Romeo and Juliet . Commentary. Introductions – What is in one?. Title of play and author Summary of play as a whole to set context Put the passage at hand in context (what has happened that is important to know) Summarize the passage
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In the famous tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare a pair of star-crossed lovers from conflicting families go through all means to be together, to the point of self-sacrifice. Before this scene takes place, Romeo and Juliet have just been married but Romeo is banished for killing Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin. This excerpt is from Act 3, scene 5 is known as the morning after scene, where Romeo and Juliet have just consummated their marriage. This scene portrays the chaos and passion of being in love, combining images of love, violence, death, religion and family in an impressionistic rush leading to tragedy. The irrationality and violence is brought to life through characterization, mood, symbols and imagery.
Romeo and Juliet is a play by William Shakespeare about two star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, from rival families who eventually take their own lives. The passage is the scene between Juliet and her parents after Romeo has been banished and before he leaves Verona, they spend their first night together as husband and wife. Romeo has just left and her parents, who are oblivious to her marriage and love, arranges for her to be married to Paris two days after the scene, and had just revealed their plan to Juliet, who did not react as they would have hoped. During this scene, Capulet is furious that Juliet is defying him, and threatens to disown her if she does not marry Paris. Juliet is miserable and tells her mother that she would rather be dead then married to Paris. A major theme that exists within the passage and the entire play is the forcefulness of love. Shakespeare wants the readers to understand that love is a violent, ecstatic, and overpowering force that supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions. The readers are supposed to see love not only just as the romantic facade, but also see it for all of its sides, the pretty and the ugly. Devices such as characterization, mood, tone, imagery and diction communicates the theme as well as the authorial intent.
Capulet mood is full of rage and anger towards Juliet and the diction used in this passage helps amplify the rage and fuel the chaos caused by forbidden love. Capulet spits out “Out on her, hilding and “to have a wretched puling fool/ a whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender/ To answer I’ll not wed;” demonstrates the effect Juliet’s disobedience has on her father --it brings out the violent side of him. All this rage is brought forth by Juliet’s incapability to love the one man Capulet knows, or thinks he knows, will be a suitable husband for her. Through the diction of "wretch", "hilding", and "fool" Capulet describes his own daughter as a worthless creature and a silly child who does not know any better which shows that the forbidden, private love has taken toll on the Capulet family. We understand Capulet’s anger, as he feels he is being disobeyed and treated scornfully, just as we feel sympathy for Juliet through her father’s willingness to disown her in that she “hang, beg, starve, die in the streets/For , by [his] soul, [he will] ne’er acknowledge thee” and is willing to cast her aside for her disloyalty.Through the image of allowing her to die alone, and brutally it is bviousthat he's gotten to the point of exasperation and nothing but Juliet marrying Paris would ease and put an end to his rampage.This image of Juliet and Capulet on stage creates tension and dramatic irony as we know why Juliet refuses Capulet’s request. This violent characterization juxtaposes Juliet and the nurse within the scene. Capulet not only takes out his anger on Juliet, but to Nurse as well.When Nurse tries to defend Juliet, Capulet lashes out at her. He berates her as he says, “Peace, you mumbling fool!” and “Utter your gravity o’er a gossip’s bowl”. He is far beyond reason as is unwilling to listen to any words that may put Juliet in the right for dismissing his proposal of marriage.Juliet's devotion to Romeo is causing anger to erupt from Capulet, and it not only hurts her, but others in her family as well. This shows how loyalty in marriage supersedes that of father loyalty and in doing so without the reasoning behind it Juliet breaks her familial bond. In this scene Capulet would loom over Juliet, looking down at her with a mixture of betrayal an rage that would allow the audience to feel for him a s a father. Juliet would be on her knees with her arms in prayer as if simultaneously pleading to both the stars and her father for help and understanding.
The use of imagery in this scene emphasize the passion and chaos of Romeo and Juliet’s love, and how in order to be together they are willing to risk their own lives . Morning has begun and Juliet although usually characterized as rational and mature does not want to face reality as it means separation from Romeo.Juliet says, “It is the lark that sings so out of tune, straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.”This use of auditory imagery reveals the passion and chaos of the couple’s love in that the larks music is painful to the ears as it means the beginning of Romeo’s banishment.The lark symbolizes the day, which forces the couple to separate and is full of despair and desire for their love and therefore is ‘unpleasing’ to their ears. This is in contrast to what day usually represents as it is often a new beginning and full of possibility. Through the use of this imagery, the audience can imagine the pain and discomfort it may cause to hear the sound of separation . To further create the tension personification is used to highlights the role of fate, that works against them from the prologue of the play. Romeo tells Juliet to “…look, love, what envious streaks…in yonder east: Night’s candles are burnt out, and a jocund day stands tiptoe…” In this quote, the “envious streaks” are the rays of the sun that are starting to protrude from the east. Romeo describes these streaks of light as envious for they chase away the night, night being what allows Romeo to be with Juliet. This relates to the role of fate since celestial bodies (especially when personified) are often thought of as the heavens, gods and divinity: “…the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow;” alluding to Cynthia , the goddess of the moon, in many ways their protection as they have ‘nights cloak ‘ to hide them. But, since it reflects the coming of the sun which plays a role in the separation of Romeo and Juliet it reinforces the idea of the fate of the star-crossed lovers, which is doomed by the heavens (celestial bodies such as the sun). Their willingness to ignore daylight for the sake of one moment more together shows how love can be a force that pushes people to act irrationally . Recreating this on stage I would make use of the orchestra to play melancholic music (to simulate the effect on the mood by the lark singing off tune). I might also consider adding actors to play the role of gods and goddesses, who don’t necessarily interact directly with the main characters but whose presence will be noticeable. Romeo and Juliet would be playful , yet wear expressions of longing and love in the beginning. The actors would also need to reflect the sadness of knowing their separation is eminent. In this scene, specifically , I would have Cynthia reflecting light (with the use of a mirror as part of her costume) moving around the two lovers at a distance.