We think of a tragedy as being something that is out of our control, such as accidents, natural disasters, even war. For tragic love, we think of couples who are meant to be together, yet the odds are against them. In tragic love stories, the lovers have to die. The example of the Lover’s Leap story in Hannibal: two Native American young people from different tribes, their families are chasing them, the choose to jump to their deaths rather than life without each other.
Romeo and juliet
Romeo and Juliet
What is a tragedy?
• Think of some examples of real life tragedies.
• What is “tragic love”?
• “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life”
• What do stars symbolize?
• “Written in the stars” Higher powers approve
• Forces out of human control are working against
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.“
Julius Caesar ACT I Scene ii
And More Stars
• “Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.”
Hamlet ACT II Scene ii
• Verona, Italy
• Late 1500’s
• Juliet Capulet – a 13-year-old girl
• Lord and Lady Capulet – Juliet’s parents
• Count Paris – the man Juliet’s father wants her
• Tybalt – Juliet’s cousin
• Nurse – Juliet’s nurse, who has taken care of her
since she was a baby
• Romeo Montague: A young man, probably
about 17 years old
• Lord and Lady Montague: Romeo’s parents
• Benvolio Montague: Romeo’s cousin
• Mercutio: Romeo’s best friend
• Friar Laurence: A priest and friend of Romeo
• A family feud
• Falling in love
• A secret marriage
• A fight
• A banishment
• A match-making father
• A desperate plan
• Some deadly gossip
• The death of Romeo and Juliet
• A lesson learned
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
• A sonnet is poetic format which allows the poet
to examine the nature and ramifications of two
usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states of
mind, beliefs, actions, events, images, etc., by
juxtaposing the two against each other, and
possibly resolving or just revealing the tensions
created and operative between the two.
The English (or Shakespearian) Sonnet
• The English sonnet has the simplest and most
flexible pattern of all sonnets, consisting of 3
quatrains of alternating rhyme and a couplet:
• a b a b
• c d c d
• e f e f
• g g
• Conceit is a figure of speech in which two vastly
different objects are compared with the help of
similes or metaphors.
• Conceit develops a comparison which is
extremely unlikely but intellectually imaginative
Romeo: If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Juliet: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Romeo: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Juliet: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
Romeo: O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do!
They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Juliet: Saints do no move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Romeo: Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take
Thus from my lips, by thine my sin is purged.
Juliet: Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Romeo: Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.
Juliet: You kiss by th’ book.
• What makes a person who he or she is?
• What role does family play in a person’s
• What is love?
• What extreme measures are people willing to
take for love?
• Are Shakespeare's views on love, loyalty,
friendship, and fate still relevant today?
Denotation and Connotation
• Denotation refers to the literal meaning of a word, the
▫ For example, if you look up the word snake in a dictionary,
you will discover that one of its denotative meanings
"any of numerous scaly, legless, sometimes venomous
reptiles, having a long, tapering, cylindrical body and
found in most tropical and temperate regions."
• Connotation, on the other hand, refers to the associations
that are connected to a certain word or the emotional
suggestions related to that word.
▫ The connotations for the word snake could include evil or
• The connotative meanings of a word exist together with
the denotative meanings.
• Denotation: an intense feeling of deep affection
• Connotation: family, romance, loyalty,
A play on words, either on different senses of the same word
or on the similar sense or sound of different words.
Types of puns
• Homophonic puns are created by substituting
one word for a similar-sounding word.
▫ A good pun is its own reword.
▫ I bet the butcher the other day that he couldn’t
reach the meat that was on the top shelf. He
refused to take the bet, saying that the steaks were
▫ I would like to go to Holland someday. Wooden
Types of puns
• Homographic puns are created by using a word
that has two different meanings.
▫ Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
▫ The motorist says to the cop, "Why can't I park my
car here? The sign says 'Fine for Parking'!"
• A foil character is a character who contrasts with
the main character, and therefore brings
attention to the main character’s personality.
• In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio is a foil for
• Mercutio is witty, funny and mocks love.
• Romeo is serious and pathetically and
dramatically in love.
• A prose or verse composition, especially one
telling a serious story, that is intended for
representation by actors impersonating the
characters and performing the dialogue and