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Looking closely at the characters and language in Romeo and Juliet, analyse the dramatic effectiveness in Act 3, Scene 5 William Shakespeare wrote “Romeo and Juliet” in 1954, although the basic plot can be traced back as early as the third century. In the play, Shakespeare relies heavily on the poem “The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet” by Arthur Brooke. Most of the people in the Elizabethan era were perceptive enough to concentrate on how the play was being performed and engaged themselves in the language the characters were using.
Shakespeare’s audiences had different expectations towards his play, as many of them recognised the story already, they were settled enough to watch it providing the dramatist’s interpretation proved to be unique and original. I have been looking closely at Act 3, Scene 5 where Romeo and Juliet have just been secretly married. The scene opens with the two lovers having to part quickly after the Nurse informs Juliet her mother is swiftly approaching. Already a dramatic atmosphere is created, the audience is almost waiting for Romeo and Juliet to be caught out, this they know can simply not happen.
Juliet is understandably tearful; Romeo is sympathetic towards her, showing he really cares for her: “I will omit no opportunity That will convey my greetings, love, to thee” All this is in comparison to later scenes in the play showing Juliet solitary and unsupported. Between the two lovers, there is a great difference, Romeo appears more optimistic than Juliet who is full of fear, sensing premonitions of her next seeing Romeo dead in a tomb. Her premonitions affect the audience, making them apprehensive and tense: “O God, I have an ill- divining soul! Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low As one dead in the bottom of a tomb. ”
The audience hears these harsh, severe words and are reminded of Romeo’s earlier startling premonition that he would die young: “…. My mind misgives Some consequence not yet hanging in the stars….. By come vile forfeit of untimely death. ” A chilling effect is created on those viewing the play as they start to realise and understand the significance of the two premonitions. By looking back into earlier scenes, dramatic effectiveness is created. Juliet uses language that shows how she is fearful of how her life with Romeo could easily be destroyed. She speaks to him strongly, showing a strong contrast to her soft words used previously.
The strong bond that has been created between the two lovers before the audience’s eyes is momentarily going to be destroyed; tension is created as an aftermath of this feeling. This tension carries on and becomes hugely greater as the news of County Paris’ proposal is first heard of. The audience watch, already aware of the proposal, as the news is given to an extremely shocked Juliet. They wait anxiously for Juliet’s sake as she learns of it, and so a dramatic effectiveness is cast over them. The scene is made effective by the use of irony from Lady Capulet.
As Lady Capulet refers to her “joyful tidings” and Juliet’s response is ironically a pleased one: “And joy comes well in such a needy time” But then the audience sees the real reason of Lady Capulet’s announcement and the hesitation of the crucial words proves to be highly dramatic, “Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride” Juliet’s intense anger would make great drama on stage, she shows her raging reaction well: “Now by Saint Peter’s church and Peter too He shall not make me there a joyful bride! ” Juliet’s response shows exactly how she is feeling about the matter; she does not hold back at all.
The audience knows the dilemma she is facing, one of bigamy, they are deeply involved and show much needed sympathy to Juliet. In the conversation that follows the cold and sharp language both Juliet and her mother used are very effective. Both sides address each other very formally, Juliet calling Lady Capulet, “My Lady”, “Mother” where Lady Capulet calls Juliet “girl” and “child”. This doesn’t seem to be the language one would expect from a close knit and loving family. This could lead to the conclusion that Juliet’s relationship is far from the relationship she has with Romeo; a loving and stable one.
When Lord Capulet enters Juliet’s room, it proves to be a significantly dramatic scene because of the violence and fury portrayed by Lord Capulet. He arrives in her room in a threatening manner; his wife shows fear warning us to expect the worst, “Here comes your father. Tell him so yourself And see how he will take it at your hands. ” Lord Capulet does not expect Juliet to disobey him, he would simply expect grateful thanks and obedience from his daughter. He portrays himself as someone who is used to getting his own way and the way that he regards himself as royalty emphasises to his huge ego and elevated formal language,”Have you delivered to our decree? ”
He shows great enthusiasm as he enters Juliet’s room, he seems delighted with his plan and congratulates himself on stage. Being the only man on stage, he is showing domination and the audience can see that he likes to be in control. He makes the women afraid; his centre role on stage shows this. The language that he uses is indeed very dramatic and effective.
He poses questions to Juliet, being sharp and short when he does so showing how bewildered he is, and he vociferously attacks his daughter overwhelming her with numerous with numerous questions which she does not have time to answer, “How? Will she none? Doth she not give us thanks? ” Capulet’s sentence construction is cleverly disjointed emphasising greatly on his anger that is building up rapidly. He shows more of an interest in finding a way to answer Juliet’s questions and his concern is more about his cleverness than the distress of his only daughter. He uses aggressive terms to Juliet, ” you greensickness carrion”, ” young baggage”, both examples are very aggressive and devegiating.