The Tragedy of Romeo andJuliet William Shakespeare 1564-1616
PROLOGUE• Verona, Italy• Montagues & Capulets: – Generations of hate – Kids fall in love – Secret marriage – Suicide* – Families overcome the hate at tragic cost * (Foreshadows the deaths of Romeo & Juliet)
Why does Shakespeare tell us what happens to the lovers?• A great storyteller can do this; the details of the story are more important than the ending.• The audience will watch in anticipation of the deaths, making each action of the characters more strongly felt.
Act I, scene 1• Old hatreds are rekindled between: – The servants of Capulets & Montagues – Tybalt and Benvolio – The Capulets & Montagues• Prince of Verona decrees: “If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace” (I.1.94-95).
• Capulet servants boast about fighting Montagues (enemy)• They want to provoke the Montague servants without getting themselves in trouble with the law• A Capulet servant insults/ bites his thumb at Montague Bite Your Thumb = Insult servant which starts a fight (riot)
• Benvolio arrives and tries to break Benvolio: Part, fools!Put up your up fight swords; you know not what you do. • Tybalt provokes Benvolio into fightingTybalt: What, drawn, and talkof peace! I hate the word,As I Tybalthate hell, all Montagues, andthee:Have at thee, coward!
•Prince Escalus arrives,Prince: If ever you disturb our streets again, stops fight, andYour lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace sentences the family that starts the next fight/riot to death. • Lord Montague and wife and Lord Capulet both appear at the scene -Lord Capulet is most interested in fighting -Lady Montague & Lady Romeo & Capulet encourage their Gang husbands not to fight
WHY?• Why does a play about The feud affects citizens forbidden love begin with of all classes in Verona. Capulet & Montague servants fighting?• Immediately love & violence are intertwined• The servants behavior reflects their masters’ ridiculous attitudes (holding a violent grudge against another family without knowing the reason of their hate)
Act I, scene 1• Romeo Montague is heart-sick because he’s been rejected by Rosaline.• He asks his friend Benvolio, “ …teach me how I should forget to think!” (I.1. 224)• Benvolio encourages, “By giving liberty unto thine eyes. Examine other beauties” (I.1.225-226).
Romeo’s parents (Montagues) andBenvolio discuss Romeo’s mood.• Lord Montague points Lord Montague: Away from the light steals home my heavy son, out that Romeo is And private in his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight staying in his room all out And makes himself an artificial night: day.• Benvolio has seen Romeo wandering around.• He sees that Romeo wants to be left alone; so, he doesn’t bother him. Sad Romeo
RosalineRomeo tells Benvoliothat he is depressed1. Romeo lovesRosaline. (Romeo isobsessed with her.)2. Rosaline wants nothingto do with him; she hassworn off love and men tobecome a nun3. Benvolio wants Romeoto look at other girls todate
Shakespeare’s Purpose• Introduce the age-old feud between the Montagues & Capulets• Introduce Romeo as a romantic, moody teen who is sulking because of a breakup
Act 1 Scene 2A. Count Paris, who is21, asks Lord Capuletif he can marry Juliet.B. Capulet would likeParis to wait 2 yearsC. [All of Juliet’ssiblings are dead] Lord Capulet: But woo her, gentleD. Capulet will agree Paris, get her heart,to the marriage only if My will to her consent is but a part; An she agree, within her scope ofJuliet also agrees. He choicetells Paris to begin Lies my consent and fair according voice.wooing her
Act 1, scene 2• Capulet asks his illiterate servant to deliver invitations to the party.• The servant happens upon Romeo and his pals, and asks them for assistance in reading the invitations.• Romeo sees Rosaline’s name on an invitation and decides to attend.
D. Benvolio andRomeo find out aboutthe Capulets’ party.• 1. Romeo reads the guest list for an illiterate servant.• 2. Rosaline is invited to the party. Romeo is interested in going now!
Act 1, scene 2• Problem: The Capulets and Montagues are bitter foes.• Benvolio promises that he’ll assist Romeo in comparing Rosaline to other more beautiful women, and “. . .make thee think thy swan a crow” (I.2.89).• Romeo pouts that he’ll attend but have no fun.
Benvolio: Go thither; and, with• E. Benvolio talks unattainted eye, Compare her face [Rosaline’s] with Romeo into some that I shall show, And I will make thee think thy swan crashing the party. a crow.• 1. Benvolio wants Romeo to compare Rosaline to other girls.• 2. He thinks Romeo will realize that there are other women in the Romeo in Mask world.
Shakespeare’s Purpose• Plot device: – Used to shape the love triangle, bringing Romeo, Juliet and Paris together –Used to bring Romeo into enemy territory – a Montague in the Capulet home
Act I, scene 3• Lady Capulet asks her daughter, Juliet, to “check out” Paris as a potential husband.• Juliet obediently complies, but lets her mother know that marriage is not something she’s been thinking about.
