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Romeo and Juliet

1. Courtly Love

Thomas Elley

on 25 July 2011

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Transcript of Romeo and Juliet

A tragedy ... A love play ... A changing play ... A tragedy ... Shakespeare wrote tragedies? What isn't a tragedy? What makes a tragedy ... a tragedy? Romeo and Juliet: A tragedy Shakespeare wrote two different types of tragedies ... Tragedies of the heart Tragedies of the mind ... and ... Which one do you think
Romeo and Juliet is? Of course Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy
of the heart. But why? Choose one of these quotes and evalutae how it relates to the genre of 'tragedy of the heart' ... Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.
(Romeo, Act 1: Scene 5, page 62) Then plainly know my heart's dear love is set
On the fair daughter of rich Capulet:
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine
(Romeo, Act 2: Scene 3, page 100) Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? Young men's love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
Friar Lawrence, Act 2: Scene 3, page 100. Yesterday we looked at what other people defined 'tragedy' as ... And you came up with your own
definition of what a 'tragedy' is ... This is probably the 'best' official, bonafide,
academic definition of a Shakespearean tragedy: Nothing! There's no one formula or definition that sums up all of Shakespeare's tragedies But there are some common characteristics, techniques and stylistic 'tools' that he seems to use over and over again. Just remember these two points: 1. None of Shakespeare's tragedies
are identical, but they are similar We will look at what these are soon. 2. Of the two 'types' of tragedies that
Shakespeare wrote, Romeo and Juliet
is a tragedy of the 'heart' (which gives
away what the themes and conflicts
will be). The second quote relates to us what Romeo is feeling. He describes his newfound love for Juliet (and Juliet's love for him) as a connection between their hearts. Their emotion and love is characterised as coming from their hearts. It is this love that they have for each other that eventually leads to their deaths, with the emotions and the feelings that they have being the cause for the tragic end for all involved. An example: A tragedy isn't a text that just makes us cry ... A tragedy isn't a text where just a whole lot characters die ... A tragedy isn't a text that just has obvious good and bad characters ... A tragedy isn't a text where there's a happy end to everything ... So what is it? The unique thing about Romeo and Juliet is that we have the shadow of the tragic ending hanging over the characters' heads because of the prologue Obviously, another key theme to Romeo and Juliet is romance! Romeo loves Juliet Juliet loves Romeo This is, after all, a tragedy of the heart (emotions) Discussion: Revist the notes we made on teenage romance
texts, and romantic themes. Has reading 'Romeo
and Juliet' changed the way you think about
the romance genre? Do you think Romeo and Juliet is more of a
romance play than it is a tragedy? Or is the
romantic elements just all part of the tragic
genre? Exercise This is a Venn diagram ... In the left hand side, identify the elements and expectations of the romance genre ... ... and in the right hand side, identify the elements
and expectations of the tragedy genre ... ... and then in the middle identify the elements
of Romeo and Juliet that appear in both. For example: Romance texts include people falling in love ... Tragedy texts include people dying ... In 'Romeo and Juliet', we have Romeo and Juliet falling in love
with each other, and dying because of it! Writing activity: Why does tragedy seem to be less popular in modern love stories, particularly in film? Why are some of the most enduring love stories tragedies? Writing activity Compose a list of the 5 to 10 most important
features of a tragedy text to have. You can
draw on 'Romeo and Juliet' and other texts
that you know to identify the key features/
elements/characteristics. To get you started ... Shakespeare’s tragic heroes are all fundamentally flawed. It is this weakness that ultimately leads to their downfall. Shakespeare’s tragic heroes often fall victim to external pressures. Fate, evil spirits and manipulative characters all play a hand in the hero’s downfall. Fatal flaws What is the biggest flaw
of Romeo's that gets him
into trouble in the play? External pressures What are the external pressures that affect how Romeo and Juliet interat? Features of a Tragedy
Class List Group activity Use your copy of the play to find
a quotation that reflects one of
the features of a tragedy in 'Romeo
and Juliet'. Arrange yourself into groups of three. Share you quotes with your group and explain to them why you feel that it is a good representation of a feature of a tragedy. Make sure that you write down all of your group's quotations as well as the proper scene and act references and the explanation for why they chose that quote. A changing play ... First, watch this ... Viewing activity After watching the video a second time, fill out the table below with what you can see in the movie trailer What you saw/heard that was different to Shakespeare's play What you saw/heard that was the same as Shakespeare's play Courtly
Love 1.Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
2.He who is not jealous cannot love.
3.No one can be bound by a double love.
4.It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
5.That which a lover takes against his will of his beloved has no relish.
6.Boys do not love until they arrive at the age of maturity.
7.When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
8.No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
9.No one can love unless he is impelled by the persuasion of love.
10.Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice. 11.It is not proper to love any woman whom one should be ashamed to seek to marry.
12.A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
13.When made public love rarely endures.
14.The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
15.Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
16.When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
17.A new love puts to flight an old one.
18.Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
19.If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
20.A man in love is always apprehensive.
21.Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
22.Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects his beloved.
23.He whom the thought of love vexes, eats and sleeps very little.
24.Every act of a lover ends with in the thought of his beloved.
25.A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
26.Love can deny nothing to love.
27.A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
28.A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
29.A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
30.A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
31.Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women. How did your list of rules compare to this list? Manga The ancient Japanese art of turning awesome stories ... ... into awesome stories with hectic pictures! Look at the first six pages of the story (the part in black and white) Compare and contrast (discuss the similarities and differences) the actual play to these pages. What is the 'feel' of the graphic novel and what is the 'feel' of the play? Why are they different? Homework Complete your points on the debate questions Come up with your own reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet and write a list of five dot points of the most important changes you would make. Complete any work you didn't finish here Next lesson More of this presentation Content and thematic questions and activities Bring your translated version (after having read it tonight!) External pressure
Flawed heroes
Absolutes (characters/plot)
Deaths (not one or two)
Courtly love
Authority figures
Control (or lack of)
People fall in love People die Romeo and Juliet fall in love and die because of it Breaking rules



