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Romeo and Juliet - How Does Shakespeare Control His Audience's Responses in Act Three Scene Five?

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Essay title: Romeo and Juliet - How Does Shakespeare Control His Audience's Responses in Act Three Scene Five?

This scene is important to the whole play as we can begin to see how the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is doomed. This is different from what our first feelings were about their relationship, which is what Shakespeare had intended to do. Shakespeare constantly changes how we feel and what our moods are during this part of the play so that we finally realise that the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is doomed.

Shakespeare uses the first part of Act Three Scene Five, where Juliet and Romeo are reluctant to leave each other, as a building block to what is going to happen later in the scene. Shakespeare makes the audience feel sad and depressed that Romeo has to leave Juliet as its daybreak. Shakespeare then invents the feeling of suspense as the nurse comes announcing that Juliet’s mother is on her way. “Your lady mother is coming to your chamber”.

Shakespeare has then changed the audience’s feelings from not wanting Romeo to leave, to then wanting Romeo to leave, as he might be killed if he stays any longer. The suspense has still stayed with the audience as the verb “coming” tells that Lady Capulet is not yet there and could come into the room at any moment and find Romeo with Juliet. A director would probably make the actors, who were playing Romeo and Juliet, keep moving around after the Nurse comes in to show the urgency to get Romeo out quickly.

Shakespeare uses Lady Capulet to tell Capulet about Juliet’s refusal of the marriage rather than having Juliet tell her father. This could lead us to believe that Juliet is afraid of telling her father about the refusal, and in lines 124-125 it seems that Lady Capulet contradicts herself as she has said “tell him so yourself; and see how he will take it at your hands”. This has caused the audience to be surprised yet relieved that Juliet isn’t the one to tell her father. If this scene was acted out Lady Capulet would probably tell Capulet just when Juliet is about to, standing in front of her as if to protect her from how her father might react to her refusal.

As well as using suspense in this scene, Shakespeare wants to shock the audience as well so they change their feelings and mood about what is going to happen next in the play. The audience does this when they hear how Capulet reacts to this news. He changes from his happy mood when he comes into the scene into an out of control man, “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!” By using a three insult part list, instead of just having one insult, Shakespeare exaggerates that Capulet is angry and that he’s insulting and threatening his own daughter. The use of the exclamation mark after the word “wretch!” gives us the confirmation that Capulet is really shouting at Juliet and adding that angry enthusiasm to the sentence. Stage directions for this scene in a play would be to have Capulet standing over Juliet, “ showing his authority and have him pointing at her and shouting at her to show the audience Capulet’s anger towards Juliet at that moment, as she kneels before him “Juliet-[Kneels Down]”.

This is the main part of the scene for the audience because Shakespeare uses this part to make us believe that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is doomed and was doomed from the start, which is a major change from our earlier beliefs that Romeo and Juliet would live “happily ever after”.

“Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee”. This is the sentence where we know the relationship is doomed. Juliet has already had her father disown her for not wanting to marry Paris and now her mother has as well. If this part of the scene was acted, a director would probably have Juliet on her knees to show the audience that Juliet is feeling betrayed, shocked, depressed, and weak and doesn’t know what to do next. Shakespeare makes the audience feel sympathetic

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