This is an essay which deals with contrasts during act #1 of Romeo and Juliet.

Essay by PaganHigh School, 10th gradeA-, November 2003

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William Shakespeare used contrast to synthesize an element of intensity, for the audience's benefit. The use of contrast appears frequently in act one of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Contrast in moods, characters and setting aids in establishing theme and conflict throughout the story.

The mood of act one is altered from one scene to the next. In act one, we start with the Capulet servants enjoying a joyous and light-hearted conversation. However, when servants of the hated enemy arrive, this mood quickly changes to something much more sinister and heated. The swift change of moods enables the audience to feel a greater amount of emotional intensity.

The picturesque contrasts of character in this play are almost as remarkable as the depth of the passion. Romeo, love sick, Mercutio, bitter and bleak, Nurse, rude and honest, Lady Capulet, distinguished and stern, etc. They all present a range and variety of character.

The differences between them are immense. Their distinguishing qualities stand out to the mind's eye. These characters and the images they stamp upon the mind are all unique. It takes such a genius to establish such differences between characters, and still have them complement each other.

In order for a play to create an experience for the audience, one of the elements of the play is setting. Verona is the home of the Capulet and Montague families. A majority of the action in the play takes place out-of-doors, while some is indoors. Shakespeare utilizes this setting to illustrate the contrast between the relationships of love and hate. The love shared between Romeo and Juliet is a very private experience and takes place mostly at night in secret. The hatred between the two families is expressed through scenes that occur mostly in the daytime and in public. The feud is never...