Saturday, August 17, 2019

Examine the importance of Act III, Scene V Essay

Examine the importance of Act III, Scene V. How would you direct the scene in order to emphasise your interpretation? Romeo and Juliet is a play of love and tragedy. It is a great play if directed properly and is easy for people to understand. This is why I am writing this essay on how I would direct one of the most important scenes, Act III, Scene V. I will explain the significance of this scene and how I would get across its meaning. To understand this scene you need to know a little about life of people in the 16th Century; for one thing the relationship between children and their parents was very different especially amongst the rich. The father of the family expected everyone to do what he said even if they disagreed. Also mothers didn’t usually know their children personally as they hired nurses to take care of them 24/7 and even with babies they hired a wet-nurse, which means the nurse had usually just had a child and would breast feed the family’s child. The mother and father had very little to do with their children. Even though they didn’t know their children they still arranged their marriages! The children had no say in the matter. A rich family would usually set up a marriage with another wealthy family. It was socially unacceptable for a rich person to marry a poor person. Once married the wife was expected to do whatever her husband said and never answer back. If she did the husband would usually get angry and sometimes physical. As well as thinking about the 16th Century behaviour I need to think about the relevance to a modern audience. I think a modern audience would relate to all the love and compassion in this scene. They would see the love Juliet has for Romeo and feel sorry for her because her father is forcing her to marry someone else. They will see the pain and suffering she is going through to get her father to cancel the wedding but he gets angry because they should do what he says and never answer back. The important thing when trying to direct the scene is to emphasise the part the modern audience would relate to. I would do this by making the scene very dramatic and make the actor playing Capulet push Juliet around as well as speaking very loudly, maybe even shouting. I would also have the actress playing Juliet cry and whimper, get down on her knees and make it look like she is begging. The other characters, Lady Capulet and the Nurse would be trying to hold back Capulet, but would cower away when he speaks to them. This should show the audience that Juliet is desperate and will demonstrate how aggressive Capulet can be. As well as thinking about the historical context and the contemporary relevance we need to consider the character development. In this scene we find things out about the Capulet family we never knew before. The characters seem to change, for example Juliet starts the scene very happy as she has just that night consummated her marriage to Romeo. This happiness is shown when she says, â€Å"Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree. Believe me love it was the nightingale. † This shows that she is happy and being romantic. As the scene continues she changes from being happy to suicidal because she is being forced to marry Parris. â€Å"If all else fail, myself have power to die. † This means if she cannot delay the marriage she will kill herself. Another character that changes is the Nurse, as in the beginning of the scene she helps Juliet hide Romeo when Lady Capulet walked in. She said, â€Å"Your lady mother is coming to your chamber. † This shows the nurse wants to help and gives Romeo time to escape through the window. The Nurse does try and stick up for Juliet against Capulet but backs down when he shouts at her. Right at the end of the scene the Nurse suddenly changes and says, â€Å"I think it best you married with the county. † The Nurse has now decided not to back Romeo and Juliet’s love and told Juliet to marry Parris and forget about Romeo. She does this because she realises that Juliet has no alternative. We also learn things about the characters. We learn that Capulet has a very short fuse and gets very angry as he expects his family to do whatever he says. He was outraged that Juliet answered back by saying she did not want to marry Parris. â€Å"Hang thee young baggage, disobedient wretch! † This proves how aggressive Capulet gets. Also, Capulet and Lady Capulet’s marriage is shown in a different light as we see that Lady Capulet doesn’t stand up against her husband and does what he says. â€Å"Here comes your father, tell him so yourself, and see how he will take it at your hands. † This illustrates that she will not speak against her husband and advises Juliet to tell him herself. All this is showing that Capulet runs the relationship. We also find out that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is very immature as they keep changing their minds about important things, for example â€Å"Therefore stay get, thou need’st not to be gone. † This proves their immaturity and that they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. This scene is a turning point in the play as Juliet is distraught because she is being forced to marry Parris and feels everyone has abandoned her. She believes the only way out is to take her own life, so she turns to the Friar for help. This is significant because the Friar is the one who gives her the sleeping potion and tells her to take it the night