Romeo and Juliet: A closer look


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A review of terms studied during Mr. Sheehy's unit on Romeo and Juliet, as well as the rundown of a few of the most important speeches from the play.

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Romeo and Juliet: A closer look

  1. 1. Shakespeare: A closer look English 9
  2. 2. The Prologue <ul><li>Two households, both alike in dignity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two families who are basically the same </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Verona, a nice place where this play takes place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(these families), Who have been fighting for a looong time, break into new rounds of fighting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And that fighting between fellow civilians draws other, law-abiding (“civil”) people or brings them guilt too. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Prologue <ul><li>From forth the fatal loins of these two foes </li></ul><ul><li>A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each of these rival families had a child, and they are the doomed lovers of the play </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Whose misadventured piteous overthrows </li></ul><ul><li>Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And their tragic, sad story, which transcended the hatred of their families, ends with their death and finally finishes the war between the families. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Prologue <ul><li>The fearful passage of their death-marked love, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This scary way of their doomed love </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And the continuance of the parents’ rage, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And the way their parents continue to fight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And that fighting could be stopped only by their children’s death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the topic of the coming play </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Prologue <ul><li>The which if you with patient ears attend, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The play, if you will listen patiently </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will fill in anything that is unclear from our prologue. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Prologue: Beyond the surface <ul><li>Word Play (puns!) – meaning one thing while bringing to mind another </li></ul><ul><ul><li>civil blood makes civil hands unclean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with their death bury their parents’ strife </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The fearful passage of their death-marked love </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emerging themes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fate: fatal loins, star-crossed lovers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good coming from bad: Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Terms to know from Go! <ul><li>Aside : a character’s brief remark, made to the audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Another character can hear it only when explicitly mentioned in the text (“aside to Gregory”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monologue : a long speech given by a character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other characters can hear it </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Pun: defined <ul><li>A play on words </li></ul><ul><li>The word in question means more than one thing, giving the statement a type of double meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Example : Mercutio tells Romeo what his dream was about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Romeo : Well, what was yours? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mercutio : That dreamers often lie. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Oxymoron : defined <ul><li>A contradiction </li></ul><ul><li>that at first seems impossible, but makes sense in the context it is used. </li></ul><ul><li>paired opposites </li></ul><ul><li>It is a literary play on words, similar to a pun. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Soliloquies <ul><li>Definition: when a character talks to himself so the audience can hear. </li></ul><ul><li>A character always tells the truth in a soliloquy. </li></ul><ul><li>If other characters are on stage, they cannot hear the speaker’s words. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Romeo’s Soliloquy <ul><li>Hyperbole : when a writer exaggerates to highlight a point being made </li></ul><ul><li>Imagery to look for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Light (day, night, sun, moon, stars) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s he doing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Admiring her beauty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deciding whether to talk to her </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Romeo’s soliloquy <ul><li>But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! (ll. 2-3) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Here begins the metaphor and imagery of Juliet as light. Note that Romeo exalts Juliet above the stars, sun, and moon. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Her eye discourses; I will answer it. I am too bold; ‘tis not to me she speaks (ll. 13-14) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He’s trying to decide whether to speak to her and whether he might be the object of her amorous looks. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Romeo’s soliloquy <ul><li>What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven Would through the airy region stream so bright That birds would sing and think it were not night (ll. 18-22). </li></ul><ul><li>Back to the light imagery, again exalting Juliet as a source of light </li></ul><ul><li>Ever turn on a light during the day? Connect with the image. </li></ul><ul><li>Note how passionate his speech is. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Juliet’s famous soliloquy <ul><li>She is not aware of Romeo’s presence. </li></ul><ul><li>She focuses on the silliness of the families’ battle – he is who he is, no matter what title he carries. </li></ul><ul><li>She brings the image of a transaction – trade your name in and take me in exchange. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Mercutio’s Last Words <ul><li>Continues to play, even in death </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“’ tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ask for me tomorrow, and you will find me a grave man.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ . . . a cat, to scratch a man to death!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moments of seriousness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ A plague on both your houses!” (but what about this?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Why the devil came you between us?” </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Romeo, Ruled by Rashness <ul><li>Romeo regrets his prior “lenity,” or thoughtfulness towards Tybalt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ away to heaven respective lenity” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He vows that passionate anger will be his manner instead of kindness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ fire-eyed fury be my conduct now” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>His motivation is clearly revenge for Mercutio </li></ul>
  17. 17. Juliet’s Frustration with Romeo <ul><li>She laments the contradictions present in Romeo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Waxes with a long list of oxymorons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The theme is that Romeo is beautiful on the outside and ugly within </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This marks the only moment of wavering in Juliet’s love for Romeo </li></ul><ul><li>Moments later, she will regret these thoughts </li></ul>
  18. 18. Papa Capulet goes overboard <ul><li>Here, Capulet finishes his train of abuse against Juliet with a threat </li></ul><ul><li>The threat : wed Paris Thursday </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“or never after look me in the face” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He declares to his wife that having her is having a curse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“we have a curse in having her” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sounds like he’ll regret such anger, eh? </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Nurse’s worst advice <ul><li>Marry Paris – he’s hot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I think it best you married with the County, O, he’s a lovely gentleman!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Still judging physical intimacy as the only important thing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Your first is dead – or ‘twere as good he were As living here and you no use of him.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is the last time Juliet trusts the Nurse </li></ul>
  20. 20. Romeo’s final words <ul><li>Begins by noting the contradictions of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“How oft when men are at the point of death Have they been merry!” (though says this is not the case with him) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Observes that Juliet has color in her face </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“beauty's ensign yet Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks, And death's pale flag is not advanced there.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic irony here! </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Romeo’s final words <ul><li>Speaks of himself as a victim of fate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“O, here / Will I . . . shake the yoke of inauspicious stars / From this world-wearied flesh.” </li></ul></ul>