To what extent does the opening scene create a menacing effect on the remainder of the play

Essay by Fairy_princess_1788High School, 12th gradeA, February 2005

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"Romeo and Juliet", written by William Shakespeare, is the tale of two "star-crossed lovers" who must overcome many different tribulations in order to maintain a happy relationship. These troubles are primarily due to the ongoing conflict between the two households of the lovers. This family feud is very violent and at some points in the play the violence is so intense that it can become quite menacing to the audience. This menacing ambience is displayed to the audience in the exposition to the play, Act one, Scene one. This harrowing atmosphere is reflected throughout the remainder of the play. The opening scene in particular has prepared the audience for the intense violence and the extent of inner turmoil which will be unveiled in the key incidents in the play.

Act One, Scene One is the exposition of the play and is one of the most important key scenes of the play.

It is a long and detailed scene which presents most of the main themes to us, in particular, the conflict in the Veronese society. We are also introduced to Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, a fiery character who is filled with intense feelings of hate and resentment towards the Montague household. Tybalt ferocious character is highlighted in his first words in the play which indicate hate and disdain towards people he sees as an enemy.

"What, drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word,

As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.

Have at thee, coward."

Tybalt here has come across a fight with lower members of each; the serving staff. However, unlike Benvolio, Tybalt does not try to break apart this quarrel; he adds to the conflict by making a mockery of Benvolio for trying to make peace but also insults Benvolio's family name in order to...