Meeting parents Fatal flaws



Conflict Why should I care? The end is nigh! Let's tie it all together ... They're swearing that they love each other fifteen minutes after they've met. A lot of people think the balcony scene is about as deep as a 12 year old's interpretation of true love. Then say a lot of poetic things. Boy meets girl, cue sappy music. They stare into each other's eyes. Anybody who makes it past the age of 14, of course, realises that's not what love is about. Romeo and Juliet's interaction can seem pretty shallow. That's not love – it's infatuation. The real moral of the story here is that sometimes love is doomed to fail, and that applies no matter how old you are and what time you're living in. But Romeo and Juliet is not just about what happens when two hormonal teenagers collide. It's clear to anyone that's watched TV shows these days that getting what you want out of young love isn't always all its cracked up to be. ... you can take solace in the thought that they're likely to break up soon via text message! Next time you're fresh out of a breakup... ... and see some young couple kissing at the bus stop ... At the end of the day, young love isn't worth killing yourself over. Love like Romeo and Juliet's just doesn't happen in real life. This story is relevant as a cautionary tale to anyone that's ever been in love If you fall into the mythical half of society that is happily married, you might take away the good feeling that passion is delightful but is useless without communication. Shakespeare reminds us that lack of communication, or communicating through your church representatives, might end up in a badly timed double suicide. Its also important to remember that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, not a romance. Love hits our two young heroes hard, but they act rashly, and it costs them their lives. They live in a time fraught with tension, and as there's no omnipotent figure to call in for conflict resolution, all the odds are against them. Which brings us to an important point about Shakespeare ... In Shakespeare, as in life, everything is tragic when times are tragic, and even love can't be expected to solve every problem. You can't buy the world a Coke, and you can't blaze through your own life living only on love. Romeo and Juliet moves us because we hope to feel the love that these two feel, but it stays with us because we're jarred by the poignancy of their failure and loss. For all the good strategising, great sex, and poignant speeches, Romeo and Juliet is a simple lesson that love doesn't conquer all. But it has the potential to conquer each of us. We can take solace in our shared misery or delight here, but the most important thing is that, whatever we feel, we're all feeling it. We're not all in this alone ... Cold comfort, but comfort nonetheless. Themes Fate and free will Fate is the lovers' enemy in Romeo and Juliet. From the opening lines of the play, we know that this is the story of “star-crossed lovers”. When a boy and a girl from warring families fall in love, trouble is bound to ensue. The shadow of a tragic fate constantly hangs over their love, and it is against this dark threat that their romance sparkles brilliantly. But as the love between Romeo and Juliet endures even through tragedy, it seems that their relationship cannot be based on mere appearances. Appearances What is the connection between love and beauty, beauty and death? At first the answer seems to be simple: love and beauty go together, but their enemy is death. But Romeo and Juliet complicates this initial equation. The love-at-first-sight relationship of Romeo and Juliet seems at first as if it must be propelled solely by appearances. Romeo's passionate descriptions of Juliet's beauty do nothing to correct this impression. But as the love between Romeo and Juliet endures even through tragedy, it seems that their relationship
