the scene. This whole scene is devoted to Romeo and Juliet’s interaction. Romeo sees light in the window of the balcony, and uses a metaphor to compare Juliet to the sun: ‘It is the east, and Juliet is the sun”. Romeo compares Juliet to the sun, as light is essential for everyone to survive, as Juliet is essential for Romeo to live. Light is eternal and it shows security and warmth. It is also very pure. Again, within this scene, religion is used to convey Juliet’s innocence: “As is a winged messenger of heaven”.
Romeo compares Juliet to an angel, which shows love, purity and innocence. Within this scene, Romeo is very poetic, whereas Juliet is pragmatic: ” If they do see thee, they will murder thee”. This shows that Juliet is aware of the consequences that will befall Romeo if he is caught. Within this scene Juliet is very nervous and feels very insecure: ” Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Ay’. ” This quote shows that Juliet feels herself very insecure and questions Romeo about their love. In the scene, Romeo uses a variety of techniques to declare her love: ” I should adventure for such merchandise”.
Romeo uses this to persuade Juliet and shows exaggerated devotion towards her. Juliet also changes during the course of the scene. ” In touch, fair Montague, I am too fond”. Juliet uses an epithet- ‘fair Montague’ which shows that she has had a change in confidence. Juliet’s perception of Romeo is that he is fair and kind. Romeo gives Juliet his reassurance of their love: ” Th’exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine”. This quote shows that Romeo wants her love. In this scene dramatic irony is introduced again: ” And the place death, considering who thou art, If any of my kinsmen find thee here”.
This quote shows that Juliet’s family will come after Romeo if they find him here, Tybalt’s violent threats earlier in the play increase the tension. Juliet switches the conversation to where they will next meet: ” I have no joy of this contract tonight”. Once Juliet is sure Romeo is in love with her, she needs a sense of future security whereas Romeo continues to be romantic and live for the moment. Act 3 scene 5 is the third and final scene which Romeo and Juliet are presented to the audience alive. Between Act 2 scene 2 to this scene, Shakespeare has added violence to contrast with love.
This is so that the audience can anticipate the tragedy as it builds up tension towards the death scene. Within this scene, the mood has changed from previous scenes where Tybalt has been killed, and Capulet insisting on Juliet marrying Paris, the tension has lifted. Juliet opens the scene, which shows that she is more confident now. Juliet is very poetic: “It was the nightingale, and not the lark…. ” Juliet is playing with Romeo, teasing him and with the use of romantic imagery she is trying to persuade Romeo to stay with her. Within this scene Romeo and Juliet speak equally, feeling both equally confident.
Most of what Juliet is saying is that she wants him to stay longer, due to his banishment: “Therefore stay yet, thou need’st not to be gone”. This quote shows Juliet’s insecurity, she needs to feel his devotion. Romeo replies to this question: ” I have more care to stay than will to go”. This response is what Juliet wants to hear to feel his devotion and reassurance of their love. Within this scene, due to Juliet feeling confident, she once again becomes pragmatic: “It is, it is, hie hence, be gone, away! “. There is again also dramatic irony in this scene:
” More light and light, more dark and dark our woes! ” This illustrates that there future is very bleak, becoming depressing as the day goes on. Juliet feels her life is Romeo: ” Then, window, let day in, and let life out”. There is another case of dramatic irony when Romeo and Juliet speak: ” O think’st thou we shall ever meet again? “. These words are said in innocence but the audience suspect that this will be the last time they are together alive: From these three scenes we can come to a conclusion that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship was set to end in tragedy, which was their destiny.
There relationship dramatically changed over the course of five days. The three scenes in which Romeo and Juliet interact all lead up to the tragic ending. The intensity of their love propelled them forward to a tragic end. Over the course of their love the audience can observe that Juliet is becoming more confident in her love for Romeo. Their seemingly desperate need for each other blinds them from behaving rationally. Their love shows intensity which shows that they were meant to be, as together as one soul. Fate and destiny has made them fall in love and also takes their lives.