Shakespeare's Play: about Romeo

Categories: Shakespeare

This action packed scene incurs the first instance of tragedy for the young lovers. Romeo is forced to deal with the reality of his marriage. He has married a Capulet-his lifetime enemy. He also chooses to avenge a friend’s death rather than spare Juliet’s sorrow. A dying Mercutio sets up the action for the rest of the play when he repeatedly exclaims, “A plague o’ both your houses!” This reminds the audience of the tragedy that will soon occur and propels Romeo.

Tybalt’s untimely return drives Romeo, acting on emotion, to kill him. Romeo contrasts his earlier effort to avoid confrontation increasing the dramatic tension in the scene. He struggles with resisting the urge to fight and then acting on impulse.

Act 3 Scene 1 is a very dramatic and powerful scene, which witnesses the death of two prevalent characters in the play. I will analyse and explore the dramatic effect this scene has upon the rest of the play and subsequent scenes.

The way this scene unfolds, in an unexpected manner provides excitement and tension throughout this section of the play. Marx denied bad_man_raj’s rationalisation .

The fight scene, Act 3 Scene 1, can be viewed as a dramatic turning point. To explain and confirm this I will look at how all the characters are affected, how the scene changes or impacts upon the complete plot and how it makes the scene important. bad_man_raj, please do not redistribute this paper. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students.

Top Writers
Verified expert
4.7 (348)
Marrie pro writer
Verified expert
5 (204)
Writer Lyla
Verified expert
5 (876)
hire verified writer

Please, do not circulate this paper elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.

The scene in question is positioned near the middle of the play; this one point alone contributes to its importance, as all the events subsequent to it will be affected by the events that occur in this scene. Prior to this influential scene, Juliet’s father Capulet arranges for her to marry Paris, another Capulet. However Juliet does not want to cooperate and marry Paris. Before the Capulet masked ball, Romeo seemed love sick for Rosaline, a Montague, but when Romeo and Juliet meet, they fall head long in love. They marry in secret, against Juliet’s father’s wishes, which was a great sin in such a patriarchal society. Their marriage takes place before Act 3 Scene 1, looking to bring peace between the two families.

This is the reason in the fight scene, why Romeo is so reluctant to fight Tybalt, as he is Juliet’s Cousin. It is a central and vital scene in the plot as many events occur. After the death of Tybalt, and Mercutio, who is Romeo’s friend and fellow Montague, Romeo is forced to leave Verona and flee to Mantua. From this scene onwards the plot thickens and events become increasingly tense. This scene has a vivid dramatic effect on the rest of the play. bad_man_raj, please do not redistribute this project. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this project elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.

The opening of Act 3, Scene 1 is a very lighthearted affair. Benvolio and Mercutio, Montague’s kinsmen, are arguing in a public place in Verona. In comparison it is very similar to the beginning of Act 1, Scene 1 that entails Sampson and Gregory arguing, as do Benvolio and Mercutio. In contrast Sampson and Gregory are Capulets, whereas Benvolio and Mercutio are not. The Kinsmen, during the opening of the scene discuss the hot weather: “For now, these hot days in the mad blood stirring”, Benvolio implies that the hot weather could lead tempers to fray, and fights to break. Another key-line in the scene: “And if we meet we shall not escape a brawl,” from Benvolio, showing his worries that a fight will emerge, that he does not want, inadvertently leading the audience to recall the Prince’s proclamation, although this is Shakespeare’s intention. The two friends arguing set a light hearted atmosphere that is soon to change with Tybalt’s entrance. This work from

The arrival of Tybalt brings a lot of tension to the scene. Benvolio acts somewhat surprised, and evidently cautiously. Mercutio on the other hand is arrogant, and taunts Tybalt. It is apparent that Mercutio is acting very condescendingly toward Tybalt and is looking for a fight: “Make it a word and a blow.” Tybalt also seems confident, but does not want to fight Mercutio, rather, he wants Romeo: “Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo.” Durkheim refuted bad_man_raj’s postmodernism .

When Romeo enters his reaction confirms this: “Well, peace be with you, sir, here comes my man,” Tybalt referring to Romeo, verifying the fact that it is Romeo that Tybalt wants to fight. Tybalt is very cold towards Romeo, and wants to talk to him about the Capulet ball. Tybalt insults Romeo and calls him a villain. Romeo responds very calmly, saying that he has to love Tybalt, as Juliet is Tybalt’s cousin, and tries to avoid conflict: “Therefore farewell, I see thou knowest me not.” At this point Tybalt does not know about the marriage, between Romeo and Juliet, and so cannot understand Romeo’s reluctance to fight. This is dramatic irony, as the audience has seen the marriage, and can see Tybalt’s confusion, as they know something that Tybalt does not.

