Romeo and Juliet
Dramatic impact is drama used to make the audience feel an emotion such as joy, anger, fear, tension, etc. this could be because of what we see, hear or imagine on stage, noting contrasts and interaction. It is created by what people do (which is the use of body language, facial expressions, their gestures and movements and the way that they set them selves out on stage. ) What people say and how they say it (which includes their tone of voice, sarcasm, emphasis, recreation, imagery, hesitation confidence, pauses and the change of topic. How the play itself is related to the plot and the theme.
Whether dramatic impact would also depend on if the play moves the plot forward or if it is related to themes such as hatred or deception. If it ties up any loose ends, or if there are any surprises. It is necessary to have dramatic impact on plays because if you don’t use it then it will make it difficult for the audience to suspend their disbelief, which means that the audience pretends that the whole play itself is actually real and put all their beliefs to one side.
They suspend their disbelief because they want to make the play more interesting to watch. If the play doesn’t have any dramatic impact, then it will make it difficult for the audience to suspend their belief. Shakespeare’s plays usually have five acts. In act three, it is known as the pivotal point. This means the middle part of the play which decides what the ending of the play is going to be, so, therefore this part is going to be the most dramatic part of the play. The play is set in Renaissance Italy.
This is because people at that time believed that Italy was a romantic and interesting place. So setting the play in Renaissance Italy would make the play more interesting and make the audience think that it is going to be an interesting play. Shakespeare also set some of his plays in Italy because in some of the plays, it shows some parts that are criticizing the country and if Shakespeare set his plays in England the king or queen would have beheaded him. There are some differences between the realities of Renaissance Italy and the settings of Romeo and Juliet.
Firstly the Renaissance actually meant “rebirth”. Also, the Renaissance was split into two sides: firstly, one of the sides of the renaissance were named for artists, sculpture and architecture, with some of the paintings and models that still are looked at and admired today. Whereas the other side was a time of feuding (war), fighting and political intrigue, especially in Italy. This is realistic in the Romeo and Juliet play because there is a lot of fighting (evidence is the Montagues and the Capulets).
Back then Italy didn’t exist, instead of which it was a collection of city states, inside each city state they had a duke (which was like a king) – with an army and total power; just like Prince Escalus in the Romeo and Juliet play. But all wasn’t peaceful, each city state were fighting to become the best state. We don’t see this in the play because the play itself is set in Verona (until Romeo is banished to Mantua. ) Each citizen was loyal to their own family. This can be proved by the servants and cousins to the lord of each family: the Montagues and the Capulets, as seen in the play.
Inside each city state, each family fought for power and influence, just like the Montague’s and the Capulet’s in the play. And as for the actual people themselves, the urban people meant people living in the city, where as the rural people meant people living in the country, but in the play, it mainly focuses on the urban people, which are the type of people that the Montagues and the Capulets were like. Speaking of which, urban men were not allowed to get married until they could support a wife including themselves, the average age of which was 30-35.
This isn’t realistic in the play since Romeo marries Juliet at a far young age. Men became urban to make their own fortune- no wives to control them, no responsibility amongst them, high spirits. This is seen in the play as there are lots of young urban boys roaming the streets in gangs; Romeo had his gang with Mercutio and Benvolio, whereas Tybalt has his friends. As well as this, men sought excitement in fighting. This is realistic since men are in gangs and want to make out that they look tough (evidence is the character of Tybalt).
Back in the time when this play was written, marriage wasn’t for love; men wanted fertile wives to give them children. Women, however, wanted to be financially secure and to be protected. Also the age category wasn’t normal like it was now. Girls of 14 would marry men aged 40+ and this was normal back then. The average age for fatherhood was 40+ so that might explain why. This is realistic in the play because lord Capulet wanted Juliet to marry Paris and he was much older than Juliet.
Women had no say in who or whether they got married, since it was all decided by their fathers, if their fathers sent their daughters to a convent to become a nun then that was the case. In the play, though, it isn’t realistic because although lord Capulet wanted Juliet to marry Paris, he gave Juliet a choice in whether she marries or not, this occurred rarely. The way the audience reacted in Shakespeare’s day and nowadays is very different. For example if you shouted or threw fruit at the players back in Shakespeares day then it was fine, since it was allowed.