cannot be based on mere appearances. The threat of death adds a spark of excitement to their secret meetings. Mortality Death is always looming over the heads of the young lovers. It is never far in the background. The two lovers come from opposing families, and their relatives' feud means that their relationship puts them in constant danger. Death becomes eroticised in the play, and it is the ultimate consumation of shared death that ultimately unites the lovers. Romeo and Juliet's struggle against death that gives their love its irony: by loving each other so passionately that they must die for each other, Romeo and Juliet's love gained immortality. Transience What does transience mean? The lovers' awareness of their own transience is crucial to the intensity of their passion. Romeo and Juliet's love gains its power from the play's constant reminders that life, love and beauty are ultimately transient. Romeo and 13 year old Juliet fall in love at first sight, marry within 24 hours of their first meeting, and die in each others' arms only days later. Their passion for each other is so all-consuming that it seems impossible that it could have been sustained any longer. Find the scene (early in the play) that references lightning and explain what it is saying. Romeo and Juliet reject their parents' prejudices by falling in love with a person they were raised to hate. Rebellion and youth They also ignore the warnings of their mature advisors (who are they?), who tell them to slow down and stop rushing. Romeo and Juliet failed to heed this advice, and their youthful passion drives them to their tragic end. Whether the values of the old or the young (or the tension between them) are most to blame for the lovers' tragic deaths is a question the play poses to audiences. Love: Romeo and Juliet are two of the most famous lovers in history, but some people doubt that their historic love lives up to its reputation. Romeo starts the play infatuated with Rosaline, a gorgeous girl with no interest in him. His “true-love-at-first-sight” encounter with Juliet seems like it could be jost another case of pippy love. The two loves come from warring families, but their love overcomes their families' hatred. Their whirlwind romance, however, ends in tragedy when each thinks the other is dead and chooses to commit suicide rather than live alone. While Romeo and Juliet never doubt the power of love and reject it as simple infatuation or lust, some people interpret the play as a cautionary tale on the dangers of young love. Others argue that Romeo and Juliet's love develops throughout the play from giddy flirtation to something deeper, and that the play charts the path of a relationship from infatuation to love. Hate: Love and hate are usually thought of as opposites, but in Romeo and Juliet, love and hate are two sides of the same coin, as two childrenfrom warring families (the capulets and the Montagues) turn their hatred of each other into an insatiable passion. Their families' conflict constantly threatens to turn Romeo and Juliet's love into hate. Ultimately, the hatred between their two families propels the lovers towards their tragic deaths. When their parents discover Romeo and Juliet dead in each others' arms, they vow to end the feud between their two families. At last, love triumphs over hatred – but the cost of two young lives is too heavy to bear. Sex: Even though Romeo and Juliet are surrounded by sex jokes and innuendos galore, they manage to chart a course that separates their love (an emotional relationship) from sex (a physical relationship). They avoid becoming one of the stereotypes that walk the streets of Verona with them (and do not become the stereotypes that other characters try to project on them). More active in the GN More politically correct Gangsters instead of royalty/nobles
Different setting Characters No humour - missing the sex jokes Language/dialogue Audience: C Audience: Children The audience changes the context within the play!
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