How do these quotes from act 3 of Romeo and Juliet create suspense?    (A)Prince: “Let Romeo hence in haste,Else, when he is found, that hour is his last.” (B)Juliet: “I’ll to the Friar...

How do these quotes from act 3 of Romeo and Juliet create suspense?

 

 

(A)Prince: “Let Romeo hence in haste,Else, when he is found, that hour is his last.”

(B)Juliet: “I’ll to the Friar to know his remedy.If all else fail, myself have power to die.

(C)Romeo: “This day’s black fate on more days doth depend;This but begins the woe others must end.”

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In his Prologue to Act I, William Shakespeare's Chorus advises the audience of the "star-crossed lovers" who take their lives; consequently, when the audience hears or sees lines such as those mentioned above, there is a certain arousal of curiosity about how these contribute to the final outcome that has been announced.

(A) This anticipation of tragedy is increased in Act III as the climax,the highest point of intensity in the play.  In this act, Mercutio and Tybalt encounter one another on a torrid day, and their tempers match the climate.  As they insult one another Romeo comes on the scene.  Unfortunately, his attempts at amelioration turn to fatality:  He slays Tybalt after Tybalt kills his dear friend Mercutio.  Since the Prince has issued an edict that whoever revives the terrible feud between the Capulets and the Montagues will have his own life forfeited--"Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace" (1.1.70), the Prince offers Romeo a chance to save his life by leaving Verona.  If, however, Romeo does not accept the banishment, he will die.

(B) After Juliet has been told by her father that she must marry Paris, she despairs because she is in a terrible quandary.  For, she has already secretly married Romeo. If she tells her father that she is married, there will be dire consequences, so she runs to Friar Laurence in her desperation.  Knowing the predicament in which Juliet is, the audience wonders what she will do; of particular concern are her words that suggest she contemplates suicide.

(C) In Romeo's lines after he has slain Tybalt, he knows of the terrible repercussions of his act.  He speaks of others' having to end the sorrow that begins with Tybalt and Mercutio's deaths.  Clearly, suspense is created in this instance as the audience wonders what further action will occur.  Among the questions an audience may well ask themselves are these: What will both families do?  What will become of Romeo's marriage to Juliet?

Always throughout the play, Romeo and Juliet, an audience advised by the words of the Prologue, wonder how the tragedy will be effected, and these lines certainlly indicate the presence of a looming fate over the "star-crossed lovers."

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