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Act II scene ii of Romeo and Juliet is commonly known as the balcony scene and although this designation may be inaccurate Shakespeares stage directions call for Juliet to appear at a window not on a balcony this scene has been quoted from played and misplayed more than any other in all of the Bards works It is proceeded by some astoundingly beautiful verse in Mercutios Queen Mab speech of Act I scene iv and by the individual and joint speeches of Romeo and Juliet at the banquet which concludes the first act and includes a wonderful exchange in which the lovers author a sonnet together But the balcony scene rises even above these brilliant flashes and is indelibly etched in our memories Here Shakespeares genius is evident even at a relatively early stage in his career and while the characters of Romeo and Juliet predominate the playwright employs certain key dramatic devices and stage techniques that amplify the scenes impression There is to begin a deliberate heightening of dramatic suspense immediately before Romeo enters into Juliets orchard Before the beginning of Act II proper Shakespeare inserts a second appearance by the Chorus II chorus 2 ll1-14 Taking the same sonnet form as the plays Prologue this speech is meant to heighten the narrative tension suggesting that Romeo being held a foe may not have access to his Juliet The dissonance is intensified still further when a lone Romeo asks aloud Can I go forward when my heart is here II I l1 When Mercutio and Benvolio enter just as Romeo withdraws there is a mild sense of pursuit that lends even greater urgency to the moment But the search for Romeo is broken off with Romeo then emerging in Act II scene ii to mark a line between the outside world and the lovers world at hand by having the last word in the discourse of his friends He jests at scars that
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