Romeo and Juliet - Wikipedia
William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet contains a diverse cast of characters. In addition to the play's eponymous protagonists, Romeo Montague and. The theme of fate overshadows the story of Romeo and Juliet. doomed from the start, their sad futures determined before they even met?. Romeo and Juliet in the famous balcony scene by Ford Madox Brown . The feuding families and the Prince meet at the tomb to find the three dead. .. In contrast, "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" in was targeted at a young.
Da Porto gave Romeo and Juliet most of its modern form, including the names of the lovers, the rival families of Montecchi and Capuleti, and the location in Verona.
Da Porto originated the remaining basic elements of the story: Bandello lengthened and weighed down the plot while leaving the storyline basically unchanged though he did introduce Benvolio.
William Shakespeare's Works/Tragedies/Romeo and Juliet
Boaistuau adds much moralising and sentiment, and the characters indulge in rhetorical outbursts. Shakespeare took advantage of this popularity: Romeo and Juliet is a dramatisation of Brooke's translation, and Shakespeare follows the poem closely but adds extra detail to both major and minor characters in particular the Nurse and Mercutio.
Juliet's nurse refers to an earthquake she says occurred 11 years ago. Other earthquakes—both in England and in Verona—have been proposed in support of the different dates.
These are referred to as Q1 and Q2. The first printed edition, Q1, appeared in earlyprinted by John Danter. Because its text contains numerous differences from the later editions, it is labelled a so-called ' bad quarto '; the 20th-century editor T. Spencer described it as "a detestable text, probably a reconstruction of the play from the imperfect memories of one or two of the actors", suggesting that it had been pirated for publication.
Alternative theories are that some or all of 'the bad quartos' are early versions by Shakespeare or abbreviations made either for Shakespeare's company or for other companies. It was printed in by Thomas Creede and published by Cuthbert Burby. Q2 is about lines longer than Q1. Scholars believe that Q2 was based on Shakespeare's pre-performance draft called his foul papers since there are textual oddities such as variable tags for characters and "false starts" for speeches that were presumably struck through by the author but erroneously preserved by the typesetter.
It is a much more complete and reliable text and was reprinted in Q3Q4 and Q5. Pope began a tradition of editing the play to add information such as stage directions missing in Q2 by locating them in Q1. This tradition continued late into the Romantic period. Fully annotated editions first appeared in the Victorian period and continue to be produced today, printing the text of the play with footnotes describing the sources and culture behind the play. Proposals for a main theme include a discovery by the characters that human beings are neither wholly good nor wholly evil, but instead are more or less alike,  awaking out of a dream and into reality, the danger of hasty action, or the power of tragic fate.
None of these have widespread support. However, even if an overall theme cannot be found it is clear that the play is full of several small, thematic elements that intertwine in complex ways. Several of those most often debated by scholars are discussed below. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Juliet Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. Since it is such an obvious subject of the play, several scholars have explored the language and historical context behind the romance of the play. By using metaphors of saints and sins, Romeo was able to test Juliet's feelings for him in a non-threatening way.
This method was recommended by Baldassare Castiglione whose works had been translated into English by this time. He pointed out that if a man used a metaphor as an invitation, the woman could pretend she did not understand him, and he could retreat without losing honour. Juliet, however, participates in the metaphor and expands on it. The religious metaphors of "shrine", "pilgrim", and "saint" were fashionable in the poetry of the time and more likely to be understood as romantic rather than blasphemous, as the concept of sainthood was associated with the Catholicism of an earlier age.
Brooke's Romeus and Juliet. In the later balcony scene, Shakespeare has Romeo overhear Juliet's soliloquy, but in Brooke's version of the story, her declaration is done alone.
By bringing Romeo into the scene to eavesdrop, Shakespeare breaks from the normal sequence of courtship. Usually, a woman was required to be modest and shy to make sure that her suitor was sincere, but breaking this rule serves to speed along the plot.
The lovers are able to skip courting and move on to plain talk about their relationship— agreeing to be married after knowing each other for only one night. Romeo and Juliet's love seems to be expressing the "Religion of Love" view rather than the Catholic view. Another point is that although their love is passionate, it is only consummated in marriage, which keeps them from losing the audience's sympathy.
Throughout the story, both Romeo and Juliet, along with the other characters, fantasise about it as a dark beingoften equating it with a lover. Capulet, for example, when he first discovers Juliet's faked death, describes it as having deflowered his daughter. Right before her suicide, she grabs Romeo's dagger, saying "O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die. No consensus exists on whether the characters are truly fated to die together or whether the events take place by a series of unlucky chances. Arguments in favour of fate often refer to the description of the lovers as " star-cross'd ". This phrase seems to hint that the stars have predetermined the lovers' future.