However, if you threw fruit or shouted out in the theatre today, the chances are you would get kicked out very soon. When the audience sees the fight in act 3 Scene 1, they might feel tense or angry since Mercutio is looking for trouble, they also will feel worried for Romeo because he’s just married Juliet and the Prince specifically said that any one that fights again will be put to death. Tybalt is angry with Romeo from the Capulet ball, when lord Capulet refused Tybalt’s wish to have Romeo removed, since he couldn’t take out the anger on lord Capulet since he’s boss of the family, so he blames Romeo for that.
Fighting in the streets with swords in Shakespeare’s day was very common, so the Elizabethan audience would have been used fight Scenes like Act 3 Scene 1. However, if it was a modern audience to see swords used in fighting, then they would think that it looks ridiculous, since we are not used to seeing sword fighting in streets. Instead of which we are used to seeing people fighting with blades, so, overall, we don’t know about fighting with swords, but we do know about fighting with knives, so the modern audience and the Elizabethan audience will have a similar reaction.
As for the audience in Shakespeare’s time, the audience would have reacted with the players far different than the modern audience today. For example, the Elizabethan audience shouted at them to encourage them, or if they didn’t like a certain character, then they would shout abuse at them. When we see Tybalt on stage, we feel worried for Romeo because he’s just got married. And the friar’s plan- to bring the two families together might be ruined if Romeo fights Tybalt. Not to mention the Prince’s promise to put anyone to death who fights on the streets again.
The audience would feel sympathetic Tybalt is a great fighter, and Romeo has never been seen to fight. We would feel frustrated because none of the characters know that Romeo is married to Juliet, only the friar, Juliet, Romeo and we know that as. To offer someone out to a fight these days you simply go up to someone and say “come on then!! ” But back in the days of Shakespeare it was much different, a villain means today some one who breaks the law.
But back in Shakespeares day it was known as a major insult and was a traditional way to invite someone to a duel (a fight to death. if however, you rejected a challenge to a duel, though, you lost your name forever, people will look upon you as a coward. In the play, Romeo couldn’t accept this challenge from Tybalt because the prince would put him to death and Juliet wouldn’t be happy with him neither. Today, a gentleman means a normal man; we see it on the public toilets, changing rooms etc. but in Shakespeares’ day, a gentleman was someone whose honour can be relied upon, what he says he’ll do, he has fine social standings, Benvolio was considered as a gentleman since his personality fits into those categories.
If you were called a villain, your gentlemanly honour was tested, and as I said, if you rejected a challenge to a duel, then you lose you social standings. At this point will feel frustrated because Romeo can’t accept Tybalts offer to a duel because he’s just married Tybalts cousin Juliet, and if Romeo kills Tybalt then Juliet might not love him anymore, the audience will feel sympathetic for Romeo since Tybalt is an excellent fighter, and Romeo has never been seen to fight. A pun means to play on words. If you used puns in Elizabethan times, you were seen to be very intelligent.
A good example is Mercutio, he gives out a lot of puns, and even puns when he is fatally injured, the Elizabethan audience will admire him a lot for that and surely the modern audience will as well. Some evidence may be when he says stuff like “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man. ” This show that he is injured and he means that if you ask for him tomorrow then he’ll basically be dead. The modern audience wouldn’t be the same since nowadays we tend not to admire characters by how well they play on words, a modern audience would tend to admire characters by their personality or their appearance.
This is known as “judging a book by its cover”. This simply means judging people by their first impression, which is what most people do today. Dramatic impact means to create an effect on the audience. But it is also created by what we learn from characters. Due to this, we already know about some of the important characters in Act 3 Scene 1; these characters are Benvolio, Romeo, Mercutio and Tybalt. One of these 4 characters stays the same, and that character is Benvolio. Benvolio, who is Romeos cousin and a member of the Montague family and house. He is a very good peace maker; in Act 1 Scene 1 he tries to stop the fight.
