In the romantic tragedy `Romeo and Juliet` William Shakespeare uses dramatic techniques and devices to convey emotional inclines and declines, emphasise breaks and linking tensions as well as to underline the outlying plot diversification.
Preceding Act 3 Scene 1 we see Romeo fall madly in love with Juliet and marry her, both showing his instinctive nature, and setting the scene for this dramatic twists soon to follow. In this way Shakespeare creates a semantic field of happiness, which he shows by the use of “positive” phrases, which are colourful and effervescent. This causes the audience to feel an even greater shock at the sudden change of temper and the impulsive peak in tension.Order now
In Act 3 Scene 1 the attitudes of various characters is emphasised by the use of effects such as the difference between prose and verse. This enables the audience to realise a deeper understanding of the enjoining tension surrounding the varying characters.
The Bard uses epic, powerful expressions such as “For now these are hot days, is the mad blood stirring…” which acts to raise the stretched temper of the scene, building on the importance of events that he tempts you into imagining.
He takes advantage of short sharp phrases such as “thou art a villain” to give an insistent finality to Tybalt’s words causing the tension to grow and demonstrating that Tybalt is set in his ways and will not change his feelings or mind set of and for Romeo. However Romeo’s long rambling expressions, for example ” Good Capulet which name I tender as dearly as my own be satisfied…” conversely shows that he still has doubts and is clearly trying to reassure himself as much as his cousin in law, Tybalt. As well as serving to lay bare Romeo’s confused perceptions of the ever-changing world around him, it demonstrates his dire wish to inform the world of his undying love for Juliet. The use of these contrasting styles of language expands the feeling of Romeo and Tybalt’s overflowing emotional anonymity to one and other.
In Romeo’s words “Fire eyed fury be my conduct now!” we see a startling before unseen abruptness that in itself reflects upon the watching audience a great and electrifying change in the hero’s attitude to Tybalt. He finds his doubts well founded, which could be shown by his yelling this, or whispering whilst crying. His anger is so articulated for the audience, telling them he could be about to do anything, an act of retribution and revenge upon Tybalt, or even upon his self. When Benvolio recounts the actions of the day he uses cold direct words (“…piercing steel deadly point to point…”) it is completely antithetical to his previously non-violent idealistic out look (“…I pray thee good Mercutio…”) which would have been subtle and serenely spoken. This illuminates the truth that it was an intense high-strung battle this forces a tensional inclineï¿½ leaving the rapt audience wondering what will happen. This is evidence for his pro-governmental attitude of abhorrence for the anarchic brawls which are the progeny of the linking rivalry between the competing Capulet and Montague families.
With the vile murder of good Mercutio, Shakespeare strikes a sudden and unexpected discord in the minds of the audience and as the only humorous character is exterminated the performance takes on a more sinister outlook, giving the audience a sense of foreboding, as they realise that tragic events will follow.
Irony is brought into play upon the words “for blood of ours, shed blood of Montague”, because whereas Romeo is Montague his blood is shared with a beautiful Capulet; Juliet. This also emphasises that the hate will strain even his love for his wife Juliet. The Elizabethan audience’s subconscious pre-emptive vision of the play’s theatrical direction is so proven by the prince’s words “we do exile him hence”. These words on the proviso of being spoken icily and unemotionally would show that the prince is unbiased, but is upset and trying to hide his feelings because he wants to be just and reasonable. He defends his non-violent approach by deciding upon a punishment that does not favour either family, Capulet nor Montague and also does not cause further loss of life. His attitude suggests to the audience that Tybalt is not evil and that they are all to blame, from servant girls to the father of the house.
Benvolio’s pacifist nature comes out again in the whole of line 123 to 126. Here we are shown that Benvolio is panicked because, despite his hatred for violence and the feud, his fierce undying loyalty to his friends Romeo and Mercutio prevails.
In his first words to prince he plays down Romeo’s responsibility by saying “young Romeo” hence implying that he is juvenile (which suggests that he is too young to have duty to the state, and that his crimes were committed without a proper idea of good and evil). He then goes on to portray the late Mercutio in a good light “brave Mercutio” so entailing that Tybalt committed a grave crime against a good man. In turn this puts a light on the idea that either he believes or simply wants to convince Prince that Romeo didn’t do wrong and that Tybalt was evil.
When Lady Capulet returns upon this (lines 137-141) she uses short repetitive words schemes and sentences to portray the shock and anger over Tybalt’s (in her eyes) meaningless death. To realise this fully you only have to look at the lines “O prince. O husband. O the blood is spilled.” This melodramatic phrase shows that she is partly unconvinced and eager for Romeo’s death only from revenge not reason, and that she is desperate to clear the family name more than Tybalt’s.
When the watching audience learn of Romeo’s banishment we reach a full realisation of the impending tragedy that awaits the “star crossed lovers”. The audience now sees what “Whole misadventured piteous overthrows” signifies, and are anticipating the final misfortune that will end the feud, of which they have been forewarned in the almost prophetic words”Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove”. So Shakespeare has managed to shock the audience, whilst showing of his consistency (each event that happens helps us understand better the prologue) and his overawing skill as one of our counties wordsmiths. This holds true despite the fact that he is not the for the most part the best in terms of enjoyment in the contemporary epoch.