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How does the tone of the play change after the death of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet

The mood of the play changes quite dramatically after the death of Mercutio. The reason why Shakespeare added the death of Mercutio was to make the audience feel sad about the death of Romeo’s best friend. After he is killed in Act 3, scene 1 the tragedy then begins to gain momentum or pace. This adds to play and makes it far more interesting for an Elizabethan audience which the play was originally designed for. There are also a lot of references to fate during the play which also adds to the build up of tragedy.When we first meet Romeo he is miserable because he thinks he is in love with Rosalind but she does not love him back.(Act 1, Scene 1, line 162) ”Not having that which having makes them short.”In love?”Out-”Of Love?”Out of her favour where I am in love.’In the quotation it clearly shows Romeos grief saying how his love for Rosalind is making him feel short because she does not love him back, which is also written in the quotation.Romeo thinks that he is in love and it is making him miserable but when he goes to the Capulet’s party his mood immediately changes when he sees Juliet. This also shows that he was not truly in love with Rosalind, but is now in love with Juliet, a Capulet.(Act 1, Scene 5, line 45)’Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight, For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’In the quotation, Romeo seems to of forgotten all about Rosalind and he is questioning himself if he ever did love her, now that he has seen Juliet. He also says that he has never seen anyone as beautiful as Juliet before. Later on that evening Romeo then goes to see Juliet outside her balcony where he has cheered up a great deal and has seem to forgotten all about Rosalind.(Act 2, Scene 2, Line 158)’A thousand times the worse, to want thy light. Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books, But love from, toward school with heavy looks.’He only met Juliet that night and he is already regarding them as lovers. The tone at this point is very happy.When Mercutio dies the mood of the play changes dramatically. Romeo’s immediate reaction was…..(Act 3, Scene 1, Line 97)’Courage man, the hurt cannot be much.’He may be in denial about Mercutio’s death because Romeo caused it but Mercutio does not know. Romeo then kills Tybalt.’This days black fate on moe a day both depend, this but begins the woe others must end.’The quotation is saying that Mercutio has died on a day of black fate so he kills Tybalt in revenge for the death of Mercutio. The prince then takes back what he said about death for the next person who disturbs the peace. The reason for this was that the prince realised that Tybalt killed Mercutio so Romeo was just getting revenge. The prince then banished Romeo from Verona.(Act 3, Scene 1, Line 190)’And for that offence immediately we do exile him hence. I have an interest in your hates proceeding; My blood for your rude brawls doth lie a-bleeding.’Romeo acts bad to this, as he speaks to the friar he becomes increasingly wild and repeats that he might as well be dead because he won’t be able to see Juliet, because he is banished. He offers to kill himself.(Act 3, Scene 3, Line 44)”Hadst thou no poison mixed, no sharp-ground knife, No sudden mean of death, thought ne’er so mean, but ‘banished’ to kill me? ‘banished?’He repeatedly says banish because he is so shocked about the idea of not being able to see Juliet. He believes that the banishment is worse than death. ‘Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say death;’He is jealous about every other living thing such as animals that live in Verona. He is jealous because they get to look at Juliet all day and because he’s been banished from Verona.’Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog, and little mouse.’In the above quotation Romeo is clearly distressed about the prospect of not being able to see Juliet when every living thing in Verona gets to see Juliet.Juliet is married, but the relationship has yet to be consummated. She is happy and cannot wait for night to arrive as she associates this with Romeo’s arrival. There is imagery concerned with the night.(Act 3, Scene 2, Line 19)’Come gentle night, come loving black-browed night’In the above quotation Juliet refers to Romeo as the night. Juliet says this because she is staring out the window into the dark night waiting for Romeo.There is a very sudden shift in the atmosphere and mood when the nurse arrives. Clues to suggest the nurse is distraught and upset. The nurse uses short syntax and she repeats the words ‘he’ and ‘dead’. This makes Juliet believe that it is Romeo that is dead.When Juliet thinks Romeo has killed himself she believes it to be a judgement from heaven. She uses lots of negative vocabulary and she refers to hell to show her upset for the death or Romeo. She uses words such as ‘devil’, ‘torment’ and ‘dismal hell.’Juliet’s initial thoughts are that Romeo is dead. The nurse then tells Juliet that Tybalt has been killed. She is even more upset now she thinks that two of the people to whom she feels closest to have been slaughtered.