Evidence of which is when Benvolio says “part fools, put up your swords, you know not what you do” this shows he’s standby, he tries to stop the fight and encourages other people to do the same. Another thing about Benvolio is that he is a helpful and trustworthy person. Evidence is when he says “I’d know his grievance will be much denied” this shows he’s been asked for help, so he gives help. He is also known to be a good friend as a good cousin to Romeo, proof is where he says “be ruled by me, forget to think of her” this evidence shows that Benvolio is a good friend.
In Act 3 Scene 1 he still stays the same. He is still a peacemaker. Especially when he says “I pray thee good Mercutio lets retire. ” This shows that he’s trying to keep the peace by warning Mercutio about the consequences roaming the streets of Verona with the Capulets out and about. He is still a good friend. Proof is when he says to Romeo when he kills Tybalt “away Romeo be gone! The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain! ” This shows that he is good and respectful to all of his friends. He is still also very trustworthy.
This can be proved when he says to the prince when Romeo kills Tybalt “there lies that Tybalt” this shows that he tells the truth. The impact on the audience will be good since they can trust him. We have seen him tell the truth to people, when he says “O noble prince, I can discover all the unlucky manage of this fatal brawl. There lies the man, slain by young Romeo that slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio”. He will be admired because he is an honest person. If the Prince can trust him, then surely we can trust him. I would now like to focus on Tybalt.
Tybalt is a cousin of Juliet and a member of the Montague household. Firstly, Tybalt isn’t like Benvolio, in Act 1 Scene 1, Tybalt is mean, always part of the feud, he enjoys it. This can easily be proved by when he says to Benvolio “I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues and thee. ” This shows that he’s a participant of the feud; he is also temperamental (angry), hot tempered and loves fighting. Secondly, since Tybalt is a Capulet he is always intolerant of Montagues. I know this because when he seen Romeo at the Capulet ball he says “it fits when such villain is a guest”.
This proves my point that he is angry, he is looking for trouble and he’s intolerant. It’s almost like he doesn’t want anything to do with the Montagues, as far as Tybalt was concerned, the only good Montague was the one at the end of his sword, that’s how much he hated them. But, interestingly enough, though, he isn’t like this all the way through the play. In Act 3 Scene 1, he is capable to control his anger; he is restrained, polite, patient to all Montagues. You might not believe this, but there is proof when he says “you will find me apt enough for that sir, or you will give me an occasion”.
This bit of evidence shows that he can keep his anger on the Montagues so the reaction will be shock. At this point in the play the impact on the audience will firstly be amazement since that he has kept his calm on Mercutio, when it is Mercutio who is looking for trouble and not him. This occurs rarely because it is usually Tybalt who is looking for trouble. They would also feel surprise since that he is restrained; he keeps his anger on the Montagues, whereas in Act 1 Scene1 if Mercutio would have been rude to Tybalt then, Tybalt would have blown his top off at him.
And last of all the audience would feel relieved as Tybalt hasn’t retaliated to Mercutio even though Mercutio is really pushing it. But this amazing change of Tybalt doesn’t last permanently; he is polite and restrained at the start of Act 3 Scene 1then he’s back to his normal self. A street fighter as he would have been known of today. He changes back when Mercutio offers him to a duel, so then we would feel like we want them to stop because we know someone is going to get hurt. Now I’d like to focus on Mercutio. Mercutio is a relative of Prince Escalus and a friend of Romeo, so he is a friend to the Montague family.
In Act 1 Scene 4, we see the first entry of Mercutio. At this point we know that he is a good friend to Romeo. I know this from when he goes on about that fantastical story about a fairy called Queen Mab, who interferes with peoples dreams, he makes up random rubbish that when she touches peoples lips they dream of kissing (“O’er ladies lips, who straight kisses dream”) and when Romeo stops him and says ” peace, peace Mercutio peace! Thou talkst of nothing”.
