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Copy of Introduction to Romeo & Juliet
Transcript of Copy of Introduction to Romeo & Juliet
In Elizabethan times plays were not seen as literature or good reads, they were mainly for cheap entertainment. They were written quickly, usually by more than one person, performed 10-12 times, and then thrown away.
In 1623 John Hemming and Henry Condell published Shakespeare's collection of plays (36 of them), called his "folio" (aka portfolio).
Shakespeare usually wrote in blank verse iambic pentameter (unrhyming lines with 10 syllables per line, alternating stressed and unstressed)
Shakespeare used rhyme to signify the end of a scene or for lines he wanted his audience to remember: "Parting is such sweet sorrow, so I shall goodnight 'Till it be morrow" (2.2.184-185) Shakespeare's Plays All roles were played by men, they felt that women were unable to portray emotions on stage without actually feeling them (i.e. if they played a character who was in love with a man on stage she would fall in love with him)
Theaters were usually located outside of town to avoid trouble with the "authorities"
The "authorities" didn't approve of the plays both morally and politically
Morally because some of the content was crude and humorous and that could promote bad behavior to those who watched.
Politically because many plays questioned authority and stirred up conversation
The theaters also made people nervous because with everyone in tight quarters diseases and plagues could be spread easily.
In fact, at one point the theaters were forced to shut down because of plagues. Theaters & Actors One of the most popular theaters in the world to this day
The original Globe Theater was small, but they would cram 2-3 thousand people in it during performances
Weather had to be right for plays to be performed because there was no roof. A flag was hung outside letting people know the show was going to go on
Commoners would pay $0.01 to get in (about $0.60 today) to sit/stand in the pit
There were 3 tiers in the gallery for the more wealthy people to sit, the higher up the rows the more expensive they would be. The most expensive seat would have cost about $7 today.
A packed house usually would have 800 people in the pit, 1,500 in the gallery, and royals and the super wealthy had special seats off to the side of the stage.
Unlike plays today, back then there was little to no scenery at all The Globe Theater Queen Elizabeth was one of the most popular and long-reigning monarchs in English history (1558-1603)
Daughter of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII of England
Elizabeth only became queen at age 25 after her half bother & half sister reigned for a short time then died
Because of her upbringing Elizabeth was a strict politician and was extremely intelligent
Her sister Mary reigned brutally and massacred protestants and earned the nickname "Bloody Mary"
Elizabeth never married, she used the fact that she was an unmarried woman to have power over other countries
She was knows as the "Virgin Queen" and used potential marriages to form allies and keep good relationships within England and neighboring countries
Under Elizabeth England began colonizing the Americas: she funded Sir Walter Raleigh's journey across the Atlantic to the Americas & Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation around the world.
Elizabeth may have been a strict politician, but girl liked to party... Elizabethan England Romeo & Juliet's plot is probably the most widely used than any other story in history. It can be seen in TV shows, books, movies, and pop culture everywhere.
It is a timeless tale of young love, feuding families, drama, and death.
Examples of the plot of Romeo & Juliet used in pop culture... Hey Arnold...
Helga's obsession with Arnold and Secret love for him West Side Story -
The musical adaptation of Romeo & Juliet set in New York City. Rival gangs, brotherhood, & street fighting (with fancy kicks and awesome dance moves. Aladdin -
Disney movie about a young "street rat" pretending to be a prince and he falls in love with a princess and must fight off the evil villain High School Musical -
Boy Meets Girl, boy can't be with girl because outside forces are telling him he shouldn't, boy falls in love with girl... and of course some awesome dance numbers. Last but not least...
Boy meets girl, boy can't be with girl because they come from two different worlds, they fall in love, things get hectic, and some people die. Shakespeare was born on April 23rd, 1564. His father was a wealthy wood and leather merchant.
He married Anne Hathaway in 1582 (he was 18, she was 24... scandalous!) They had 3 children together, but one died when he was a young boy.
