Kelly's Reviews > Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
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Feb 26, 10

bookshelves: theatre, brit-lit, shakespeare, 1500-1700, mawwiageiswhatbringsustogethertoday, grand-opera
Recommended for: poets, and young, angsty people
Read from February 22 to 25, 2010, read count: 2

"Hey! I'm eatin' here!"

So you're at a nice outdoor cafe one day, eating your lunch, and all of a sudden some fool kids come running through the square with their swords out (apparently they've got some strong Second Amendment advocates in Verona) and insist on skewering each other right there in front of you in the square! And seriously all you want to do is just eat your (damn fine, not that anyone asked you) pasta and get back to work before your lord finds some excuse to fire you. But nooooo, instead you've gotta deal with a whole lot of screaming, panicky, dangerous crowds rubbernecking around (and betting on) these rich kids fighting over who knows (or cares) what and there's no way you're gonna get back in time.

Yeah.. that's about the read I got from Shakespeare on this play. This is an excellent deconstruction of the elements that make up major Greek tragedies, breaking it down into parts and fitting them into modern day (or it was then) society. Shakespeare was a great adapter of older tales retold to suit his own purposes, and here, it shows.

So there's this Greek story, right? It's set up on this grand scale, with major, crashing chords that are played over and over throughout the tale. There's the Greek chorus, of course, at the beginning and then somewhere in the middle to remind us what it is we're watching. There's a good deal of sky imagery to go along with this invoking of the old gods- moons, suns, clouds, night, stars, dreams, even the otherworldly fae("Juliet is the sun," "the lark the herald of the dawn" "take him and cut him into little stars", the Queen Mab speech, tons of other examples). By the same token, the gods of the Underworld are equally called to witness- lots of death, grave, earth imagery as well (examples: too many to count). These extreme terms are then often juxtaposed next to each other ("wedding bed/grave" is probably the most frequently used, for obvious reasons) throughout the course of the tale.

Through this, Shakespeare shows you just how seriously his main characters take everything that's going on. Especially Romeo and Juliet, of course, but also all the other family members of the Capulets and Montagues (with the exception of Mercutio). Everything is on a Grand Scale. Everything is the Most Important Thing Ever! Nothing could be more Lofty!....

Until Shakespeare quite strongly states his opposition to that idea.

He thrusts this Grand Tragedy into the midst of a bustling, thriving city, where the participants must brush elbows with and be interrupted by the every day facts of life. He uses each stupid mistake to show us all the ways the end we know is coming could have been and should have been averted, were it not for the stupidest thing that could possibly happen happening in every single scenario. I ended up thinking this after seeing all those scenes of servants at the Capulet house preparing for parties, servants running about the city with messages, escorting Nurse on her errands, inserting a plague that prevented the letter from getting to Romeo. While the two teenage idiots are upstairs enacting this farce, life is happening all around them, and they are just way way too self-centered to see it. Juliet is a bit more aware than Romeo, though. She understands the conflict between the two families, what it will likely mean for them, what she needs to do to get what she wants, and how to accomplish it. And yet... even she is so centered on the fulfillment of what she wants she can barely pause to think of others. There's a great little moment when Nurse comes back from seeing Romeo in the square and Juliet is really impatient to hear what he had to say. Nurse is all 'I'm old! I'm out of breath, give me a second!' Juliet doesn't seem to really care if she dies on the spot, so long as she gets the information she wants, and then Nurse says, accidentally, the words that I think explain this whole play:

Your love says, like an honest gentleman, and a
courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, and, I
warrant, a virtuous,--Where is your mother?


EXACTLY. She's THIRTEEN, you guys. That's exactly what he SHOULD have said when he met her, and didn't. You know why? 'Cause Romeo's a virgin who really really would prefer not to be. He tells the Friar that he likes Juliet instead of Rosalind now because she loves him back and will presumably have sex with him whereas Rosalind would not. Friar's great response: "O, she (Rosalind) knew well/Thy love did read by rote and could not spell."

Just another case of why True Love Waits is a poor plan! If only Romeo had himself a girlfriend, this whole thing could have been avoided.

This play displays the soul of adolescence. Both positive and negative. Negative seems to be more promiently on display at first. The characters are self-centered, impatient, convinced that if what they want doesn't come true the way they want it to, the whole world will end. There's also another big adolescent theme: masks. Teenagers spend a lot of time trying to figure out what face they want to wear to the world, what they want to present themselves as, so it makes sense that there's tons of masks, hiding (lots of hiding) and subterfuge going on here.