So he basically says “Oh shut up Mercutio you are talking rubbish! Then Mercutio simply says “yes, I’m talking rubbish, I’m talking of dreams, and so are you! ” This shows that Mercutio is a good friend and tells Romeo to forget about dreams. Also, Mercutio is very witty (funny) and incredibly quick witted (never lost for words). We are told this by Romeo when he is talking to the nurse in Act 2 Scene 3 and says “a gentleman nurse, that loves to hear himself talk”. This shows that he is entertaining, if one of his close friends says he’s entertaining, and then I’m sure that proves my point that he is a very funny man who can sometimes go far.
When he says to the nurse “No hare, sir, unless a hare, sir, in a Lenten pie-that is, something stale and hoar ere it be spent. ” This shows that he was only joking around with the nurse but that line shows that he was going too far and he didn’t know when to stop. At this point, the audience would find Mercutio very entertaining, because the things he does on stage would have made the Elizabethan audience laugh, the way that he puns a lot. He also makes fun of other people but can sometimes go far and not know when to stop. In Act 3 Scene 1 though, he changes quite slightly.
In Act 3 Scene 4 he was a laid back type of person. But in Act 3 Scene 1 he is stubborn, he doesn’t take Benvolios advice (“I pray thee good Mercutio let’s retire. “) Mercutio is looking for trouble, especially when he says to Tybalt “couple it with something, make it a word and a blow! ” This proves that he is looking for trouble with Tybalt. The audience will feel worried and tense because Tybalt is an excellent fighter, and the Prince clearly stated that anyone who fights in the streets again will be put to death. In Act 1 Scene 4, he is a kind friend to Romeo (Queen Mab speech).
But however, in Act 3 Scene 1 he calls him a coward. Proof is when he says to Romeo “calm, dishonourable, vile submission”. This shows that he disapproves of Romeos response to Tybalt and goes on to fighting Tybalt himself. So the audience will feel very scared since we didn’t really see this coming along. Although he changes in some ways, he is still stays the same. He is still a joker; he still puns, even when he has been fatally injured by Tybalt. We know this from when he says “ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man”. So this shows that he still jokes around even if he is injured.
An Elizabethan audience would have respected Mercutio since that he puns a lot. But the modern audience would have thought he was an idiot who deserved what he got. Moreover Mercutio, the audience would feel sorry for Romeo. Since that Romeo is going to do something beyond his common sense. He will not be able to accept responsibility. I would now like to finish off with Romeo. Romeo is lord and lady Montagues son. He is the heir of the Montagues, so he is going to be a high status person. He falls in love with Juliet (Capulet). He looks 16-17.
In Act 1 Scene 1, Romeo was depressed, moping around, because he is in courtly love with a girl called Rosaline. Courtly love was a situation where the man loved a woman, so he’d send her flowers and love letters and the girl would treat him meanly. A saying goes “keep them mean keep them keen”. So Romeo is being depressed and being sad. This can be proved from when he says to Benvolio and says “love is a smoke made with a fume of sighs”. This shows that he is seeking attention. At this point, Romeo is pretending to be in love, when he says “sadness cousin, I do love a woman”.
He isn’t really in love, but he pretends to be in love. In Act 1 Scene 1 he was not part of the feud. He wasn’t at the fight in Act 1 Scene 1. Support for this is when he says “o me, what fray was here?! ” He says this because he hates the feud. He is not a fighter, he is a lover. As well as not being a fighter, he disapproves of the feud. We know this from when Romeo says to Benvolio “yet tell me not for I have heard it all”. He says this because he hates the feud. He doesn’t want anything to do with it. Normal teenagers these days are leading and spiritual. But Romeo wasn’t a leader, he was a follower.
We know this because on the way to the Capulet ball he says “give me a torch, I am not for the ambling”. This shows that he doesn’t want to dance, he doesn’t want to go to the ball and he’s just following his friends. Romeo also believes in fate, especially when he says “in bed asleep, while then dream things true”. Because he is in love, he has a premonition. A premonition means a sudden flashback that something bad is going to happen. The Elizabethan audience believed in these type of things, so if Romeo says that he has had a premonition, then the audience would feel concerned for Romeo.