After writing 37 plays, Shakespeare retired wealthy and respected and died on his birthday in 1616 at the age of 52. Queen Elizabeth really enjoyed the theater.
The first public theaters were built in England
Elizabeth was a huge supporter of the theater houses and would often go to the theater houses
Other activities she made easily accessible to her people were:
performances: dance, song, drama
sporting events: swimming, fishing, football, tennis, wrestling and bowling
festivals & public gatherings: All Hallow's Eve and the Twelfth Night of Christmas
criminal punishment: public executions & the stocks and gallows Romeo & Juliet Capulet vs. Montague An intense feud, the families hate each other & have never gotten along
They can't stand being around each other and kill members of each others family often
So many deaths have occurred it is starting to disrupt the city.
Romeo is a love struck teenager who has fallen in love with a girl who does not love him back-- he is heartbroken :(
Juliet's mother is hoping to arrange her marriage to the handsome and eligible bachelor Prince-- she isn't too thrilled about it Literary Devices in Romeo & Juliet Pun A pun is a joke that uses a word or words with multiple meanings but has the same sound.
Romeo & Mercutio (Romeo's best friend) often exchange puns. Mercutio:
Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have a dance.
Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles; I have a soul of lead. 1.4.13-15 The pun is that Romeo is talking about the soles of his shoes, but because he is sad his soul is heavy. Foreshadowing Foreshadowing describes when a dialogue or action refers to an event that will happen later in the story, even though the characters don't know it is going to happen.
Benvolio does this when he tells Romeo to forget Rosaline and look for another girl. Benvolio:
Take thou some new infection to thy eye, And the rank poison of the old will die 1.2.49-50 Obviously Benvolio doesn't know Romeo is about to meet Juliet and that meeting her will lead to him poisoning himself,
therefore it is foreshadowing. Boom. Metaphor A metaphor directly compares two things that are unrelated
Romeo does this when describing Juliet. Romeo:
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks.
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. 2.2.2-3 Romeo is comparing Juliet to the sun, both of these things are unrelated, but he is using the rising of the sun to describe the way he sees Juliet. Personification Giving non-living things human or animal like characteristics. Juliet uses personification to show how much she wants it to be night when she will see Romeo again. Juliet:
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow on a raven's back
Come, gentle night, come, loving black brow'd night 3.2.18-20 Obviously night does not have wings, but Juliet wants time to "fly" and therefore she is trying to give night the wings
of a raven (bird) Oxymoron Putting two contrasting words together to make a word or phrase with a completely different meaning.
Example: girl + man = girly man
jumbo + shrimp = Jumbo shrimp Famous oxymoron from Romeo & Juliet: Juliet:
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. 2.2.184-185 Sweet = happy
Sorrow = sad
Sweet + Sorrow =
it made me happy to see you, but I am sad we must now part Aside A term seen in plays in which the speaker quietly talks to another person in a way that isn't meant to be heard by all the characters on stage. An example from Romeo & Juliet during a fight between the Capulets and the Montagues Abraham:
Do you bite your thumb at us sir?
Samson [aside to Gregory]:
Is the law of our side if i say ay?
Gregory [aside to Samson]:
Samson [to Abraham] No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but i bit my thumb, sir. 1.1.41-45 Soliloquy When a character is on stage by themselves and the audience hears them "thinking out loud"... this is used to let the audience know what is going on in the character's mind. Juliet (not knowing Romeo can hear her):
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. Oh, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself. (2.2.38-49)
Dramatic Irony When the audience knows something that a character in the play doesn't. For example, when Romeo goes to visit Juliet's tomb we as the audience knows she isn't really dead. Tragic Flaw When a character trait leads to a character's downfall or destruction
Ulysses Example: If Ulysses' attempt to go home would have eventually killed him before getting home.
Example from Romeo & Juliet: Romeo's tragic flaw is that he thinks he can escape his fate... and it eventually leads to his death. Clips from "Shakespeare in Love" Women on stage Globe Theater