Draper points out the parallels between the Elizabethan belief in the four humours and the main characters of the play for example, Tybalt as a choleric. Interpreting the text in the light of humours reduces the amount of plot attributed to chance by modern audiences. For example, Romeo's challenging Tybalt is not impulsive; it is, after Mercutio's death, the expected action to take. In this scene, Nevo reads Romeo as being aware of the dangers of flouting social normsidentity, and commitments.
He makes the choice to kill, not because of a tragic flawbut because of circumstance. O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms, Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! Caroline Spurgeon considers the theme of light as "symbolic of the natural beauty of young love" and later critics have expanded on this interpretation.
Romeo describes Juliet as being like the sun,  brighter than a torch,  a jewel sparkling in the night,  and a bright angel among dark clouds. For example, Romeo and Juliet's love is a light in the midst of the darkness of the hate around them, but all of their activity together is done in night and darkness while all of the feuding is done in broad daylight.
This paradox of imagery adds atmosphere to the moral dilemma facing the two lovers: At the end of the story, when the morning is gloomy and the sun hiding its face for sorrow, light and dark have returned to their proper places, the outward darkness reflecting the true, inner darkness of the family feud out of sorrow for the lovers.
All characters now recognise their folly in light of recent events, and things return to the natural order, thanks to the love and death of Romeo and Juliet. Both Romeo and Juliet struggle to maintain an imaginary world void of time in the face of the harsh realities that surround them.
She dies of grief offstage soon after mentioned in act five. She is very protective of her son Romeo and is very happy when Benvolio tells her that Romeo was not involved in the brawl that happened between the Capulets and Montagues. However, Romeo doesn't feel very close to her as he is unable to seek advice from her.
As with Capulet's wife, calling her "Lady Montague" is a later invention not supported by the earliest texts. Romeo An oil painting by Ford Madox Brown depicting Romeo and Juliet's famous balcony scene In the beginning of the play, Romeo pines for an unrequited loveRosaline. To cheer him up, his cousin and friend Benvolio and Mercutio take him to the Capulets' celebration in disguise, where he meets and falls in love with the Capulets' only daughter, Juliet.
Later that night, he and Juliet meet secretly and pledge to marry, despite their families' long-standing feud. They marry the following day, but their union is soon thrown into chaos by their families; Juliet's cousin Tybalt duels and kills Romeo's friend Mercutio, throwing Romeo into such a rage that he kills Tybalt, and the Prince of Verona subsequently banishes him. Meanwhile, Juliet's father plans to marry her off to Paris, a local aristocratwithin the next few days, threatening to turn her out on the streets if she doesn't follow through.
Desperate, Juliet begs Romeo's confidant, Friar Laurence, to help her to escape the forced marriage. Laurence does so by giving her a potion that puts her in a deathlike coma.
The plan works, but too soon for Romeo to learn of it; he genuinely believes Juliet to be dead, and so resolves to commit suicide, by drinking the bottle of poison illegally bought from the Apothecary upon hearing the news of Juliet's "death". Romeo's final words were "Thus with a kiss I die".
Benvolio He is Montague's nephew and Romeo 's cousin. Benvolio and Romeo are both friends of Mercutioa kinsman to Prince Escalus.
Romeo and Juliet - Wikiquote
Benvolio seems to have little sympathy with the feud, trying unsuccessfully to back down from a fight with Tybalt, and the duels that end in Mercutio and Tybalt's death. Benvolio spends most of Act I attempting to distract his cousin from his infatuation with Rosalinebut following the first appearance of Mercutio in I.
In that scene, he drags the fatally wounded Mercutio offstage, before returning to inform Romeo of Mercutio's death and the Prince of the course of Mercutio's and Tybalt's deaths.
Benvolio then disappears from the play though, as a Montague, he may implicitly be included in the stage direction in the final scene "Enter Lord Montague and others", and he is sometimes doubled with Balthasar. Though he ultimately disappears from the play without much notice, he is a crucial character if only in that he is the only child of the new generation from either family to survive the play as Romeo, Juliet, Paris, Mercutio, and Tybalt are dead.
One of the strongest examples of this in the play is in Juliet's suicide, when she says, grabbing Romeo's dagger, "O happy dagger! Fate and chance[ edit ] Scholars are divided on the role of fate in the play.
No consensus exists on whether the characters are truly fated to die together no matter what, or whether the events take place by a series of unlucky chances. Arguments in favour of fate often refer to the description of the lovers as "star-crossed". This phrase seems to hint that the stars have predetermined the lovers' future. Another scholar of the fate persuasion, Draper, points out the parallels between the Elizabethan belief in humorism and the main characters of the play for example, Tybalt as a choleric.