In Act 1 Scene 1, Romeo was depressed, moping around, looking for attention. However, in Act 3 Scene 1 he changes quite dramatically. First off he is now happy and content since that he has married Juliet. He shows his feelings from when he says “good morrow to both of you, what counterfeit did I give you? ” this shows that he has cheered up and forgot about Rosaline, he wouldn’t have behaved like that in Act 1 Scene 1. At the start of the play, Romeo wasn’t a leader. In Act 3 Scene 1 he becomes more decisive, more of a leader.
We learn this from when he says “gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up! ” he says that to Mercutio to stop him from fighting Tybalt and getting himself hurt. This shows that he is a good friend more than a leader because he is doing what is best for Mercutio. Romeo is still restrained and more mature. This can be proved by when he turns down Tybalts request and says “but I love thee better than I canst devise”. He doesn’t wish to fight Tybalt since than he is happy because he has married Juliet. Surprisingly enough, when Romeo used to hate the feud, suddenly, he becomes part of it.
Especially when he says “either thou, I, or both must accompany him. He becomes part of the feud when Tybalt kills Mercutio; Romeo seeks revenge by fighting Tybalt himself and killing him in revenge. After he kills Tybalt, he still believes in fate, because he says “o, I am misfortunes fool, this shows that he believes that the premonition that he had all led down to this. At this point, the audience would feel astonished about what he’s just done; they would also feel concern because at this point we might think that the response of Juliet will not be positive.
I would now like to talk about the relationship changes after Act 3 Scene 1. Because of Act 3 Scene 1, some of the things that were going to happen now will not happen due to the events we saw in Act 3 Scene 1. Firstly the Friars’ plan, to marry Romeo and Juliet in secret in Act 2 Scene 5, which worked out. But however not only did he intend to marry Romeo and Juliet, he also planned to tell the families (Montagues and the Capulets) about the wedding- but now that can’t happen because of the death of Mercutio and Tybalt. What the Friar thought would happen was that the feud would end.
But the friar was wrong and not only did it put an end to the feud, it made it even worse than it already was. However, some of the things that were not planned will now happen because of the events in Act 3 Scene1. The mage of Juliet and Paris, it was discussed, but not agreed. Juliet was upset about Romeo, lord Capulet and thinks that Juliet is upset about Tybalts death. So he arranges a wedding for her and Paris to cheer her up. I know this from when he is talking to Paris and says “I will, and know her mind early tomorrow. Tonight she’s mewed up to her happiness”.
This shows that he thinks that this marriage will cheer Juliet up, but it is about to make it a whole lot worse. But it is not all about the marriage of Juliet and Paris. Romeo has been banished because of this Juliet is alone. Romeo can’t come back because he’s banished, if he tries to come back then he will be put to death. He can sneak back, but no-one will know that he’s back except Juliet. Juliet cannot go to the Friar because he has got enough on his mind and he can’t help her at this moment. She can’t go to the nurse since she will just advise her to marry Paris, and Juliet doesn’t want to do this.
So from this point onwards, Juliet is alone. I think that the dramatic impact on the audience will be sympathy. Due to the fact that Juliet is alone, she is only a 13 year old girl. Since that she is already married to Romeo. She cannot marry twice because the Capulets were catholic. And the Catholic Church doesn’t allow divorces. So since she is married to Romeo, she’s ended up getting herself into a right knot. If however she married Paris, Catholics believed that your soul would go to hell. So we would feel sorry for Juliet because lord Capulet doesn’t know that Juliet is married to Romeo.
So we would want to help her. At the end of the play. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet, they both committed suicide. Back in Elizabethan times, suicide was a mortal sin. So they must have been desperate. Romeo finds Juliet in the tomb, not knowing that she’s dead, he kills himself. Juliet however wakes up to find Romeo dead. So she then kills herself so then she is dead. I’ve finished talking about the plot changes. Now I would like to look at the changes of relationship following Act 3 Scene1. Firstly I would like to talk about the relationship change between Juliet and Romeo.
Before Act 3 Scene 2, they loved each other more than anything. In Act 3 Scene 2 she starts to doubt Romeo and think that he is evil. This is when she says that speech when she finds out that Romeo killed Tybalt (o serpent hid with a flowering face… o, deceit should dwell in such a gorgeous palace. “) Her faith is shaken for a short time. After the nurse agrees with Juliet and starts to criticise Romeo, it is then when Juliet springs back into his defence when she says “o, what a beast was I to chide at him. ” Not a real change- just a wobble.
