Shakespeare - Romeo & Juliet


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Shakespeare - Romeo & Juliet

  1. 1. Romeo &Juliet
  2. 2.  Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families.  It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays.  Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.
  3. 3.  Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582.  Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris.  Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare's original.
  4. 4.  Shakespeare set the story of Romeo & Juliet in Verona, Italy.  Shakespeare liked using exotic locations in his plays, and he used Verona in another of his early works: The Two Gentlemen of Verona.  The time the play is set is unknown, but is generally thought to be in the late 1400’s; but as with many of Shakespeare’s plays, exact settings are irrelevant to the action.
  5. 5.  The main focus of the play is on two warring families. First, the Montagues:  Lord Montague  Lady Montague  Romeo – their only child  Benvolio – Romeo’s cousin  Abram – A servant of Lord Montague  Balthasar – Romeo’s servant
  6. 6.  Lord Capulet – a wealthy nobleman  Lady Capulet – his wife  Juliet – their only child  Tybalt – Juliet’s cousin  Nurse – Juliet’s personal servant and caretaker
  7. 7.  Prince Escalus – the ruler of Verona  Count Paris – a rich nobleman who wants to marry Juliet  Mercutio – son of Escalus and close friend of Romeo  Friar Lawrence – friend and advisor to Romeo
  8. 8.  The play begins with two of the Montague’s servants fighting in the streets with two of the Capulet’s servants.  Prince Escalus breaks up the fight, and warns both families that any further trouble between them will bring serious consequences.  Later, we see Romeo walking with his cousin Benvolio, pining after a girl he loves, but who doesn’t love him in return.  Benvolio tells him that in order to get over this girl, Romeo should sneak into a masquerade ball at the Capulet’s home.
  9. 9.  At the ball, Romeo sees Juliet dancing, and instantly is smitten with her. He pulls her aside and declares his love, and she finds herself attracted to him, only to find out later that he is a Montague – an enemy to her family.  Meanwhile, Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, also discovers Romeo’s presence, and is enraged, thinking he has come to spy and cause trouble.
  10. 10.  After the ball, Romeo cannot get Juliet out of his mind. He goes back to her house and stands beneath her balcony, waiting to catch a glimpse of her.  This has become one of the most famous scenes of all time.  Here it is, as played by The Royal Shakespeare Company
  11. 11.  Much of the conflict of Romeo & Juliet comes from their mistaken belief that their love can heal the long-standing hatreds between their families  Anger, pride, and miscommunications lead to Tybalt fighting with, and killing Romeo’s friend, Mercutio. Then, in a rage, Romeo kills Tybalt.
  12. 12.  Because of this violent murder, Romeo is banished from Verona by Prince Escalus.  But Juliet hatches a plot with Friar Lawrence to secretly escape with Romeo, by faking her death with a sleeping potion.  Through fateful circumstance, Romeo isn’t told of this. He only hears that Juliet has poisoned herself, and not wanting to live without her, goes to her tomb and drinks poison himself, whereupon, Juliet wakes up from her sleep, and, seeing Romeo dead, takes up his dagger and plunges it into her heart.  On finding their only children lying dead, the two grieving families realize how damaging their feud has been.
  13. 13.  Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story in the English literary tradition. Love is naturally the play’s dominant and most important theme. The play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet.  In Romeo and Juliet, love is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions. In the course of the play, the young lovers are driven to defy their entire social world: families, friends, and rulers.  Love is the overriding theme of the play, but a reader should always remember that Shakespeare is uninterested in portraying a prettied-up, dainty version of the emotion. Love in Romeo and Juliet is a brutal, powerful emotion that captures individuals and pits them against their world, and, at times, against themselves.
  14. 14. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet“ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2 "Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast“ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.3 "A plague o' both your houses!" William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 3.1 "Tempt not a desperate man" William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 5.3 "A greater power than we can contradict Hath thwarted our intents." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 5.3 "For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 5.3 "For you and I are past our dancing days" William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1.5 "O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright" William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1.5 "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! / For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1.5 "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love And I'll no longer be a Capulet." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2 "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun" William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2 "Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.“ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2
  15. 15.  The popularity of Romeo and Juliet began from it’s first performance in Shakespeare’s time, and has continued to this day.  Every year, dozens of productions are performed in theaters around the world.  Operas, ballets, Broadway musicals, movies and popular and classical music have been inspired by this timeless love story, including the Oscar- winning West Side Story.
  16. 16.  Romeo & Juliet has been a popular subject for film.  Over 100 film and TV adaptions have been made – the first in 1908!  In 1968, an acclaimed version was made by Franco Zefferelli  In 1996 Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes was released, and became a huge hit.  A new Romeo & Juliet starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld, will be in theaters in 2013.
  17. 17.  In Elizabethan England, the legal age for marriage (with parental permission) was twelve-years-old for girls and fourteen-years-old for boys. Nowadays, we tend to think of Juliet as just a tad young for nuptials (she's only thirteen in the play). (Source)  Since women weren't allowed to perform on the Elizabethan stage, Romeo and Juliet was originally played by an all-male cast. Female roles were most often played by young, pre-pubescent boys with high-pitched, "feminine" voices. Juliet would have been played by a boy until the late 1600s, when it first became acceptable for women to appear on the English stage. (Source)  In 2008, Washington D.C.'s Shakespeare Theater Company staged a historically accurate, all-male performance of Romeo and Juliet (source). In response, D.C.'s Taffety Punk Theater Company staged an all-female production of the play and boasted that their version was "an hour shorter, a fraction of the cost, and [had] 100 percent more women" (source)
  18. 18. A Nutsy the Squirrel Production Copyright 2013 Oak Hills Media Center All Rights Reserved