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Shakespeare uses a range of techniques and ideas in this scene to give the audience a grasp of tension and to also make the audience aware of the setting and time of day. This scene shows the conflict between Juliet and her parents after she refuses to get married to Paris.
The events in this scene occur in a sequence which seems to be set out as though it is a short story because there appears to be a beginning middle and end.
The scene opens with Romeo in Juliet’s bedroom and from this we can see that this may lead to trouble as we know Romeo should not be in Juliet’s bedroom. The beginning section consists of Romeo and Juliet. Juliet does not want Romeo to leave but Romeo must leave for his own safety. The middle section consists of Juliet, Capulet and Lady Capulet. This section shows the development of the scene where Lady Capulet finds Juliet weeping and instantly thinks she is crying over the death of Tybalt, which leads to her promise of having Romeo poisoned which we can say is dramatic irony since poison is an imperative element in this play.
n this section Lady Capulet tells Juliet that she must marry Paris. Juliet, appalled at this decision refuses and this leads to further controversy between Juliet and her parents, especially her father, where he threatens and insults her. The end section involves Juliet and the nurse where Juliet seeks comfort but is betrayed when the nurse tells Juliet to marry Paris.
This sequence of events is put in an effective order. If the events were to be rearranged, not only would there be a lack of sense but there would not be much tension in the drama and it would not be very exciting for the audience. The way in which this scene is divided affects the pace and tension. It gives the sense of rapidly advancing action.
Juliet is still young but marriage at her age is quite normal during Shakespeare’s time. In this scene Juliet is secretly married to Romeo and her parents have arranged for her to get married to Paris. Secret marriages are obviously love marriages whereas arranged marriages tend to be of parents choice. In this scene Juliet’s parents are unaware of her marriage with Romeo and tell her that she is getting married to Paris. Although Juliet previously agreed to this proposal she now refuses “I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear/It shall be Romeo”. These words show that she is quite devious and untruthful as she is already married to Romeo.
As marriage is an issue, Capulet speeds up the situation of the wedding by saying “Thursday is near, lay hand on heart” which tends to put across the significance of the theme of marriage. Life in Shakespeare’s England is very different to life in England as it is now. People use to get married at very young ages which may tell us that many marriages were arranged and arranged marriages were traditionally forced. The play is set in Verona but there is not much evidence to suggest that it is actually in Verona as many English traditions are made more obvious such as the theme of marriage. It does suggest that maybe male and female relationships in Verona are similar to those in England.
Juliet has changed since the beginning of the play and so has her father. Juliet is not as innocent as she seems. At the beginning of the play when she is first introduced to the subject of marriage by her parents she agrees to marry Paris unforced. She then meets Romeo and falls in love which eventually prevails into marriage. This secret leads to her refusal to marry Paris which seems very inconsiderate towards her parents and Paris. Capulet also changes . At the beginning of the play he appears to be quite caring and attentive as he asks Juliet if she wants to marry Paris rather then telling her but in this scene we see Capulet as an aggressive character as he is very irate towards Juliet’s decision. He appears to change because Juliet’s refusal to get married means that Paris, a wealthy, high class man will think badly of the Capulet’s which means that status is a very important factor in this play. We can see now that Juliet and her father have quite similar characteristics as they both are quite loving and considerate in the beginning of the play but turn out to be quite argumentative in the end which may be the reason that this feud occurs as they are too similar and therefore a conflict due to their alikeness occurs.
This feud could also be due to a generation gap where Juliet has different opinions and does not agree with what her father says whereas her father may just be looking out for Juliet just as a normal father would. The nurse changes in a dramatic way. In this scene she defends Juliet in the middle of the scene but at the end of the scene she has suddenly changed and advises Juliet to marry Paris. She states “I think it is best you married with the County”. This unforeseen transformation of the nurse’s personality may reveal her character to be quite shallow but it also may be a change as she fears that her master Capulet, may see her as an influence. This family feud shows conflict. This feud is an expression of strain and the difference and similarity between the characters as we can see there are different opinions.
Shakespeare uses the theme of marriage to show us about the problems in the play. The theme of marriage arouses problems and this is displayed in a family feud involving Juliet and her parents and the nurse.
Language is an important issue where drama is concerned. It can create atmosphere, generate or intensify emotions and indicate tone to tell us how a character is feeling in a particular situation. Juliet’s repetition of words as she tells Romeo to go “It is it is, hie hence be gone, away” tells us that Juliet is feeling apprehensive and anxious as she rushes for Romeo to go for his own safety. Romeo puns on the words “light” and “dark” when he says “More light and light, more dark and dark are woes!” meaning the lighter it gets the darker we feel. As Capulet enters the scene he compares Juliet o a fountain ” How now, a conduit, girl?” This metaphor gives us an image of Juliet and tells us how badly she is crying. Lady Capulet’s reply to Capulet ” I would the fool married to her grave” shows dramatic irony as the audience know more about the situation going on. Capulet’s continuous use of questions shows his curiosity and shock.
“How will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?/Is she not proud?” This prolonged use of questions builds up his insults and brings out his anger. Capulet also begins talk of Juliet in third person as he is saying “she” and “her” which indicates his disapproval of Juliet. In the end section of the scene where there is Juliet and the nurse, Juliet’s reply to the nurse show sarcasm and irony. The nurse states “And from my soul too, else beshrew them both” as she claims that telling Juliet to marry Paris is from her soul and Juliet replies in sarcasm “Amen”. The end of the scene shows soliloquy as the nurse exits Juliet is left alone talking about seeking Friar Lawrence’s aid.
Shakespeare uses the technique of creating darkness through the words of the characters as his plays were may not have been performed at night. As Juliet is trying to persuade Romeo to not leave yet she uses the words “It was the nightingale and not the lark” which tells us that it is dark. Shakespeare has to fit his play into the time which means that although we may not realise, the play is spread over days and even weeks. I also found that the technique of making the scene into three different sections also has a pattern. In the first section there are two people who are Romeo and Juliet. In the second section there are four people and in the final section the number of people goes back to two. The pattern also showed how the sections may be divided into three separate genre’s which are love, conflict and betrayal. The ending of the scene leaves a feeling of curiosity of what is about to happen. The ending shows how things have changed and in this case they have changed for the worse making the audience think something bad is about to happen. The stage directions in Romeo and Juliet are very brief. The play tells us when Juliet goes aside to communicate directly with the audience which usually gives the audience more knowledge then the characters on stage. Shakespeare also uses stage directions to tell us when a character enters or exits the scene and also uses adverbs to tell us how the characters are moving.
This scene is a vital and interesting part of the play as we see the climax being built up. The scene shows the change of personality of the characters and the aggressiveness of Capulet. We begin to see what the characters are really like and this to the audience is very tense and motivating. Overall Shakespeare has made this scene to be an important part in the play and has used a good range of language but I do think that the setting which is meant to be in Verona has not been obvious and therefore may leave a few minds confused or inquisitive about the location of this play.
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