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The Way Shakespeare Presents Conflicts in Act 3 Scene 1

  • Date Submitted: 11/24/2011 12:08 PM
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Examine the way Shakespeare presents conflict in act 3, scene 1 of “Romeo and Juliet”. In your response make references to other parts of the play.
not”. Mercutio uses a pun to what Benvolio said, “By my head, here comes the Capulets”. Whereas Tybalt in this scene is very tolerant of Mercutio as his extreme dislike is only towards Romeo. There is conflict through language between Mercutio and Tybalt and when Tybalt states, “thou consort’st with Romeo”, Mercutio deliberately misunderstands his meaning of the verb consort to the noun consort. ”Consort! What, dost thou make us minstrels? …hear nothing his wedding with Juliet in 2:6. “No better term than this – thou art a villain”. Tybalt addresses Romeo as a ‘villain’ meaning peasant which is a great insult to a man of noble birth like Romeo. But Romeo refuses to get angered by Tybalt’s verbal attack because of his .
Mercutio, who is aggravated by Romeo’s responses, imagines Romeo as a coward. “O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!” Shakespeare implies the adjective ‘vile’ to expose how despicable it is considered by Mercutio of Romeo not fighting back for himself. Mercutio wants to fight Tybalt and he corroborates to Mercutio’s invitation by saying, “I am for you”. Romeo and Benvolio make an effort to stop the confrontation but Mercutio is wounded. He knows that the wound would get him killed and he repeats the phrase “A plague o’ both your houses!” to emphasise the cause of his death and blames both families for it. This highlights how a petty conflict can have some serious and painful consequences, so much so that Mercutio curses the two families.
Romeo is confused and doesn’t know what will occur when his friend Mercutio dies. His soliloquy conveys how love has softened him, “Thy beauty hath made me effeminate”. Romeo relates this clash to the theme of fate and predicts that there would be more row following this fatal one, “This day’s black fate on mo days doth depend; this but begins the woe others must...


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