With the Focus on Act 3 Scene 1, How Are Violence, Conflict and Tension Developed by Shakespeare Through Language, Setting and Plot?

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GCSE COURSEWORK- ROMEO & JULIET

For my Romeo and Juliet coursework I will try to answer the question: Shakespeare uses many dramatic devices to ensure that Romeo and Juliet is a play full of violence, conflict and tension.
With the focus on Act 3 Scene 1, how are these techniques developed by Shakespeare through language, setting and plot?

The very hopeful tone of Act II where Romeo and Juliet got married changes dramatically at the beginning of Act III as Romeo becomes entangled in the brutal conflict between the two families. The searing heat “day is hot”, flaring tempers “mad blood stirring” and sudden violence of this scene is a abrupt contrast with the romantic, peaceful previous night. The play reaches a dramatic climax as Romeo and Juliet’s private world clashes with the public feud with tragic consequences- death of Mercutio and Tybalt. Mercutio’s death becomes the catalyst for the tragic turn the play takes from this point onwards.

The choice of the setting plays a big part in the development of this tragic turn. Shakespeare shifts the setting from the privacy of Friar Lawrence’s cell where Romeo and Juliet got married to a public place where friends, honour and family ties hold sway. This setting shows that innocent people are getting hurt because of all this feuding; “civil blood makes civil hands unclean”. On top of that it suggests that the families’ feud has reached its ultimatum-it has gone from private to public. We also get the feeling that they are nearing to the deaths which creates a bit of uneasiness.

Shakespeare starts the scene with scepticism of the logical Benvolio and the wittiness of the “as hot a Jack” (hot-headed) Mercutio. Shakespeare chose this because they almost have opposite personalities, this keeps the audiences engaged. Shakespeare opens their conversation with Benvolio (being the voice of reason) telling Mercutio to…...

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