GCSE Shakespeare English Task

Explore the significance of Act 1 Scene 5

Act 1 scene 5 is on of the most important scenes in the play as it links with action that has happened before the scene and with the ending of the play.

The action links with earlier scenes because Romeo went to the party to try to meet Rosaline. Juliet was at the party because she was supposed to meet Paris and get top like him. All the characters from the earlier scenes meet at the party. The action links with the ending of the play because Romeo going to the party sets of a chain of events that leads to the deaths of Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet. Romeo went to the party because of his love for Rosaline but Tybalt thinks Romeo goes to make fun of him and to make him angry. The action of the scene links with the ending because the party leads to the marriage of Romeo and Juliet and Tybalts’ threat to Romeo. Tybalts’ threat leads to the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt, which means that Romeo is banished and that leads to Juliet trying to get back with Romeo which, leads to the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet in the final scene.

Dramatic irony is when something in a scene that the audience knows about but the people on the don’t. Dramatic irony is used in the scene when Tybalt gets very angry at Romeo because he thinks that Romeo is just there to get at him when Romeo is actually there for love for Rosaline and not for hate for Tybalt. Dramatic irony is also used when Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love, neither of them knows that they are from the rival families. This has an effect on our reactions to the scene as you know that as they fall in love that their relationship is doomed and they won’t live happily ever after. Dramatic irony is used to make the scene more interesting because it means that the audience has a feeling of privileged knowledge and feels more involved with the scene.

If I was directing this scene I would set it in a large countryside mansion that has an enormous garden with a fountain in it. The mansion would reflect the power and wealth of the Capulet family. At the front of the house there would be a large gravel driveway that has expensive cars pulling up with guests in, and then the cars being valet parked by servants. The party would have the rich and famous on the guest list and would be set in modern times. The mansion would be mock Georgian and have an Olympic sized swimming pool. The party would have fireworks going off and classical music playing from a string quartet. There would be waiters going round the guests with trays of canapés and champagne.

The costumes would be modern day designer clothes, expensive dresses, designer suits and thousand pound shoes. The sound would be the low murmur of people talking with the music of the string quartet playing over the top. The lighting would be very bright inside, with a stage in the middle of a large hall, and bright lights focused on the stage, but outside the light would be less harsh and more natural with the moon and the stars shinning brightly.

I would use stage directions to help the actors know how to perform their lines in certain places. When Tybalt and Capulet are having their argument about Romeo, ‘Uncle this is a Montague, our foe’ they would be inside near the stage and having to shout above the noise of the music, but then Capulet would pull Tybalt to one side and the really shout at him when he says ‘He shall be endured’.

When Romeo and Juliet are falling in love ‘ thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged’ they would be outside by the swimming pool, sitting on a bench, with the moon behind them.

The language used in the scene helps reveal the character of Tybalt because when he notices that Romeo is at the party he jumps straight into action ‘ fetch me my rapier boy’ and immediately thinks that Romeo is only at the