Tybalt insults Romeo again: “Boy,” and uses the party as an excuse to fight: “Turn and draw.” Romeo’s predicament causes him a great deal of discomfort during this scene. He does not want to fight Tybalt, Romeo’s dialogue shows this: “And so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as mine own, be satisfied.” Romeo tries to flatter Tybalt to diffuse the situation; whilst at the same time insinuates the fact that he loves a Capulet, the irony of the matter is that Romeo is referring to Juliet. This also is linked with Juliet’s speech on the balcony, as regards to their names not stopping their love. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” (Act 2, Scene 2). She refers to the fact that a rose would smell as sweet whatever word we use for it. This emphasizes how trivial it seems to fight over a name. Romeo now married to a Capulet, now holds this view. This explanation helps one view the scene as a turning point as it reinforces the fact that Romeo and Juliet’s love may be the only thing that can break this age-old feud between the families.

Romeo’s reluctance to fight is very apparent. The dramatic irony used by Shakespeare is very effective, as the audience knows two things that the characters do not. Firstly, Romeo is Tybalt’s cousin, as he is married to Juliet, and they know too, that Tybalt is looking for a fight with Romeo, but as the scene progresses, Tybalt’s dramatic flaw will lead to his own death.

Tybalt does not know, that by killing Romeo, or Mercutio, as he does, he will be killing his own Kinsmen. Romeo’s reluctance can be seen in lines 55 and 56 as Romeo explains he has to love Tybalt: “Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee, doth much excuse the appertaining rage to such a greeting.” Because of this ‘love’ Romeo must restrain his anger and therefore tries to avoid a fight. Tybalt is furious with Romeo; this is apparent in lines 59 and 60: “Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries that thou hast done me, therefore turn and draw.” Here a fight is imminent, and Tybalt’s use of the word ‘Boy’ is an insult to Romeo. Tybalt explains that the fact Romeo has ‘injured’ and insulted him, by showing at the Capulet ball, has angered him, subsequently Tybalt wants to fight: “Turn and draw!”

Moreover Benvolio tells Mercutio and Tybalt not to fight in public, the effect that this has on the audience is one of trusting Benvolio as they realize something bad will be a result of the fight if it does take place.

A surprise for the audience during this scene is that Tybalt, in fact duels with Mercutio, which went against their prior knowledge that Tybalt was out for Romeo. This scene can be viewed as important as this duel culminates with the death of Mercutio, Rome’s Kinsman. Mercutio, in lines 65 to 68 instigates a fight between the two. Firstly he begins by saying: “Oh calm, dishonourable, vile submission.” Mercutio is mocking his friend Romeo, and in a way calling him a coward, for his reluctance to fight: “vile submission!” Mercutio sees it dishonourable not to fight for his house, Montague against Tybalt, a member of the Capulets.

The audience then sees Mercutio insult Tybalt: “Tybalt, you rat catcher, will you walk?” This quote shows Mercutio ridiculing Tybalt’s name, articulating upon the fact that Tybalt’s name bears a stark resemblance to that of a cat, only then asking him to fight, an insult to which Tybalt replies: “What wouldst thou have with me?” Tybalt views Mercutio as a threat but would not like to admit it. As Tybalt set out to fight Romeo, Tybalt has nothing against Mercutio, other than the fact that Mercutio is a Montague. Mercutio challenges Tybalt to a duel, which he accepts. Shakespeare’s use of language adds tension to this particular scene. For example, when Mercutio challenges Tybalt: “Will you pluck your sword out of his pilcher by the ears? Make haste, lest mine be about your ears ere it be out.” Shakespeare shows the audience that Mercutio is not scared of Tybalt, this is shown as Mercutio says that Tybalt had better draw his sword quickly otherwise he would cut off Tybalt’s ears before the sword is out. This use of language, which plants grotesque imagery in the audience’s mind helps to build up the tension in the scene.

