In the next scene Paris talks to Capulet as a suitor, which gives the audience the idea of love and parental power. Ironically the ball is arranged so that Paris can see other beautiful young women, but lady Capulet and the nurse support the idea of their marriage . This is when Juliet is introduced properly and this also gives the idea of love and parents power. Next we see Romeo with all of his friends in a scene that gives a sense of destiny and fore boarding relating to the coming party.
Nowadays when we have parties we have modern music and modern clothes and flashing lights. However in Shakespearian times masked balls were popular for the rich. In the theatre they would march about the stage , to indicate the change of place as there was continuous action on an Elizabethan stage. The scene could hold an interest of an Elizabethan audience as musicians would play above the stage and costumes would have a sense of the ball.
Capulets ball is a masked ball. This means that Montague’s can get in, so disguise helps the plot to be continued. The ball enables all the main characters to be on stage together, which has potential for violence as well as love, because there are enemies on stage. These factors might engage the audiences interest because the scene has a mixture of love and hate all in one. It also gives the impression the party is very busy. Act 1 scene 5 is made up of lots of parts to hold the audiences interest. At first there is an excited atmosphere because there is a lot going on, with servants rushing around, as they need to arrange the great hall, so it creates a good atmosphere and for the audience as well.
Then the entrance of the Capulets comes and seems very grand to create the thought of ownership. Guests followed in with their masks on and beautiful outfits. This is more stately, but visually attractive for the audience. There is also musical appeal. Next we see Capulet and his cousin chatting, like real old men’s chatter, at this, the pace of the party tends to slow down a bit. This gives time for Romeo to see Juliet. We see Romeo gazing around, but then our tension is arrested as he stops and sees Juliet and gazes at her beauty. At this point the audiences attention is very focused as they want to know what’s going to happen next. Also this part of the play makes the audience feel very engaged with the lovers. Tybalt is furious when he hears Romeo , and tries to get him thrown out of the party, but Capulet stops him.
This part of the scene involves violence as Capulet verbally abuses Tybalt and there is a lot of aggressive tension between Tybalt and Capulet at this point, This tension is an immediate contrast to love, but Romeo ignores the violence and looks for Juliet again. Immediately they fall in love and share a kiss. The audience enjoy the climax of this scene as they know Romeo and Juliet are in love, However Romeo then realises that Juliet is a Capulet. He gets worried and there is a lot of tension building up. We are reminded of Romeos misgivings before the ball when Romeo says ” I fear too early for my mind misgives some consequence, yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date, with this nights revels and expire the term”. A lot more tension is building up as Juliet finds out who Romeo is: ” His name is Romeo and a Montague. The only son of your great enemy”. When Juliet says ” my only love sprung from my only hate , too early seen unknown and known to late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me. That I must have loathed my enemy”, Juliet shows a lot of emotion in these ways. The scene is very varied as we see a lot of different paces that keep changing .
The opening of the scene is very believable . Here we are focused on what type of language Samson is using and what effect it has. Samson says “where’s Potpan that he helps not to take away”. This shows that Samson is under pressure and is feeling irritable. Also in this scene the pace has changed from slow to quick because we see servants who are flustered and are rushing about preparing for the ball, we can see that this is at a very fast pace and keeps the audience engaged in what’s going on. This part of the scene is light hearted also , Gregory says ” when good manners lie all in one or two men’s hands and they unwashed too tis a foul thing”. also Samson says ” Good thou, save me a piece of march pane and as thou lovest me let the partner let in Susan Grindstone And Nell Antony and Pot pan. This shows that the servants intend having fun at the party too. I think this section seems to be quite light-hearted and quite serious both at the same time, in both ways it is entertaining and prepares the audience for the ball scene to come!
In act 1 scene 5 we also get to know much more about Capulet. He is very bossy and likes to be in charge of the evening, but sometimes he can get aggressive , as well as being a jolly host. When the party begins Capulet welcomes all of the guests with pleasure, but he also teases the ladies.
