Romeo and Juliet: (summing up the situation!)
Romeo and Juliet is a playwright written by William Shakespeare in 1564. It’s a classical tragedy wich lasts a complete day. The characters from the story are submitted to fate and the two teenagers are what we call star-crossed lovers (they were born under an unlucky star). They have to face a tragic curse: hatred. But, can they get married and have a happily ever after? …No, apparently not. It seems Shakespeare and happy endings didn’t quite match on this one…You see, both families were fighting over power. Power to dominate, power to crush the enemy. Too bad for them, a prince (a very selfish one!) ruled Verona. So, Romeo and Juliet ended up facing the anger of their siblings, jealousy, twisted plans and loads of bad luck! (Not to mention Romeo was banished from the city after killing Tybald…)
Act 1 scene 5 study:
Where did they meet?
They met at the Capulet’s house.
On what occasion?
It was during a masquerade.
What time of the day was it?
It was at night.
Did they know each other before?
No, they knew nothing about one another.
Who saw the other one first?
Romeo saw Juliet first while she was dancing.
What was his impression then?
He fell in love with her at first sight. It was a fated love. But from the beginning, Romeo feels inferior to Juliet, he considers her as apart from the rest of human beings. They are not on an equal footing: he seems to worship her, she’s like a goddess to him.
How did they start speaking together?
Romeo, behind a curtain, grabbed her hand and courted her. They then managed to get away from the rest of the crowd.
Who spoke first?
Romeo spoke first, asking permission for a kiss.
What was his tone?
He was pleading her to agree to his request. While talking, he sounded passionate.
Where they on the same wave-length?
At first, Juliet was a little frightened but not long after, her heart belonged to Romeo.
What words did Romeo and Juliet use?
The words they used revolved around three themes:
- Religion: “profane”, “unworthiest”, “holy shrine”, “pilgrims”, “saints”, “holy”, “prayer”, “sin”, “the book”…
- Body: “lips”, “hand”, “palm”, “cheek”, “ear”, “heart”…
- Beauty: “bright”, “rich jewel”, “beauty too rich”, “dear”, “snowy dove”, “true beauty”…
Did the others pay attention to them?
No, they continued to dance and didn’t even notice they were gone.
What were their feelings towards Romeo?
They didn’t like Romeo’s presence, he was an intruder.
What were their feelings towards Juliet?
Juliet was well appreciated and many danced with her.
The Fifth child: (a little bit more about the sixties!)
The story takes place in 1960. At that time, the mentalities changed: It went from a strict to a very open-minded spirit. Before that, in school, boys and girls were separated and teachers were scary (some of them still are today) and strict. Most of the time, teenagers would wear a uniform and had to ask their parent’s permission to date or marry the one they loved (if they weren’t twenty-one). They also had to stay pure. All those values were rejected in the sixties by the younger generation. This period is known as “the swinging sixties”…People started dressing differently; with flashing colours! The Hippie movement appeared at that time, as well as the “Flower power” in music.
Extract 1 study:
Who are the main characters?
The main characters are Harriet and David.
Where and when did they meet?
They met at an office party in the sixties.
Find out more about : Harriet
Her physical description:
Harriet has a flowery dress, curly dark hair and soft but thoughtful eyes. She’s pastel blur and her lips are firmly closed. She’s a healthy young woman with strong and good features.
After attending an arts college she became a graphic designer.
How other people see her:
People see her as a conservative, old fashioned, timid, hard to please, crazy, laughable, ungenerous and troubled person. (nice people aren’t they?)
How Harriet sees David before speaking to him for the first time:
To her, he doesn’t look solidly planted. But he seems similar to herself and not very glad to be here. They both look quite compatible in fact!