William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet is the most influential romantic tragedy plays of all times. The play which was written in the Elizabethan times in 1554 appealed to the Elizabethan audience via the play’s tragedy. Elizabethan audiences enjoyed this play partly because of the dramatic irony used where the audience knows more than the characters do, but also because they admired tragedies.
The prologue is used at the beginning to summarise what the play is about the prologue mentions ‘two star crossed lovers’ who attempt to overcome the conflict between each others families despite them being at odds with one another for decades, dramatic irony is created when the audience learn of the ‘death marked love’. Act 1 Scene 5 prepare the audience for the inevitable tragedy as this is the first time Romeo and Juliet meet. The play shows the audience an insight of what is going to occur through the prologue, this creates suspense and tension as audience members can not wait to see what they have learnt in action.
Two powerful families the Montagues and the Capulets, have been feuding with each other for years. We learn about Romeo’s fight with fellow family members of the Capulet’s in previous scenes. Old Capulet Juliet’s father throws a party to which he invites all his friends and promises Paris that he shall see his daughter Juliet for the possible engagement.
However Old Capulet is unsure whether he wants Juliet to get married so soon. “My child is yet a stranger in the world”, “Let two more summers wither in their pride. Capulet tells Paris that he should wait and that Juliet is still too young. This has a massive effect with the audience as they know what is to come because of the prologue, this leaves the audience tense as they can not wait to see Romeo disobey this. Although the Montagues are not invited, Romeo still attends the party despite the fact the Prince informed the two families that they should stay away from each other under the circumstances of the fight they had that day.
Both the Montague’s and Capulets were seen fighting yet again with each other in the middle of Verona, the Prince brought both families together and gives them a sentence, “if you ever disturb our streets again your lives shall pay the forfeit. ” Knowing this Romeo is taking a big risk to attend the ball. This creates suspense and adds tension to the audience as they wait anxiously to see what is to come. Romeo’s original intentions had been to seek his current love Rosaline but once inside he’s attention is stolen; not by Rosaline but by Juliet.
Romeo’s sudden transformation in mood and Juliet’s detachment from her obligations to her father regarding her husband to be, Paris changes the character’s role. Romeo and Juliet fall in love instantly yet Romeo is disappointed to learn that Juliet is a Capulet, he’s family eternal enemy, Shakespeare shows us that their love is destined for misfortune. This goes back to Romeo’s premonition before entering the ball, “my mind misgives some consequences yet hanging in the stars.
Shakespeare’s early foreshadowing of Romeo’s death creates dramatic irony, which heightens the audience’s interest also involvement by increasing their anticipation while simultaneously improving the audience understanding of the play. Juliet also notices Romeo but is unaware that he is a member of the Montague family. Juliet says, “My only love sprung from my only hate! ” this creates dramatic irony as it was already set and stoned as the audience was prepared for this. Shakespeare uses this to keep his audience determined to keep on watching for the next part.
The servants are preparing for the Capulet’s masked ball. The hustle and bustle of the servants as they hurry to finish various tasks, Shakespeare makes this scene very dramatic as all the servants are rushed off their feet: “Away with the joint tools, remove the court cupboards, look to the plate”. This contributes to the dramatic atmosphere. Also the calls for servants “where’s Poptan” and the many jobs that are higher than the number of staff, “we cannot be here and there to” this creates a sense of chaos in the scene.
Moreover the copious display of wealth in the decorations and presentation of the ball is completely different to Shakespeare’s audience, as they live in poverty; some were new to such richness. This also adds to the dramatic atmosphere in the scene because the audiences do not know what to expect next and they are captivated by the lavish display of wealth in this scene. The masked ball itself is an extremely important event in the play as it is where the “two star crossed lovers” (Romeo and Juliet) meet and first experience one another’s love.
Romeo’s first line when entering the ball is dramatic, “what lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of the yonder knight” here Shakespeare inserts the technique of dramatic irony as the audience have already learnt from the prologue that they are both the children of their eternal enemies. The pair is destined to be with one another as told in the prologue “star crossed lovers” and at the ball they fulfil this destiny when they meet and fall in love with each other, Juliet so much so that she even declares that “if he be married, my grave is likely to be my wedding bed.
