How Does Shakespeare Create Suspense In Romeo And Juliet

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Ava O’Brien Shakespeare was a master of keeping his viewers enthralled throughout the entirety of his plays, and it all has to do with suspense. This suspense keeps the audience guessing what will happen up until the very end, even when they are told that it ends in tragedy. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare builds suspense in various ways, especially through internal conflict and foreshadowing. One way that Shakespeare builds suspense in the play is through internal conflict. In various speeches throughout the play, characters share their deepest anxieties and fears. This makes the audience fear these things along with the characters. One internal conflict in the play is when Romeo decides he should leave after spending the night …show more content…

One way he does this is by having characters allude to ominous feelings they have been experiencing. Romeo, for example, tells Mercutio of his foreboding suspicions: “I fear too early, for my mind misgives / Some consequence yet hanging in the stars / Shall bitterly begin his fearful date / With this night’s revels, and expire the term / of a despiséd life closed in my breast / By some vile forfeit of untimely death” (Shakespeare 1.4.113-118). This monologue gives the audience several pieces of chilling information. First of all, it tells them that whatever tragedy is going to happen in the play, it is going to begin at the Capulets’ party. This builds tension as the audience wonders what could possibly happen at this party that will eventually lead the play to its tragic end. Secondly, it tells the audience that the play will end with death. From the prologue, the audience knew that the two star-crossed lovers were never going to be able to be together, but they didn’t know quite how. Romeo’s monologue makes it almost certain to the audience that he, or Juliet, or both of them are going to die. Another example of foreshadowing that builds tension for the audience is when Romeo is leaving Juliet after their night together, and she tells him, “Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low, / As one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (Shakespeare 3.5.55-56). Here, Juliet describes Romeo as looking as if he is dead. This builds suspense and a sense of impending doom for the audience, making them know that the tragic end of Romeo and Juliet is drawing closer as the characters allude to death and tragedy more

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