(Act 3, Scene 2, Line 67)’Then dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom, For who is living, is these two are gone?’In the above quotation Juliet is expressing her grief for the two people who she loved the most. She also says about the dreadful trumpet, this is saying that the trumpet has made its sound for doom.Juliet begins to use a series of oxymoron from line 73 onwards. “O serpent heart, hid with a flow’ ring face!’ and ‘Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical’ ‘Dove-feathered raven, wolvish ravening lamb.’ Shakespeare uses these to add tension to the play.The nurse cannot understand why Juliet is defending Romeo. Juliet justifies herself by: she can’t speak illy about her husband which is a sense of loyalty. If Romeo hadn’t of killed Tybalt then Tybalt would have killed Romeo.’That ‘banished’, that one word ‘banished,’ Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts.’In the quotation Juliet repeats banished because she is so shocked about the prospect of not being able to see Romeo she then begins to act like Romeo and believes that death is the better option.In Act 3, Scene 4 the Capulet’s are talking about the wedding plans, this builds up the fate and the audience begin to believe that there will be lots of tragedy in the play. They increase the pace even more.In Act 4, Scene 1, the friar comes up with a plan that will make Juliet and Romeo be able to be with each other again. From the start a lot of people can begin to tell that this will end up in tragedy. Juliet has a number of fears about the plan; she is scared of being with her dead ancestors and her freshly moulding cousin. She is worried that the potion will not work and that she will have to marry Paris. She is worried that the friar has given her actual poison. She is also worried about waking up before Romeo arrives and scared that Tybalt’s ghost might kill Romeo.In Act 4, Scene 5 it is an example of dramatic irony because everyone in Juliet’s room thinks that Juliet is dead, when the audience know that she has just taken sleeping draught. Friar Lawrence however knows that Juliet isn’t dead so it’s ironic for him as well. Shakespeare added a bit in this scene with Peter and some musicians the reason for this was to release the tension and the upsetting circumstances that have arisen at the start of the scene. Shakespeare added a part in which the Nurse, Capulet and his wife, and Paris express their grief at Juliet’s death in a way that is clearly exaggerated and even somewhat comic. I think Shakespeare done this to conserve the expressions and the heart break that is then released when Juliet actually dies. If we had of had this reaction at the end of the play then the real reaction would have been less dramatic.After Juliet has taken the potion Romeo finds out that she is dead by Balthasar, so Romeo decides to kill himself.(Act 5, Scene 1, Line 34)’Well, Juliet, I Will lie with thee tonight. Let’s see for means. O Mischief thou art swift To enter in the thought of desperate men.’Romeo is talking to himself and saying he will lay with Juliet that night with them side by side both dead. He is thinking to himself how he will kill himself to be with Juliet in heaven.In Verona Friar Lawrence is visited by Friar John from Mantua. John tells him that there has been an outbreak of plague in Mantua and so he has been unable to deliver the letter to Romeo.(Act 5, Scene 2, Line 5)’Going to find a bare-foot brother out, One of our order, to associate me, Here in this city visiting the sick,’In the quotation Friar John explains to Friar Lawrence that his letter has not been delivered. His companion had been found visiting the sick by local health officials. The tragedy rests on the letter not being delivered.During the final scenes there is a lot of death happening which an Elizabethan audience would expect. Romeo and Juliet are found dead which the audience expected would happen from the prologue. In the prologue there it says ‘misadventured’ ‘death bury’ and ‘strife’. These are in the prologue to get the audience ready for a shocking ending. Justice is not found in tragedy. Good characters are punished out of all proportion and totally innocent characters are destroyed. However, the villain never remains victorious; the forces of good prevail in the end. In a tragedy there is always a sense of a disaster waiting to happen. The atmosphere is always one of doom right from the beginning. An act of free will sets off the train of events but what follows is beyond control; it achieves momentum on its own. The audience should experience feelings of shock, horror, distress and sympathy.I think that the mood of the play changed quite dramatically after the death of Mercutio, everything went downhill for Romeo which eventually led to his death which would have been upsetting for an audience viewing the play. Juliet was really happy when she married Romeo, but when she found out he had been banished after the death of Mercutio her mood changed to a suicidal one seeing as she would have been unable to see the man she loved. The mood of the play definitely changes after the death of Mercutio.

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