Romeo expresses his love for Juliet with powerful religious metaphors and imagery that creates a passionate and dramatic atmosphere in this scene. “I profane with my unwothiest hand this holy shrine. ” “Thus from my lips, by yours my sin is purged”. This is strong and very religious metaphors that Romeo uses this suggests that he is unholy but hopes to cleanse him self with her pure and holy touch. Although it is a clever lure to steal a kiss, Juliet does not resist it “then have my lips” therefore it is clear she shares his feelings of love.
In addition to this Romeo and Juliet also share a sonnet which signifies their feelings for one another also strengthens their growing love. He also compares his lips to pilgrims that can “smooth” away the “rough touch” of the hand with a kiss; in this scene Romeo uses religious language to express his feelings towards seeing Juliet for the first time. Juliet explains to Romeo that handholding is the right kind of kiss for pilgrims, while lips are for praying.
Romeo’s witty response to Juliet is to ask for permission to let his lips do what his hands are allowed to and Juliet agrees to “grant” this for the sake of his prayers. When Romeo kisses her, Juliet says she has received the sin he has “purged” from himself. Romeo insists at once that he must take it back – and kisses her again! In contrast to Romeo and Juliet’s love, Tybalt is the personification of hate. During the play he conveys only feelings of hate and shows he is a negative person.
A perfect example of this is when he reveals to Benvolio his thoughts of peace, “I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montague’s and thee. ” Alongside his hate for all Montagues Tybalt has a habit for violence so when Tybalt recognizes the uninvited son of his principal foe his immediate reaction is to send for his “Rapier”. This sudden response makes the audience nervous and plays an extreme emphasis on the drama raging in this scene. However Tybalt’s plans for the slaughtering of Romeo all changes when he is overruled by Old Capulet, “You are a princox, go, be quiet or…
I’ll make you quiet. ” Tybalt blames the humiliation of being reprimanded by Capulet in public on Romeo, which compels him to hold a grudge that only, conceives more hatred for Romeo. “I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall. ” This with Tybalt’s threat to kill Romeo: “to strike him dead I hold it not a sin” serves as a warning that Tybalt is extremely on the edge of getting revenge on Romeo for intruding on the Capulet’s celebrations and for causing his humiliation during the ball.
We are now aware Tybalt may confront Romeo soon. This increases the dramatic tension and arouses eager anticipation in the audience. Act 1 scene 5 plays an important jigsaw puzzle fix to the play’s plotline as it is directly linked to the play’s climax and is also a major turning point for the play. Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony in the prologue lets the audience know of the “two star crossed lover’s” and their “death marked love”. Act 1 scene 5 is where the lovers meet for the very first time therefore the prophecy in the prologue is fulfilling itself.
As we know Tybalt has sown to get revenge on Romeo, in this scene Tybalt and Romeo are engaged in a fierce duel which leads to Romeo’s exile from Verona, in this scene Tybalt is at burning point were he declares his desire to kill Romeo “To strike him down I hold it a sin. ” This shows that Tybalt will not hold back on Romeo. Act 1 scene 5 is also the turning point of the play as it is where Romeo learns that Juliet is a Capulet, after learning of this, their long and arduous journey to overcome the feud with one another’s families has only just begun.
Furthermore in this scene Juliet’s threatens to take her own life “if he be married, my grave is likely to be my wedding bed” also Romeo’s premonition hints towards his death tie within the tragic ending where both lovers take their lives. As predicted. “A pair of star crossed lovers take their life. ” In conclusion I have analysed various aspects of Act 1 Scene 5 and have tried to explain as much as possible about the drama and fatal meetings between Romeo and Juliet. I have explored how dramatic irony kicks in and how it shows the audience the great devotion between the two lovers.
With dramatic irony it allows us to see further into the play before any character can. Tybalt’s intense hatred for Romeo is expressed thornily as well as foreshadowing of the couple’s fate in all ways in which the scene is made daringly dramatic. These points all fit in together with the rest of the play. Furthermore, the essay is examined how the appearance of Act 1 scene 5 is dramatised. The play talks about fate throughout, how fate effects people as it is written however I disagree as fate is only what you choose to make of it.