before her marriage to Parris. Taking the sleeping potion eventually leads to the death of Romeo and Juliet. I think the end isn’t quite inevitable because you don’t know that Romeo wouldn’t get the message from Friar Lawrence and think that Juliet is dead, then take the poison when he sees her in the tomb. If everything went to plan, Romeo would have known she was just in a deep sleep and then live together outside the walls of Verona. However, the way this scene ends and some of the language in this scene makes a tragic end more likely. There is a lot said in this scene that would suggest the play would end in tragedy. As Juliet is told she will marry Parris, this complicates everything for Juliet as she already has a husband. It makes her feel suicidal because Romeo has been banished and now she has to marry Parris. On top of all that her mother and Nurse abandon her. â€Å"Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. Do as though wilt, for I have done with thee. † This makes us believe something tragic will happen soon. We also believe that it will end in tragedy because of the way the play has been structured. The play starts with the prologue, which says, â€Å"The fearful passage of their death marked love†¦ † This states that it will end tragically. Juliet says, â€Å"Methinks I see thee now though art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. † The two lovers separate after saying things like this, which suggests they will never see each other again. This all points to the same thing, a tragic end. This also changes the tone of the play because in the scene before, the mood was very loving and happy as Romeo and Juliet got married. This mood stayed at the beginning of this scene. â€Å"Look love, what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds I yonder east. † This shows Romeo being romantic to the women he loves. The romance is also shown in the structure of the sentences by iambic pentameter. It makes the sentences flow and sound poetic. All this shows love and happiness. Then when Juliet’s mother enters the mood changes from happy and loving to despair and sorrow. Juliet’s starts to plead with her mother but she will not listen. When her father enters the mood becomes very dramatic, as Capulet was being very aggressive. This is shown by harsh, brutal language, â€Å"Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. Out you green – sickness carrion. † This shows his anger and aggression. The rhythm has also changed, it is now very sharp and snappy to show the anger he has towards her. We also see Juliet pleading to her father, â€Å"Good father, I beseech you on my knees, hear me with patience, but to speak a word. † She pleads and pleads. She is worried and full of despair. At the end she talks of killing herself, this is how much the mood has changed. Shakespeare has presented several forms of love in this scene and other themes, like fate. The forms of love presented in this scene are young love, which Romeo and Juliet have for each other. This kind of love has blinded them and all they think about is each other. They don’t think about their actions. Also we are shown the love between Juliet and the Nurse, which is like a mother and daughter love. The Nurse helps Juliet and tries to give the best advice she can. I think Shakespeare wants the audience to conclude that love is strong and that people should fight for love. He may also want them to realise how some families can disown their children just because they love, in their eyes, the wrong person. The other theme, fate is an important part, as if it was meant to be they would be fine and nothing would go wrong but things go terribly wrong for Romeo and Juliet. So it seems fate is against them or fate has already predetermined their deaths. If I was directing the production of Romeo and Juliet I would instruct the actors to play their parts dramatically and over state things of importance e. g. I would make the actors playing Romeo and Juliet be over affectionate to each other at the beginning of this scene. I would tell the audience about the 16th Century life and behaviour, so they would be able to understand the background better. I would explain that the father expected everyone to do what he said. Also I would explain about the wet-nurse and the bond between her and Juliet. I would do this by including it in the programme or through a narrator. In order to get a good response from the audience I would have to highlight the things they can relate to. I would ask the actress who played Juliet to emphasise her despair by getting on her knees to plead with her father. Also I would make Capulet shout and push Juliet around ensuring that the audience would feel sorry for her. This will demonstrate how angry Capulet gets and that Juliet is really upset because she doesn’t want to marry Parris. To make sure they know the mother won’t stick up for Juliet I would make the actress hide behind Capulet. For the Nurse, I would get her to stop Capulet from hitting Juliet, to show she tried to help, but he will push her away. I would also make them emphasise the parts, which indicate the play will end in tragedy by speaking louder. Act III, Scene V is a particularly important scene because the mood drastically changes from happiness to despair. This is because she is being forced to marry Parris and everyone abandons her. All this shows the audience that there is going to be a tragic end to the play.

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