This is another factor, making this scene a turning point in the play. The tension that builds, results in a duel between Mercutio and Tybalt. Romeo tries to persuade Mercutio not to fight: “Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.” Romeo’s efforts to persuade them otherwise, by reminding them both about how the Prince has forbidden fighting anywhere on the streets of Verona, were in vain. The fight commences, and Romeo steps between the dueling pair. Tybalt stabs Mercutio, under Romeo’s arm, Mercutio dies from his injuries. Mercutio’s death can be seen as a turning point in the play, as it leads to Tybalt’s death, and from there on in events worsen for Romeo. Moreover, whilst Mercutio is dying, he insults both houses: “A plague a’both your houses.” which he repeats 3 times on lines 82, 91 and 97, emphasising the fact that Mercutio is angry with Romeo and Tybalt.

Mercutio’s death has serious repercussions throughout the scene. It leads to Tybalt’s death, and subsequently Romeo’s banishment. Mercutio again repeats “A plague a’both your houses!” Insulting Romeo, whom he later blames for his death: “Why the dev’l came you between us?” We can see Mercutio blames Romeo for his death as he was stabbed underneath Romeo’s arm, so blames him for interfering. Romeo’s excuse: “I thought all for the best.” shows his good intentions to help Mercutio, which turned out to be Mercutio’s undoing. bad_man_raj, please do not redistribute this coursework. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this coursework elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.

The effect on Romeo is dramatic and evident, from denial to shock; he turns his attention to Tybalt as he become increasingly furious about Mercutio’s death. Romeo’s realisation of what he has to do can be seen before Benvolio re-enters. The audience can see that Romeo is very distraught; he refers to “This day’s black fate,” which is linked to Romeo’s tragic flaw, his belief in fate, and the medieval belief in ‘fortune’s wheel’, Romeo being ‘fortune’s fool’ which determines his bad luck. The audience sees Romeo’s mood change dramatically as Mercutio is killed.

Shakespeare onsets Romeo’s duel with Tybalt soon after Mercutio has been murdered. Romeo despises the hatred between the families and at first, he had no intention of harming Tybalt, as he is now one of his own kinsmen, and Juliet’s cousin. This holds Romeo’s anger back as harming Tybalt would be harming Juliet.

The audience sees Romeo blame Mercutio’s death upon himself: “My very friend, hath got this mortal hurt in my behalf,” Romeo also explains: “This day’s black on more days doth depend”. This shows that Romeo is implying that after this terrible day, darker ones will follow it, again reinforcing Romeo’s ideas about the ‘fortune’s wheel’, and his belief in fate. Tybalt returns and the audience sees Romeo madden: “And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!” Here Shakespeare uses an image of fire to show Romeo’s anger. Romeo, guided by his hot anger, tells Tybalt, Mercutio’s soul is waiting above their heads for his. Shakespeare shows Tybalt’s defiance of Romeo: “Thou wretched boy, that didn’t consort him here, shalt with him hence.” Tybalt is sentencing Romeo to death as he is saying Romeo must stay with Mercutio, so therefore has to die. The Prince, the equivalent to the Prime Minister, was all Godly in Shakespearian times. He had banned fighting in the streets of Verona, and to do so was a great sin, Benvolio, appalled at Romeo, for killing Tybalt, warns Romeo to flee, as he knows the consequences of fighting. Shakespeare uses this to create tension in the scene, and between the characters.

Tybalt’s death has many repercussions, most obviously, Romeo is banished to Mantua, his dramatic flaw: ‘fortune’s fool’ which led him to kill Tybalt, as he could not control his anger, results in him being banished. In many ways it also contributes to his own death as when he receives news of Juliet’s death, at the end of the play, he buys poison in Mantua, to end his own life. Tybalt’s death also causes more tension between the two houses and now, Juliet’s chances of getting to see Romeo, and most certainly the possibility of Romeo and Juliet getting to live together are increasingly slim. Shakespeare shows us a patriarchal society, as Capulet had arranged for Juliet to marry Paris, but as she refused and married Romeo, unbeknown to her father, Capulet, she could be in deep trouble if her father was to find out. The audience sees women treated as Chattels, or property, owned by the men. In some ways Shakespeare highlights the crudeness of this society, with sexist ways and jokes, evident when Sampson and Gregory argue at the beginning of the play in Act 1, Scene 1.