So the audience will be relaxed since Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is settled. Secondly, I would like to talk about the relationship changes between Juliet and the nurse. Before Act 3 Scene 2 the relationship between the nurse and Juliet was like mother and daughter. Girls at Juliet’s age were not given the freedom as some girls are given today. Juliet would have had to be escorted everywhere by someone-except from when she went to confession. Back in those days, upper classed mothers did not bring up their children. It was all left to a wet nurse. The nurse knew more about Juliet than her own mum did.
After Act 3 Scene 2. Juliet has been given some advice from the nurse that she does not want to hear, when she says “I think that you are happy in this second match…. ” This makes Juliet feel as if she cannot trust the nurse again. If Juliet would have told the nurse about the potion, she would have not allowed it. Although the nurse loves Juliet, the relationship will be broken at this point. Finally I would like to finish off with the relationship changes between Juliet and her parents. The relationship between Juliet and her parents was not as strong as Juliet and the nurse.
So lady Capulet wouldn’t have been as close as Juliet and the nurse. And as for lord Capulet, I don’t think that Juliet would have seen him at all except the odd occasions. Nowadays we tend to see our parents everyday (apart from personal issues). But in Shakespeare’s day, relationship of girls to their parents would have been quite dim. Although lord Capulet didn’t have much to do with Juliet, He still had Complete control over her. He still had the choice of who she married, or whether she married or not. But lord Capulet doesn’t take advantage of this; he gives her a choice in marrying Paris.
Not much fathers would have done this. And not much as much fathers would do this today. Although lord and lady Capulet aren’t close to Juliet, this does not mean that she disrespects them. Before Act 1 Scene 3, Juliet is obedient. She is polite and dutiful to everyone. This can be proved when Juliet says to lady Capulet “then your consent gives strength to make it fly”. This now proves my point that she is willing to do what she is told. So the audience will respect her since that she is well behaved. She is polite, so the audience will now feel that Juliet is safe. But she isn’t the same all the way through the play.
After Act 3 Scene 1, Juliet becomes more secretive, deceitful and disobedient to her parents. I know this from when she marries Romeo behind her fathers back. Only she, Romeo, the Friar, the nurse and the audience know this. She becomes disobedient in Act 3 Scene 2when she says “is it more sin to wish me this forsworn”. She says this when the nurse gives her some advice that she doesn’t want to hear. When the nurse says that Romeo is better off dead and forgotten. Juliet then feels as if she cannot trust the nurse again. As I’ve already mentioned, Lord Capulet is a very good father, by the standards of time.
He gives her a choice in marrying. But when Juliet changes, he changes and transforms into the kind of fathers of that time. This makes Juliet alone, which is why the audience will feel sorry for her. Lady Capulet doesn’t defend her. Especially when she says “do as thou wilt I am done with thee”. This shows that Juliet is alone, so she goes to the Friar desperately for help. The relationship between Juliet and her parents are broken as I’ve explained. So again, the impact on the audience will be frustration since we want to help Juliet but we can’t because we can’t do anything.
I feel that for Romeo and Juliet, I thought that the language was hard to understand. But however it was explained briefly by my teacher. Before I did this topic, I didn’t really enjoy doing Shakespeare. In fact, when I found out I was doing an essay on this I dreaded it! But I forced myself to do it and now I feel much more confident with Shakespeare. And it will motivate me to do better in all my other English exams and coursework. There are some similarities that I learnt from then and now. Firstly one of the themes of this play was love of people from all ages, young and old.
And this still happens today. Secondly the theme of hatred. There was lots of hatred in this play, between the Montagues and the Capulets (even though they make peace at the end). And this still happens today with people having gang wars etc. I think that it was unrealistic when Romeo killed Tybalt. I think this because Romeo is a normal 16/17 year old who has never been seen to fight. Whereas Tybalt is an excellent fighter with years of experience. What I thought would have happened was that Tybalt would have killed Romeo, so it amazed me when Romeo killed Tybalt.