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Romeo and Juliet Analysis Overview

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Jo Ann Murray

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of Romeo and Juliet Analysis Overview

Romeo and Juliet
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.
The Prologue
What's a Prologue?
It's an introduction to the play.
What's special about the prologue?
Shakespeare wrote it in sonnet form-- a 14 line poem.
The Full Prologue
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.
But, what's iambic pentameter?
Do you understand now?
Types of Characters
Dynamic VS Static
Changes in Personality
Benvolio
Mercutio
Lord & Lady Montague
Lady Capulet
Tybalt
Paris
Minor Characters

Romeo
Juliet
Lord Capulet
The Nurse

No Change in Personality
Round VS Static
Romeo
Juliet
The Nurse
Benvolio
Mercutio
Tybalt
Lord Capulet
Lady Capulet
The Friar
No depth to the personality
Well developed personality

Lady Montague
Paris
The Minor Servants
The Other Friars
The Apothecary
Dramatic Foils
Pairs of characters deliberately designed to be opposite in personality
Benvolio VS Tybalt
Romeo VS Paris
Romeo VS Mercutio
The Nurse VS Lady Capulet
Motifs
Motifs are recurring
images or themes.
Light and Dark Imagery
Look for references to light and dark:

“Light” words, such as “torches,” “the sun,” adjectives that describe light (“bright”)
“Dark” words, such as “night” and “gloom”

Romeo's First Sight of Juliet
"O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. "
Act 1, Sc. 5
Juliet waits for Romeo to come to her after their wedding
"Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun."
Act 3, Sc. 2
Carrying a body, Romeo talks to himself as he enters the Capulet tomb.
"I'll bury thee in a triumphant grave;
A grave? O no! a lantern, slaughter'd youth,
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes
This vault a feasting presence full of light. "
Act 5, Sc. 3

Iambic pentameter is a common meter
in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line
with five feet or accents, each foot
containing an unaccented syllable and
an accented syllable.

Iambic Pentameter

To show emotion or importance
Shakespeare was meant to be heard! It made it easier for the audience to follow the lines.
It helped the actors to memorize their lines.
It made sure that the actors emphasized the words Shakespeare wanted to emphasize.

WHY did Shakespeare use iambic pentameter?

Five Feet!

5

4

1

3

2

Unstressed followed by stressed syllable

Iambic Pentameter
Quick Review
Ta-TUM

Ta-TUM

Ta-TUM

Ta-TUM

Ta-TUM

Emphasis on Fate
Look for predictions and foreshadowing about the deaths
The Prologue
"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."



On the Way to the Capulet Ball
"I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
Some consequence yet hanging in the stars
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels and expire the term
Of a despised life closed in my breast
By some vile forfeit of untimely death.
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Direct my sail! On, lusty gentlemen!"
Act 1, Sc. 4
Preparing to Take the Potion
"I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins,
That almost freezes up the heat of life."
Act 4, Sc. 3

Three Important Forms of Speech in the Play
Aside
Monologue
So

Words uttered to oneself (not meant to be heard by the other characters) or said in a stage whisper
Aside
Monologue
A long speech meant to be heard by characters on stage
Long speech meant to reveal the inner thoughts of a character

Not intended to be heard by other characters!
Soliloquy
It was designed to help the "groundlings"
and others unfamiliar with the play.
The "Chorus" is a throwback to ancient Greek tradegies.
Shakespearean sonnets include 3
quatrains and an ending couplet.
The rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef gg.
The meter is iambic pentameter.
(We understand their motivations.)
(We do not understand them.)
Wasn't Shakespeare cool
Let's go back over
iambic pentameter.
Whoa!
Full transcript