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R & J Characters  2008
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R & J Characters 2008


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  • 1. William Shakespeare Widely regarded as the greatest writer in English Literature
  • 2. Shakespeare
    • 1564-1616
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England
  • 3. Childhood
    • Father was John ; Mother was Mary
    • In 1567 he became Bailiff of Stratford; like a modern-day Mayor.
    • William was the 3 rd child. Legend says he was born on April 23 rd . He died exactly 52 years later.
    • Shakespeare attended very good schools
  • 4. Family
    • When Will was 18, he married 26 year old Anne Hathaway.
  • 5. More Family
    • They had 3 Kids:
      • Susanna (Baptised 6 months after their wedding)
      • Twins: Hamnet and Judith
        • Hamnet died at age 11.
  • 6. Shakespeare
    • started out as an actor
    • wrote 37 plays
    • about 154 sonnets
  • 7. Stage Celebrity
    • Actor for Lord Chamberlain’s Men (London theater co.)
    • Also > principal playwright for them
    • 1599> Lord Ch. Co. built Globe Theater where most of Sh. Play’s were performed
  • 8. Shakespeare wrote:
    • Comedies
    • Histories
    • Tragedies
  • 9. Romeo and Juliet
    • Written about 1595
    • Considered a tragedy
  • 10. The Theater
    • Plays produced for the general public
    • Roofless>open air
    • No artificial lighting
    • Courtyard surrounded by 3 levels of galleries
  • 11. Spectators
    • Wealthy got benches
    • “ Groundlings”>poorer people stood and watched from the courtyard (“pit”)
    • All but wealthy were uneducated/illiterate
    • Much more audience interaction than today
  • 12. Staging Areas
    • Stage>platform that extended into the pit
    • Dressing & storage rooms in galleries behind & above stage
    • second-level gallery> upper stage> famous balcony scene in R & J
    • Trap door>ghosts
    • “ Heavens”> angelic beings
  • 13. Differences
    • Almost no scenery
    • Settings > actors used references in dialogue
    • Elaborate costumes
    • Plenty of props
    • Fast-paced, colorful>2-3 hours!
  • 14.  
  • 15. Actors
    • Only men and boys
    • Young boys whose voices had not changed play women’s roles
    • Would have been considered indecent for a woman to appear on stage
  • 16. Elizabethan (QE1) Words
    • An,and: If
    • Anon: Soon
    • Aye: Yes
    • But: Except for
    • E’en: Even
    • E’er: Ever
  • 17. QE1 Words (contin.)
    • Haply: Perhaps
    • Happy: Fortunate
    • Hence: Away, from her
    • Hie: Hurry
    • Marry: Indeed
  • 18. QE1 Words (contin.)
    • Whence: Where
    • Wilt: Will, will you
    • Withal: In addition to
    • Would: Wish
  • 19. Blank Verse
    • Much of R & J is written in Blank Verse:
      • unrhymed verse
      • iambic (unstressed, stressed)
      • pentameter( 5 “feet” to a line)
        • ends up to be 10 syllable lines
  • 21. Romeo and Juliet
    • Romeo  - The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague.
      • A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive.
      • He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love.
      • -At the beginning of the play he is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline.
  • 22. Romeo and Juliet
    • Juliet  - The daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet.
    • -A beautiful thirteen-year-old girl.
    • -Romeo is the son of her family’s great enemy.
  • 23. Romeo and Juliet
    • Friar Lawrence  - A Franciscan friar, friend to both Romeo and Juliet.
    • - Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona.
    • -As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.
  • 24. Romeo and Juliet
    • Mercutio  - A kinsman to the Prince, and Romeo’s close friend.
    • -He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions.
  • 25. Romeo and Juliet
    • The Nurse  - Juliet’s nurse, the woman who raised Juliet when she was a baby and has cared for Juliet her entire life.
    • -A vulgar, long-winded, and sentimental character, the Nurse provides comic relief with her frequently inappropriate remarks and speeches. (connects to commoners)
  • 26. Romeo and Juliet
    • Tybalt  - A Capulet, Juliet’s cousin on her mother’s side.
    • -Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured.
    • -Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared.
    • -He loathes Montagues.
  • 27. Romeo and Juliet
    • Capulet  - The patriarch of the Capulet family, father of Juliet, husband of Lady Capulet, and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of Montague.
    • -He truly loves his daughter,but never listens to her.
    • -He seems to think that what is best for her is a “good” match with Paris.
  • 28. Romeo and Juliet
    • Lady Capulet  - Juliet’s mother, Capulet’s wife.
    • -A woman who herself married young (by her own estimation she gave birth to Juliet at close to the age of fourteen).
    • -she is eager to see her daughter marry Paris.
    • -She relies on the Nurse for moral and pragmatic support.
  • 29. Romeo and Juliet
    • Montague  - Romeo’s father, the patriarch of the Montague clan and bitter enemy of Capulet.
    • Lady Montague  - Romeo’s mother, Montague’s wife.
    • -She dies of grief after Romeo is exiled from Verona.
  • 30. Romeo and Juliet
    • Paris  - A kinsman of the Prince, and the suitor of Juliet most preferred by Capulet.
    • Benvolio  - Montague’s nephew, Romeo’s cousin and thoughtful friend.
      • He makes a genuine effort to defuse violent scenes in public places, though Mercutio accuses him of having a nasty temper in private.
      • He spends most of the play trying to help Romeo get his mind off Rosaline, even after Romeo has fallen in love with Juliet.
  • 31. Romeo and Juliet
    • Prince Escalus  - The Prince of Verona.
      • A kinsman of Mercutio and Paris.
      • As the seat of political power in Verona, he is concerned about maintaining the public peace at all costs.
  • 32. Romeo and Juliet
    • Friar John  - A Franciscan friar charged by Friar Lawrence with taking the news of Juliet’s false death to Romeo in Mantua. (small character)
  • 33. Romeo and Juliet
    • Balthasar  - Romeo’s dedicated servant.
    • Sampson & Gregory  -  Two servants of the house of Capulet, who, like their master, hate the Montagues.
  • 34. Romeo and Juliet
    • Abram  - Montague’s servant, who fights with Sampson and Gregory in the first scene of the play.
    • The Apothecary  - An apothecary in Mantua.
      • Makes and sales poison.
  • 35. Romeo and Juliet
    • Rosaline  - The woman with whom Romeo is infatuated at the beginning of the play.
      • Rosaline never appears onstage, but it is said by other characters that she is very beautiful and has sworn to live a life of chastity.
    • The Chorus  - The Chorus is a single character who, as developed in Greek drama, functions as a narrator offering commentary on the play’s plot and themes.