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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

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Ashley Moore

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare

Romeo's Kinsmen
Love in the 14th Century
Most marriages were arranged, especially among the upper-class (for social and economic power)
Shorter life spans meant earlier marriages (parents made arrangements years before actual marriages)
Romantic love is believed to be a powerful force, though it is not generally a consideration for marriage
What is a tragedy?
A dramatic work that presents the downfall of a dignified character(s) called
tragic heroes
--usually noble born; has one or more fatal flaws that leads to his or her downfall
Tragic plots are set in motion by a decision that is often an error in judgement
Events are linked in a cause-and-effect relationship
Inevitable disastrous conclusion, usually death

Dramatic Terminology
Plays, or dramas, are divided in the following ways:

--divisions of the plot into sections and indicated with Roman numerals; i.e. I, II, III, IV, V
--subdivisions within acts; indicated with lower-case Roman numerals; i.e. i, ii, iii, iv, v
--the individual lines with the play are indicated at the end of each line with Arabic numerals; i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Dramatic Terminology
--a long speech given by a single character
--a speech that a character gives when he or she is alone on stage. Used to reveal private thoughts
--a remark made by character, either to the audience or another character, that others on stage are not supposed to hear
The House of Montague
First performed in 1595
Based on a long poem written in 1562 called the
Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet
by Arthur Brooke
Not considered one of Shakespeare's great tragedies despite its popularity
A Brief History of the Play
"Star-cross'd lovers"--ill fated
Children of feuding families
Juliet is 13 years old
Romeo's age is unknown; he is probably in his late teens

Who are Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet?
Verona, Italy
14th Century
Composed of city-states, each with its own rulers
Patriarch and matriarch of the House of Montague; Romeo's parents
Montague's nephew;
Romeo's cousin
Romeo's friend; kinsman to the prince
The House of Capulet
Patriarch and matriarch of the House of Capulet; Juliet's parents
: Lady Capulet's nephew; Juliet's cousin
Paris: Young nobleman who wants to marry Juliet; kinsman to the prince
Nurse: Juliet's nurse and confidante
Relations to the Capulets
Connected to Both Houses
Prince Escalus
: Prince of Verona; concerned with maintaining the peace
Friar Lawrence: A Franciscan friar; friend to both the Montagues and Cauplets
Other Characters
: Juliet's cousin; an unseen character that Romeo is in love with at the beginning of the play
: a pharmacist
Friar John
: a friend of Friar Lawrence who tries to help him with an errand
Dramatic conventions are devices that playwrights use and the audience accepts as realistic even though people do not actually behave this way in real-life
Dramatic Terminology
Comic relief
--a humorous scene, incident, or speech that follows a serious scene in order to relieve tension
--a character whose characteristics are in sharp contrast to those of another character in the same work

Shakespeare's Language
changing the natural S-V-O word order; i.e.
Many a morning hath he there been seen.

leaving out a sound or syllable by using an apostrophe; i.e. "fall'st upon thy face?"
: wordplay; a joke that uses similar sounding words or words with multiple meanings; i.e. "dreamers often lie"
Literary Terminology:
a reference to something outside of literature, usually historical, Biblical, or mythological.
: a figure of speech that combines opposite terms in a brief phrase; i.e. jumbo shrimp, pretty ugly
when two opposites are introduced int the same sentence for contrasting effect
: giving human-like characteristics to non-humane entities
descriptive words and phrases that appeal to the five senses.
Our Focus:

Who or what is to blame for Romeo and Juliet's deaths?
Love vs. Hate
EQ: Does passion help or hinder us?
Individual vs. Society
EQ: Whose needs should take precedence: self or society?
Fate vs. Choice
EQ: Are we in charge of our own destiny?
Literary Terminology:
Verbal Irony:
when someone says something but means the opposite (sarcasm is a mean form of verbal irony)
Situational Irony:
when something happens that is the opposite of what is expected.
Dramatic Irony:
when the audience knows more than the characters on stage do.
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