The Importance of Act 1 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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The Importance of Act 1 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

In this scene Romeo meets and falls in love with Juliet at her parent's masked ball. Previous to this scene we have learnt that Romeo is very depressed due to the fact that he thinks he is in love with Rosaline, who does not return her love to him. This is called unrequited love. This idea suggests to the audience that he is fickle and typical of a love struck youth. The audience also have discovered that there is much hatred between the Capulet and Montague families, which also include the servants of both families, who brawl in the streets.

The opening of the play presents a street brawl started by an instant insult
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'Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither'. Towards the beginning when Paris asks Capulet to marry Juliet, he says that it is partly her choice of whom she is going to marry. Capulet advices Paris to dance with Juliet at the 'old accustom'd feast'

The scene opens with Capulet, in good spirits, welcoming his guests to the party. He wants everyone to enjoy themselves especially as there will be the opportunity for Paris to acquaint himself with Juliet. He shows his anger towards Tybalt when he discovers 'a Montague, our foe' by telling him to ignore it.

Shakespeare's use of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet is very influential. For example when the lads gatecrash at the party and Romeo meets Juliet for the first time we know that they come from different families and there is going to be trouble when they both fall in love at first sight. 'I fear, too early: for my mind misgives, some consequence yet hanging in the stars'

The other significant event is the meeting of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo forgets his poor love of Rosaline and he experiences love at first sight. Juliet is seen as some sort of Goddess to Romeo, she is dressed as an angel in the film symbolising her goodness and innocence and Shakespeare uses a religious theme for their encounter. He refers to her as 'holy shrine' of a saint, and a kiss to a prayer. He sees himself as a pilgrim who wants to visit her

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