” ladies that have their toes unplagued with corns will walk about with you ah ha my mistresses which one of you will now deny to dance?” This shows he is a teaser and a flirt with many of the ladies at the ball. Capulet also reminisces about flirting in the past: ” I have seen the day that I have worn a visor and could tell a whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear”. However he is now getting old and starting to feel his age. He comments to his cousin: ” For you and I are now past our dancing days”. When we see Capulet talking with his cousin it is good humoured, but it also shows they are competitive with each other. When he then argues with Tybalt we see 2 different sides to his character , we see his aggressive side. He tries to abide by the Prince’s decree: ” To be a virtuous and well governed youth, I would not for the wealth of all this town”, but Capulet gets very angry at disobedience, so he calls Tybalt names and send him away. ” You are a saucy boy isn’t so indeed? This must contrary me? Marry tis time, You are a princox go !” This anger prepares the audience for Capulets fit of passion when Juliet refuses to marry Paris in act 3 scene 5. It also prompts Tybalts resentment. “Now seeming sweet , bitterest gall”.
This leads to his attack on Mercutio and their deaths. This section engages the audience as we get to know Capulet it is also quick paced , which makes it more exciting , as we become anxious about the threat of violence . In contrast we witness Romeo’s private thought’s within the public situation of the ball when he first sees Juliet: ” O she doth teaches the torches to burn bright” and his language here is very sweet towards Juliet , it’s imagery and involves the audience in his feelings. He describes her as so beautiful the description is like a love poem: ” Like a rich jewel in an ethiopes ear, beauty too rich for use” Romeo also uses sharp contrast of light and dark to emphasise this . ” So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows” He uses rhyming couplets , which gives a sense of completion and it reinforces the impression of Juliet’s perfection. However, ” for earth to dear” also reminds us there is a tragic destiny for her.. When Romeo and Juliet speak their words from a sonnet. This sonnet suggests the 2 lovers were made for each other , as the love match is mirrored in the way their individual speeches make a complete sonnet, so it’s like they were meant to be , they were made for each other. It also creates the image that Juliet seems pure and wonderful.
By using religious imagery: ” My lips two blushing pilgrims” Romeo- ” have not saints lips and holy palmers too?” Juliet- ” Ay pilgrim lips that they must use in a prayer”. Nevertheless we also notice that sensuality is suggested in the body references : “lips” “touch” and “kiss” “hand” “palm to palm is holy palmers kiss” This part of the scene Is very slow and light-hearted, as they flirt by playing with words. It’s just between Romeo and Juliet , so we don’t see any rushing about for the audience.
This scene intertwines love and hate which is one of the plays main themes. We see love as Romeo and Juliet have fallen for each other, in a love poem kind if sense. However that is all blown away when Romeo and Juliet find out who they really are, that Juliet is a Capulet and Romeo a Montague. Now there is a cloud of hate upon them. Juliet says: ” My only love sprung from my only hate, too early seen unknown and known too late”. so we know that she feels awkward now, as she does not know what to do about Romeo, he is in exactly the same situation, as their families loathed enemies. This scene also combines the public and the private, because we see the intimacy of Romeo and Juliet in the grand party setting. This suggests that they may personally be in love, but bigger influences will affect them. There is some dramatic irony in the last section as Romeo says: ” My life is my foe’s dept”, Juliet’s words are very prophetic when she says : ” If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed” This shows Juliet is in an upset state of mind, she would rather be dead than Romeo be married, so she cares about him a lot. After seeing intense love the audience now has an uncomfortable sense of foreboding and tension, because we know from the prologue what is going to happen in the end.
This scene adds a great deal to the play. It adds excitement and tension and makes the audience feel very engaged , because a lot of things, and it’s also arresting. The pace of the scene keeps changing which engages the audience. There is also a lot of loudness with the music , and costumes making it attractive to watch. The poetry of the language is very beautiful especially when we see Romeo and Juliet use their individual speeches to put together a sonnet. There is also a lot of development of Capulet’ s character and Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. This also adds to the key themes of love hate and destiny , which leaves the audience with a feeling of foreboding.