Act 1 Scene 1 – Fight!. Objective: To analyse the violent language and presentation of the characters in the opening scene. Analysis of language. Pick either Sampson or Gregory and copy out into your books one of their speeches- leave a space around it.
Objective: To analyse the violent language and presentation of the characters in the opening scene.
Pick either Sampson or Gregory and copy out into your books one of their speeches- leave a space around it.
Now take a different colour and underline/annotate it analytically. My example is below:
“A dog of that house shall move me to stand. I will
take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.”
Fight- violent threat or showing off?
A pet- does what it’s told- innocent?
Can’t bring himself to even say their name.
Force them into the gutter- metaphorical and literal dominance.
Women- trad. Seen as innocent but here he makes no exceptions.
Question- How is the Capulet family portrayed in Act 1, sc 1?
P- Answer the question –pick an adjective then find a technique or explore word choice.
E- Your quotation
A- Explore word choice, techniques.
To achieve your best you need to push yourself.
I = Interpretation; C= Context; E= Evaluation
I- Can it be read or ‘said’ in any other way to change its meaning?
C- What do you know of Shakespeare’s audience or the characters- is this why he wrote it this way?
E- What is the effect on the audience- what were the playwright’s intentions?
Shakespeare portrays Sampson as a dangerous character through his violent language in Act 1, scene 1:
“A dog of that house shall move me to stand.”
Initially we see Sampson’s disgust with his rivals, the Montagues, from the fact he cannot bring himself to even say their name- “that house”. Furthermore he talks of being moved “to stand”- by suggesting he is inspired to fight by just a simple “dog”. This rash statement suggests he is young and immature and somewhat petty- after all a dog does not choose his owner!
However the actor might come across not as a boastful youth but instead- a dangerous character- always ready to cause violence.
For a Shakespearean audience it was vital to gain their interest early on as bored audience members were likely to throw rotten vegetables (or worse!) a boastful and a hot-headed character would excite them as they would want to see if he keeps his word and fights the Montagues when they enter.
Shakespeare not only engages the ‘less educated’ members of the audience with exciting dialogue but he reiterates one of the key themes of the play- conflict. Although entertaining, the violence with which Sampson passionately declares his hate is an insight into the impending tragedy.