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The drama, Romeo and Juliet, is set in a social and historical context. The play as a theatrical experience would have to be a violent, bloody, and gruesome scene. The audience would shout and jeer at the actors, and some shouted rude remarks. Some of the audience would climb on stage, whilst others would join in with the sword fights. People also brought food with them to eat, or to throw at bad actors. The theatre in London was an entertainment for everyone. The cheap tickets would cost 1 penny (which everyone could afford), and the pricey tickets would cost a six pence, these were rich merchants and nobles.Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story. The two major families of Verona (Montague’s and Capluet’s) have a great feud. Romeo (Montague) falls in love with Juliet (Capulet), and they end up declaring each others love at a party. They marry in secret, with the help of Friar Laurence. Tybalt (Capulet) quarrels with Mercutio and kills him. Romeo gets cross, and then kills Tybalt. Romeo gets banished from the city walls, and ends up spending the night with Juliet.Afterwards, Juliet’s Father wants her to marry Paris. The friar tells Juliet to agree to this, and therefore ends up given Juliet a poison to make her look dead. He plans to leave a message for Romeo about this, but the message goes astray. Romeo hears that Juliet is dead, and ends up taking poison to kill himself. Juliet awakens, and sees the disaster. She ends up killing herself, with a dagger, and the two families end their feud.Within the 16th century, there were four types of conflict. These included religion, families, world and society.Religion – In the 16th century, the protestant reformation came. The Protestant Reformation is the name that was given to a religious and political development in the early 16th century. The reformation was led by Martin Luther. At the time, Martin Luther was a monk working in Germany. He stated that Roman Catholic was corrupt and therefore it should be changed. Also Martin Luther wanted the language of the Bible changed. For it was produced in Latin. King Henry VIII disliked the ideas of Luther. However, later on Henry VIII soon ordered Bibles to be published in English and took much money and land from the church. However Henry did this for political gains, not because he supported the ideas of Luther. By 1603 the Protestant Reformation in this country was complete.Social /Civil – Although 16th-century England was very rich, the population boom brings a major rise in poverty and crime. People were starting to become poor, and they therefore, saw crime as their only answer. People tried to stop others from begging on the street, so the poor Law Act, was passed. This makes each parish responsible for its poor, and are authorised to pay for their relief. Also there was a disease, called the great plague of London. This affected William Shakespeare, because when there had been more than 30 deaths related to the plague, in any one week, then the play houses remained shut to stop the spread.Family – During the 16th century, patriarchal society existed. This meant that the human race was ‘controlled’ by men. Girls, when young were taught from the age of five, by tutors at home. Various languages were taught, such as Latin, Italian, Greek, and French. Music and dancing were generally not taught, as it was a skill that wasn’t required. Elizabethan women were also not allowed university.In the 16th century it was possible to marry from the age of 12, although permission was required for this. Elizabethan women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. This meant large sums of money, goods, and property. It also referred to her marriage portion. After marriage, Elizabethan women were expected to run household tasks, and provide children. Elizabethan women were also raised to believe that they were inferior to men.World – During the 16th century, the Spanish armada had just started. Philip II and Elizabeth I initially got on well.Philip II wanted to marry Elizabeth. There was friendship between the two,this friendship very quickly turned to tension and rivalry. Eventually war broke out.In July 1588, Philip sent a huge Armada (Navy) of 130 ships and 30,000 men.Act Three, Scene 1, fits into the play as a whole, coming directly after the romantic atmosphere. This is therefore the pivoting point of the play. Before this pivoting point, there was love, romance and happiness. Such as; Romeo meeting Juliet, the wedding, and the party. But after the pivoting point, everything changes, the play turns to hate, death, and violence. Tybalt gets killed. Romeo gets banished from the city walls. Juliet’s Father wants her to marry Paris. Romeo hears that Juliet is dead, and ends up taking poison to kill himself. Juliet awakens, and sees the disaster. And she ends up killing herself, with a dagger. So as you can see, Act 3, Scene 1, sits directly in the middle of this play.At the beginning of the play, the two families are warned by the princes warning. The warning says that if there are to be any more quarrels, there will be trouble. ‘Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. For this time, all the rest depart away: You Capulet; shall go along with me: And, Montague, come you this afternoon, To know our further pleasure in this case, To old Free-town, our common judgment-place. Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. Although they know this, Tybalt still kills Mercutio, and Romeo still kills Tybalt.Following the party atmosphere, Tybalt promises an act of vengeance.Throughout the whole play there are dramatic devices. Theses dramatic devices include the setting, characters, entrances and exits, conflict, language, repetition, and contrast. All these dramatic devices help to make the scenes full of tension and involving to the audience.Firstly, Shakespeare uses a dramatic setting. This is made dramatic, because it shows effect and mood. The weather is hot, ‘the Capels are abroad’. This shows that the Mercutio is looking for a fight and if they meet they’ll surely end up fighting, because everyone’s tempers are running high.Furthermore, Shakespeare uses names with a meaning. This is effective, because the audience know what each person is like. Benevolio – good man, related to peace. Mercutio – a red hot planet, anger, hot tempered. Tybalt – Prince of cats – leader of the household. Romeo – Romantic, in love all the time.Following on, Romeo and Mercutio use lots of puns. A pun is a joke, based on the use of word/s, which has more than one meaning but the same sound. Mercutio and Romeo often exchange puns with one another in the play: Mercutio -“Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.” Romeo -“Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes / with nimble soles; I have a soul of lead…”(Act 1, Scene 4, 13-5) Romeo has used the word “sole” when referring to Mercutio’s shoes, then made a pun by referring to his own “soul.” Even at the point of death Mercutio can’t resist punning “ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man” (Act 3, Scene 1, 89 – 90)Repetition was a favourite and very effective, dramatic device of Shakespeare. This could be a word, sentence or phrase. For example Lady Capulet says: Saint Peter’s Church shall happily make thee there a joyful bride. Juliet: Now by Saint Peter’s Church and Peter too, He shall not make me there a joyful bride. (Act 3, Scene 5, 114 – 117) This dramatic device also gives tension to the plot, and an insight to the two characters more.Dramatic irony is a great to get the readers attention. Irony is when the audience knows something that the characters don’t. For example Romeo will not fight Tybalt because he is now married to Juliet. The characters don’t know this because they didn’t see the wedding, but we saw the wedding so we know why he can’t fight.

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