Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. He starts the drama with an epic prologue. Shakespeare knew what appealed to the people in the theatre. They liked jokes about: sex, female and male relationships, racy jokes and puns. Shakespeare has tangled all of these and more into a magnificent piece of dramatic art.
One of the ways Shakespeare makes this scene dramatically effective is the way he uses fighting and conflict for example “Do you bite your thumb at me sir?” “I do bite my thumb, Sir” This quote sparks off the main fighting between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s. This quote plays a big part in the play because its shocking. It shocks the audience and offends the character. Because it’s a common swear word in a non – common environment. Therefore making it offensive and making an action packed start to the play. Shakespeare turns the smallest fight into a big brawl. By the end of this scene the whole of Verona is in on the fighting for example “Clubs, bills and partisans ! Strike, beat them down. Down with Montague’s ! Down with Capulet’s !” This quote shows that the villagers are neutral – This means they can’t decide who to support. For example, they may feel that if they support the Montague’s – and the Montague’s lose – then they will become weak. This may also let the Capulet’s have the upper hand, therefore giving them more power and therefore causing more and more conflict.
Shakespeare has chosen a wide range of characters which entertain the audience. They go from fiery and aggressive to cool and collected. For example, Tybalts entrance is very melodramatic, the audience find out what his character is like by the way he acts and the drama he uses in his first lines “What are thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee Benvolio. Look upon thy death” This portrays Tybalt as a heartless monster and an evil villain. “What, drawn and talk of peace ? I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montague’s.” This quote shows how vindictive Tybalt is. He is as fiery as a dragon from the depths of hell. Benvolio however is a whole different person
Benvolio is cool, calm, collected and tries to avoid conflict and trouble. Benvolio has more respect for his cousin than Tybalt has for his. As the drama rises in this opening scene, Benvolio tries to put a stop to it “I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword, or manage it to part these men with me.” This shows that Benvolio wants everyone to calm down and stop. This shows Benvolio doesn’t want to cause trouble and therefore not anger the prince.
The drama the prince creates is through the way he shows himself when telling off the boys. “Rebellious subjects enemies to peace, profaners of this neighbour – stained – steel will they not hear ? .etc.” This shows that the Prince is the boss and that if anyone messes with him or with his town they will pay. This is shown later on in the speech when he says “Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets” This then shows that the boys are in more trouble than they had thought this is shown again later on in the speech when he says “If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” This now shows there will definitely be more trouble. Therefore intriguing the audience.
Act 3, scene 1
One of the ways Shakespeare makes this scene dramatically effective is the way he uses intermit, verbal, abusive content and the way all of a sudden an explosion of fighting, fear and tragedy breaks out. This attracts the audience to sit on the edge of their seats and gawp. This is shown when Mercutio starts to wind up Tybalt “O calm, dishonourable vile submission! Alla stoccata carries it away. Tybalt, you rat – catcher, will you walk?” This gives us the impression that Mercutio is reeling Tybalt in. It sounds like he is prodding Him with a stick. Therefore Tybalt fights back as we see when Mercutio is killed. This shows Tybalt as a fox – sly, cunning and quick.
In this part of the play Romeo is shown as a soppy puppy. So love sick he can’t see straight. Therefore he doesn’t realise what is happening between Mercutio and Tybalt, until it’s to late then he turns to a violent murderer. This shows us that he has completely forgotten about Juliet. “… And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now. Now Tybalt take the “Villain” back again That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio’s soul…” This quote shows us that Tybalt hasn’t got a chance and that Romeo is so angry that he will do anything to kill Tybalt. Romeo’s temperament has changed dramatically throughout the play. Therefore making it quite significant. It all starts off when he is besotted with his Rosalyn and then suddenly it all changes “BANG” he’s in love with a girl he has never met before and wants to marry her as soon as possible. Then again it changes again “BANG” he is so mad at Tybalt for killing his best friend he couldn’t care less about Juliet ! This all shows us that he is a bit of a “Drama queen” and has the temper of a rottweiler !!
In conclusion I feel that these two scene’s give a good contrast of romance, conflict, pain and suffering ! In my opinion I feel that Shakespeare has really shown two aspects of society, for example: Rich Vs Poor and Black Vs white and even Ego Vs Ego !!!! Shakespeare has shown that conflict is all around and that especially back then, society was a big thing. Therefore I feel that Romeo and Juliet makes a great epic to compare modern day life with now !!!!!