Act I, scene 3• We meet Juliet’s nanny, the nurse, who is especially protective of her.• We also find out that Juliet’s 14th birthday is approaching – Lammas Eve.
Juliet, Nurse, Lady A. Lady Capulet Capulet goes to see Juliet about marrying Count Paris & encourages her to marry him. B. Nurse rambles on and on; saysLady Capulet: Well, think of marriage now; Juliet will be 14 in 2younger than you,Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, weeks. She speaksAre made already mothers: by my count,I was your mother much upon these years crude commentsThat you are now a maid. Thus then inbrief: about Juliet,The valiant Paris seeks you for his love. showing her lower class
Juliet C. Juliet says that she hasn’t thought about marriage at all. • It does not appear she wants to marry Paris • but she is obedient to her mother’s wishes. D. Nurse thinks that marryingJuliet to Lady Capulet: Illlook to like, if looking liking Paris would be a good idea.move:But no more deep will I E. Juliet agrees to meet Parisendart mine eye at the party and consider hisThan your consent givesstrength to make it fly. offer of marriage.
Shakespeare’s Purpose• The audience knows that Juliet is aware of Paris’ intent to marry her.• The audience also knows that there may be a brawl at the party because Romeo and his friends are infiltrating enemy territory.
Act I, scene 4• Romeo, Benvolio, & Mercutio are about to crash the Capulet party.• Romeo vows he won’t have any fun because he’s depressed about Rosaline’s rejection:• “I am too sore enpierced with his [Cupid’s] shaft to soar with his light feathers. . .under love’s heavy burden do I sink” (I.4.19-22).
Act I, scene 4• A discussion ensues about love.• Romeo’s interpretation of love: – Emotional & Spiritual• Mercutio’s interpretation of love: – Physical & Bawdy
Act I, scene 4• Romeo begins to tell his pals about an ominous dream he had.• Mercutio mocks him.• Romeo rebukes him, and then tells about his dream, which makes him reluctant to go to the party.
B. Mercutio tries tocheer Romeo upby talking abouthis dream.C. Romeo fearsthat somethingbad is going tocome of this night;i.e. he might die.
Act I, scene 4Romeo: I fear, too early: for my mindmisgivesSome consequence yet hanging in the starsShall bitterly begin his fearful dateWith this nights revels and expire the termOf a despised life closed in my breastBy some vile forfeit of untimely death.FORESHADOWING
Act I, scene 4• In other words, –Romeo feels Fate has predetermined that some event tonight will cost him his life.
Mercutio’s Queen Mab Monologue• Queen Mab = an imaginary fairy who brings dreams of people’s fantasies & fears to them as they sleep• Romeo says he listens to his dreams• Mercutio uses the Queen Mab speech to tell Romeo to ignore his dreams; dreams are nonsense–he gives many examples• Mercutio is NOT romantic like Romeo but rather a passionate joker/master of puns.Mercutiois a FOILto Romeo.Mercutiois a FOILto Tybalt: he doesnot believe in fighting for familyhonor.
Act I, scene 5• Lord Capulet begins the party, inviting all to dance.• Romeo spies Juliet, and immediately falls heavily in love with her, instantly forgetting about Rosaline:
Rosaline Who?Romeo: O, she dothteach the torches toburn bright!It seems she hangsupon the cheek ofnightLike a rich jewel in an The CapuletEthiopes ear Ball
Act I, scene 5• Tybalt, Lady Capulet’s nephew, spies Romeo, recognizes him as a Montague, and prepares to kill him.• Lord Capulet orders Tybalt to “endure” Romeo’s presence, remembering the Prince’s decree.• Tybalt obeys begrudgingly, but will seek revenge at another time:
Act I, scene 5• Tybalt remarks after Lord Capulet has exited: –“I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall*” (I.5.92-93)
Act I, scene 5E. Romeo and Juliet meetbut do not exchange names.F. They instantly fall in love.• Romeo worships Juliet with religious devotion• Saints and prayers are referenced in their dialogue• They kiss! Romeo to Nurse: Is she a Capulet?O dear account! my life isG. As people are leaving, my foes debt. Romeo asks who Juliet is. Nurse explains: She is a Capulet and his enemy.
H. Nurse alsoidentifies Romeo forJuliet. He is aMontague and herenemy.Juliet to Nurse: My only love sprungfrom my only hate!Too early seen unknown, and known toolate!Prodigious birth of love it is to me,That I must love a loathed enemy. Juliet to Nurse: Go ask his name:I. Both Romeo and if he be married.My grave is like to be my wedding bed.Juliet are depressedat these discoveries.
Shakespeare’s Purpose• Foreshadow death at the hands of Tybalt• Introduce the conflict that sets the plot in motion. – Ironically Romeo & Juliet, whose families are embroiled in a bitter family feud, fall madly in love.
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