Romeo And Juliet Dramatic Structure Analysis

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Shakespeare begins Act 1, Scene 4 at the Great Hall in Capulet’s Mansion. Capulet welcomes the “gentlemen” (1.4.129) among his guests, as well as of the readers, to his celebration. His commanding of attention immediately demonstrates his high status in the play. Capulet’s repeated greeting to the men specifically establishes the time period of the play; the time when the role of the woman was to “walk about with” (1.4.130) men at parties. This passage is crucial in the play as a whole, including key features of the dramatic structure and exploring thematic issues of the play. Capulet reminisces on his “dancing days” (1.4.143) with his cousin, indicating his older age whilst recollecting on the masks they used to wear. The repetition of the word “mask” (1.4.145) not only represents those worn as a costume, but also as a disguise; hiding the secrets of the two opposing families and stripping them both of their values. This raises the issue and theme of society while also giving the characters a sense of freedom, allowing them to act as they wish. Their actions are just masks used to conceal their animalistic instincts. This is prominently portrayed through the Montagues being at the Capulet party. Romeo first laying eyes upon Juliet is the inciting incident in the dramatic structure. It is the catalyst for the conflict that the two protagonists will undergo. Romeo is captivated by Juliet’s beauty and doubts he has truly been in love before. This instantaneous claim of love
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