Romeo And Juliet. The Significance Of Act3 Scene 1.

2041 words - 8 pages

Act 3 Scene 1 and Its Significance In The PlayIn 1595, William Shakespeare wrote what was to be one of the most celebrated plays of all time. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a tale of "A pair of star-crossed lovers" whose lives are entangled in a vine of fate that leads to their final breath. Both characters were born into an "ancient grudge" that had been fuelled by formidable families, the Capulets and the Montagues. Act 3 Scene 1 twists this love story into that of an ill-fated tragedy, as the death of two lead to two more.'Romeo and Juliet' is firmly centred on the figures of its hero and heroine. Although characters such as Mercutio are fully developed and have large parts, and so it is the story of Romeo and Juliet themselves that holds the attention of the Elizabethan audience. There is a clear structure: an optimistic and often comic movement up to the marriage at the end of Act II that is swiftly followed by a counter-movement, which begins with the quarrel in Act III Scene 1 and leads to tragedy.The scene begins with the cautious Benvolio and mischievous Mercutio strolling down the hot streets of fair Verona."The day is hot, the Capels are abroad,And if we meet, we 'scape a brawl,For now the hot days, is the mad blood stirring."Mercutio, in his constant state of fearlessness, criticizes Benvolio's cowardly request and ironically suggests that he is the argumentative one.Mercutio is a very close friend of Romeo. He is one of the most extraordinary characters in all of Shakespeare's plays; Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange satire and menacing enthusiasm. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially double entendres. He can be quite hot-headed, and hates people who are pretentious or obsessed with the latest fashions, an example would be Tybalt.As the volatile Capulets make their presence on stage, the alarmed Benvolio expresses his concern as Mercutio mocks,"By my heel I care not."Tybalt, along with the rest of his crowd, is not amused by Mercutio's quick-witted answers and rebelliousness. Tybalt is Juliet's cousin. He is vain, fashionable, and supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it. He becomes aggressive, violent and he is quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. With little patience Tybalt shouts in anger,"Mercutio, thou consortist with Romeo."Highly offended by the accusation that befriending Romeo is a crime; Mercutio draws his "fiddlestick" anxious to engage in a duel.As the seriousness of the tension rises, like a roller coaster before it begins its speedy decent, Mercutio's sweet song of jokes turns bitter. The usually animated character of Mercutio shows his other mask of unpredictable, fearsome aggression. Benvolio who "Does but keep the peace." Discourages his confrontation and pleads for them to "Withdraw into some private place." The well-meaning Benvolio fails to negotiate as the enraged Mercutio ignores his pacifism and blood thirsty Tybalt. Throughout the play, Tybalt's fury...

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