Interpreting the text in the light of the Elizabethan science of humorism reduces the amount of plot attributed to chance by modern audiences.
Still, other scholars see the play as a mere series of unlucky chances—many to such a degree that they do not see it as a tragedy at all, but an emotional melodrama. Nevo believes the high degree to which chance is stressed in the narrative makes Romeo and Juliet a "lesser tragedy" of happenstance, not of character. For example, Romeo's challenging Tybalt is not impulsive, it is, after Mercutio's death, the expected action to take.
In this scene, Nevo reads Romeo as being aware of the dangers of flouting social norms, identity and commitments. He makes the choice to kill, not because of a tragic flaw, but because of circumstance. Light and dark[ edit ] Scholars have long noted Shakespeare's widespread use of light and dark imagery throughout the play.
The light theme was initially taken to be "symbolic of the natural beauty of young love", an idea beginning in Caroline Spurgeon's work Shakespeare's Imagery and What It Tells Us, although the perceived meaning has since its publication branched in several directions. For example, both Romeo and Juliet see the other as light in a surrounding darkness. Romeo describes Juliet as being like the sun, brighter than a torch, a jewel sparkling in the night, and a bright angel among dark clouds.
Sometimes these intertwining metaphors create dramatic irony. For example, Romeo and Juliet's love is a light in the midst of the darkness of the hate around them, but all of their activity together is done in night and darkness, while all of the feuding is done in broad daylight.
This paradox of imagery adds atmosphere to the moral dilemma facing the two lovers: At the end of the story, when the morning is gloomy and the sun hiding its face for sorrow, light and dark have returned to their proper places, the outward darkness reflecting the true, inner darkness of the family feud out of sorrow for the lovers.Romeo + Juliet (1996) - 1,000 Times Goodnight Scene (3/5) - Movieclips
All characters now recognize their folly in light of recent events, and things return to the natural order, thanks to the love of Romeo and Juliet. The "light" theme in the play is also heavily connected to the theme of time, since light was a convenient way for Shakespeare to express the passage of time through descriptions of the sun, moon, and stars.
Time[ edit ] Time plays an important role in the language and plot of the play. Both Romeo and Juliet struggle to maintain as imaginary world void of time in the face of the harsh realities that surround them. For instance, when Romeo attempts to swear his love to Juliet by the moon, Juliet tells him not to, as it is known to be inconstant over time, and she does not desire this of him.
From the very beginning, the lovers are designated as "star-crossed" referring to an astrological belief which is heavily connected to time.
Stars were thought to control the fates of men, and as time passed, stars would move along their course in the sky, also charting the course of human lives below. Romeo speaks of a foreboding he feels in the stars movements' early in the play, and when he learns of Juliet's death, he defies the stars' course for him. A "haste theme" can be considered as fundamental to the play. For example, the action of Romeo and Juliet spans a period of four to six days, in contrast to Brooke's poem's spanning nine months.
Scholars such as Tanselle believe that time was "especially important to Shakespeare" in this play, as he used references to "short-time" for the young lovers as opposed to references to "long-time" for the "older generation" to highlight "a headlong rush towards doom".
Romeo and Juliet fight time to make their love to last forever. In the end, the only way they see to defeat time is through a noteworthy death which makes them immortal through art. Time is heavily connected to the theme of light and dark as well. The play is said in the Prologue to be about two hours long, creating a problem for any playwright wishing to express longer amounts of time. In Shakespeare's day, plays were often performed at noon in broad daylight. This forced the playwright to use words to create the illusion of day and night in his plays.
Shakespeare uses references to the night and day, the stars, the moon, and the sun to create this illusion. He also has characters frequently refer to days of the week and specific hours to help the audience understand that time has passed in the story.
All in all, no fewer than references to time are found in the play, adding to this illusion of its passage. Psychoanalytic[ edit ] Psychoanalytic critics focus largely on Romeo's relationships with Rosaline and Juliet, as well as the looming image of inevitable death. Romeo and Juliet is not considered to be extremely psychologically complex, and sympathetic psychoanalytic readings of the play make the tragic male experience equivalent with sicknesses.
The first line of criticism argues that Shakespeare is in love with Rosaline and Juliet because she is the all-present, all-powerful mother which fills a void. According to this theory, this void was caused by the negligence of his mother.
Another theory argues that the feud between the families provides a source of phallic expression for the male Capulets and Montagues. This sets up a system where patriarchal order is in power.