Shakespeare uses the language of ‘Revenge Tragedy’ a type of play very popular in the 1590’s, when Romeo and Juliet was written. In revenge tragedy, the main character, Romeo is a ‘Revenger’ shown when he gets his revenge on Tybalt, by killing him. Romeo’s belief in ‘fortune’s wheel’ which determines one’s fate, can be seen in Act 3, Scene 1: ‘O, I am fortune’s fool’ and also other scenes in the play. It is determined by the actor playing Romeo to decide how such lines should be said, in a declamatory style, or in a questioning manner. This project from

Dramatic irony is present in Act 3, Scene 1, as in the rest of the play, the audience knows Tybalt’s intentions, whereas Romeo does not; dramatic irony is also present when the audience knows that Romeo and Juliet are married whereas Capulet and Paris do not. Capulet therefore still tries to marry Paris to his daughter. bad_man_raj, please do not redistribute this essay. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this essay elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.

In the opening of Act 3, Scene 1, the Kinsmen arguing, is linked to Act 1, Scene 1, where Sampson and Gregory argue, the light hearted mood at the beginning of both scenes changes dramatically as the tension builds, culminating in a fight.

Shakespeare shows the audience the role of family in society. The two families, Capulet and Montague provide the conflict and tension, which is maybe the greatest cause of all the violence. Verona was a Patriarchal city, where fathers, Capulet and Montague held virtually absolute sway over their daughters. They may give them to whomever they choose, and would have felt deeply insulted if their daughters chose to do otherwise. This is what Juliet did, by marrying Romeo. Together with patriarchy, goes machismo of young men, bravado, and a strong male contingency, a cause of nearly all the violence in the play. Crude sexual jokes and sexist views are present throughout; is the male dominant society responsible for all the tension?

Shakespeare also shows us the power of Princes in the play; princes are seen as all powerful. When Romeo murdered Tybalt, Benvolio was extremely concerned: “Romeo, away, be gone!” as disobeying the Prince is disobeying God, as a Prince is seen as God’s representative on Earth. Benvolio told Romeo to flee, as he went against the Prince’s rules, which were: “If ever you disturb our streets again your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” Shakespeare shows the Prince’s authority, with his very straightforward rules; if you are caught fighting, you shall be killed. Princes were highly regarded in Elizabethan times in places such as Verona. This is why Capulet, a very prominent figure in Verona, wanted Juliet to marry Paris, a kinsman to the Prince.

Shakespeare’s audience would have been packed into London’s theatres to see his plays, such as Romeo and Juliet. The impact on the audience would have been very great; consequently they would become very involved in the play, and add to the electric atmosphere. Shakespeare shows us many intense scenes, for example Act 3, Scene 1, these scenes are very exciting, and the fight scenes have a significant impact upon the audience. Romeo, who believed heavily in fate, would share his views with a lot of Shakespeare’s audience, who would have believed in ‘fate’ and superstition, which linked to strange and dark events. This shows Shakespeare wrote his shows for specific target audiences, as this would have less relevance to a modern audience.

Benvolio acts as a Chorus; Shakespearian audience may not have understood all the language, some of which was inaccessible to some uneducated theatre-goers. Benvolio’s role is to sum up and explain events, helping the audience follow the plot. In addition, the audience would have been impacted by issues such as disobedient children, the role of society and their belief in the power of Princes.

The relevance that successful versions of the play such as the Zefirelli, Luhrman, MOPA and the original text, have to a modern audience, can be seen in many areas. Firstly, themes of rebellion, and politics are all too obvious in the play. The idea of the Mafia can also be seen with feuds between the two factions, and the relevance of family dominance. Secondly arranged marriages is another issue relevant to a modern audience, which was also an issue in Elizabethan times, as Juliet refused to marry Paris. Overall the dramatic effect is as great, to a modern audience as it is to that of the Shakespearian era.

Romeo and Juliet both die in the conclusion of the play. This may have been for many reasons, but from any viewpoint, their deaths were inevitable, because their fathers would have killed them as they disobeyed their rules. Juliet went against Capulet’s wishes, and married Romeo, a Montague. Their deaths were the only factor that was able to stop the feud. What caused their deaths? Was it fate, chance, the feud or their fathers? I feel that it was a combination of all of them, which culminated in this tragedy, Romeo’s tragic flaw, maybe his undoing.

Act 3, Scene 1 is a dramatic enthralling scene, in which the families ‘ancient grudge’ leads to the deaths of two prominent characters. The dramatic effect of this scene is emphasised by the tension and anger that run through it.

Cite this page

Shakespeare's Play: about Romeo. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Are You on a Short Deadline? Let a Professional Expert Help You
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7