- Term Papers and Free Essays

How Does Shakespeare Use Dramatic Devices Is Act 3 Scene 1 Of "Romeo And Juliet" In Order To Make It An Exciting Scene And A Turning Point In The Play

Essay by   •  June 11, 2011  •  1,934 Words (8 Pages)  •  4,743 Views

Essay Preview: How Does Shakespeare Use Dramatic Devices Is Act 3 Scene 1 Of "Romeo And Juliet" In Order To Make It An Exciting Scene And A Turning Point In The Play

1 rating(s)
Report this essay
Page 1 of 8

Fate, love and violence are the three words to describe this play. Shakespeare uses these throughout the play to comment on men, women and marriage in society at this time when girls were betrothed to a man of their fathers choosing and under the condition that they were 'pure'. Men were seen to be superior to women and dominated them, as women had very few rights and were property of their fathers, and then their husbands. Shakespeare's use of dramatic devices in Act 3, Scene 1 makes it an interesting, exciting and important scene because so much happens in a short space of time which in turn affects all the characters in one way or another. Furthermore, this scene falls dramatically in the middle of the play and can be seen as the turning point in the story. Shakespeare's thoughtful choice of dramatic devices such as movement, tone, stage directions, dramatic irony and characterization (among others) effectively create an atmosphere that naturally generates excitement and interest.

Shakespeare uses different methods to create mood and atmosphere at the start of the scene. He uses devices such as language and the characters involved to create a 'fun' kind of mood at the very beginning by having Mercutio trying to wind up Benvolio, who has no intention of starting a fight but Mercutio does. It's also a 'fun' way to start the scene as Mercutio says many witty and somewhat humorous things. One particular example is when he says 'as soon to be moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved', which plays on the words moved and moody. Benvolio seems agitated and doesn't want to fight, whereas Mercutio is up for a fight which builds tension and sets the whole mood of the scene as the audience don't know what will happen next, and whether they will indeed be a fight or not. The beginning takes a sudden turn for the worse from the light-hearted, jokey start to a serious beginning when 'Tybalt and Others enter'. His eerie and fiery personality changes the mood instantly and brings a dark atmosphere to the table. Tybalt and Mercutio then exchanges words whilst the latter continues to play with words, as he twists the meaning of 'consort', when Tybalt says 'Mercutio, thou consort's [are associated - literal meaning] with Romeo-', in which Mercutio replies quickly and wittily 'Consort! What does thou make us minstrels? And thou make minstrels of us...' which also has Mercutio playing around with 'minstrels'. Mercutio deliberately mis-interprets Tybalt's meaning of the word as Mercutio is talking about a company of hired musicians ('Consort!'). Benvolio then tries to act as a peacemaker as he tries to calm things down by saying the two should 'reason coldly [calmly] their grievances', meaning they should try and sort out their differences. As the scene progresses, Romeo enters the scene which ultimately leads to Mercutio's death.

The hopeful tone of Act II changes dramatically at the beginning of Act III as Romeo becomes embroiled in the brutal conflict between the families. The searing heat, flaring tempers, and sudden violence of this scene contrast sharply with the romantic, peaceful previous night. The play reaches a dramatic height as Romeo and Juliet's private world clashes with the public feud with tragic consequences. Mercutio's death is the detonator for the tragic turn the play takes from this point onward. Additionally, this scene sees many incidents happen over a short period of time which makes a very fast-paced scene, offering variation from the slow romantic scene previously. Act III, Scene I fits perfectly into the middle of "Romeo and Juliet" and is a real turning point in the play as it contains so many key events in the play, which in turn affects so may characters in the play. Every single theme that one could associate with "Romeo and Juliet" comes into play at one stage or another in Act III, Scene I.

Dramatic irony is another dramatic device used by Shakespeare to interest, involve and affect the audience in Act III, Scene I, when Romeo refuses to rise to Tybalt's challenge as we, the audience, know that because Romeo has only just got married to Juliet, which makes Tybalt family to him. However, Tybalt obviously unaware of those events and still want to fight Romeo. This is clear when Romeo is telling Tybalt: 'But love thee better than thou canst devise, Till thou shalt know he reason of my love: And so, good Capulet, which name I tender [value] As dearly as my own, be satisfied', this shows Romeo realises he cannot hurt Tybalt as he is family now, but he doesn't want to reveal why just yet. He says he loves the Capulet's and he loves them as if they were his family (of course Tybalt doesn't know that though, but the audience do). Mercutio then jumps in and takes it in his own hands as Romeo is refusing to fight (Mercutio doesn't know that Romeo and Juliet are married, so in order to protect his family's name he steps in and fights Tybalt instead of Romeo) Mercutio is disgusted by Romeo's abandonment of traditionally masculine aggression. Tybalt does not understand why Romeo will not respond to his duelling challenge--a traditional mechanism to assert and protect masculine nobility. The two then 'draw their swords' and begin to fight, which excites the audience as they are intrigued, and speculating who will win and what will happen. Romeo is desperate to stop the fighting as he says 'Gentlemen, for shame, forbear [stop] this outrage, as he doesn't want them to fight because they are his family! His efforts turn out to be a failure when Tybalt soon after 'wounds Mercutio', and dies as a result. In the final irony of this scene, Mercutio never learns for what cause he was wounded. He believes he is wounded for a fight, not for a love.

Stage Directions play a big part in making this scene dramatic as it helps the audience absorb the atmosphere. All the movement (mainly the entering and exiting of different characters) creates and build tension and confusion, and is some cases, conflict. Conflict is evident when Romeo and Tybalt thrust their swords: 'come sir, your passado! [They fight]'. This grabs the audience's attention as they get involved in the fight as they want to see who wins and what happens, which is a dramatic device as Shakespeare is involving and interesting the audience. The two deaths in this seen are also shown through stage directions as it says 'Tybalt wounds Mercutio' and 'They fight: Tybalt falls', this is important because the stage directions are showing two key points of one of the most important scenes in the play. The entering and exiting involved around the time of Mercutio's



Download as:   txt (11 Kb)   pdf (123.3 Kb)   docx (12.7 Kb)  
Continue for 7 more pages »
Only available on