What's interesting to me though is that it also shows the other side of adolescence, the part that's thinking about growing up, but can't quite leave behind his childish things. One major example of this to me the influence of several characters on Romeo- Mercutio and the Friar, even Benvolio. It seems to me that they're starting to get through to the guy in the short time he's there. Especially Mercutio. He gets him to go to the party, gets him to laugh and joke again, and manages to give him some fine counsel into the bargain. I witnessed a lot of echoes of Mercutio coming out in Romeo... they just don't seem to quite take hold. For instance there's Mercutio's magnificent Queen Mab speech, which he follows up with: "True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind"


Ie, don't take all these heart burnings so seriously, kid! Romeo does appear to consider this later, though he does dismiss it. Similarly, the Friar's long speech about manhood (ie, his great smackdown of how why Romeo is terrible) seems to get to him, even Benvolio's urgings that he'll find someone else to love at the banquet seem to have worked (if not quite in the way he intended). He just couldn't quite get there. Juliet herself... well, I think we see a lot of the mature woman that she could have become- but she doesn't have a woman's experience or resources yet and she ends up giving up rather than having the opportunity to grow. Which, funnily enough, her father predicts in the first act when Paris asks for her hand in marriage with: "Younger than she are happy mothers made," and the dad answers with, "And too soon marr'd are those so early made." Of course, he then proceeds to do the opposite of his own advice, but I don't think that undermines the message.

Elizabeth mentioned in her review that she thought there were a lot of comedic elements in this play. I agree- what with the servant characters, the stupid mixups, and that raillery that takes place between the minor members of the family, and that one Romeo/Mercutio scene before the Nurse interrupts them. My closest guess is that was Shakespeare saying, "Look! I could be writing this! But instead, you people want to see this stupid stupid tale enacted stupidly, so I can't! I can write this soapy crap if you want me to, but this isn't who I am."

Or, as Mercutio says:
"Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?
now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art
thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature:
for this driveling love is like a great natural,
that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole."


And yet... for all of that annoyance, that satire, that social criticism, that biting realism... for all of that, Shakespeare still gives this tale a beautiful sympathy, putting gorgeous words into the mouths of his leads. He makes Romeo and Juliet people, people you can envision and who you know, people you don't want to see die, in spite of all their errors right there in front of you. He respects the beauty in the craziness, explores it in wonder. He was, after all, a storyteller, and if this was a story to affect people, it deserved to be told and told as well as he knew it to be in him to do, with a understanding that extends from his characters to the audience that wanted to see it.

It is worth reading. Even if you think you've heard it all before. After all, even if you don't like it it is "not so long as (it) is a tedious tale."
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Reading Progress

02/24/2010 page 15
5.3% ""..Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out/And makes himself an artificial night"
Yeah, I still don't like Romeo."
02/24/2010 page 20
7.07% "Welcome, Mercutio! None too soon." 3 comments
02/24/2010 page 35
12.37% "Juliet is just such an adorable girl."
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-50 of 52) (52 new)


message 1: by Elijah (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector Read it as a cautionary tale about teenage infatuation and how stupid it makes them, and it's kinda like a different play... in which Mercutio is still the best part.


Kelly I think you're right, at least given my re-read so far. I hate to be so cynical about it. I wish I could experience it better. It's so hard to do so geniunely given its cultural exposure and parody and all the things in it that upset me.


message 3: by Elijah (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector See, I always viewed the play itself as kind of cynical. I could be wrong (Shakespeare, as a person, is hard to read), but it works that way, and a straight reading is still two teens who kill themselves over not much--it doesn't come across as half as romantic as a lot of his comedies, really.


message 4: by Kelly (last edited Feb 23, 2010 11:47AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly See, I always viewed the play itself as kind of cynical.

That actually makes sense to me. I think you might be right. I'll see if I still agree by the time I've finished my re-read.


message 5: by Elijah (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector Yeah, you may very well not because, to be fair, I don't think I've experienced the play in any way in over 10 years. It's not one of my favorites (but that might be because I had a kind of traumatic experience acting in a middle school production).


message 6: by Kelly (last edited Feb 23, 2010 11:59AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly It's not one of my favorites (but that might be because I had a kind of traumatic experience acting in a middle school production).

Awwww. Who were you?/What happened?


message 7: by Elijah (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector Oh man, it's a loooooong story that isn't worth the time (it was traumatic for a dramatic 13-year-old), that involved the teachers fucking it up and making it terrible.

I was Romeo, which was the last part I wanted to play. I always wanted to be villains or quirky characters but got stuck with with romantic leads in middle school because I was slightly taller. (Same thing happened to me in the same year with Guys and Dolls.)


Kelly I was Romeo, which was the last part I wanted to play. I always wanted to be villains or quirky characters but got stuck with with romantic leads in middle school because I was slightly taller.

That's what all guys who played romantic leading men in MS/HS said! Romance is for girls! Etc! Still, I think there were a lot of guys who would've liked to have your problem. I always got cast as the earthy,(read as: whore/slut/sex-wise) character and I wanted to play an engenue with a pretty ballad or two. Grass, greener.


message 9: by Elijah (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector Nah, it wasn't a dislike of romance in and of itself, just that I didn't want to play boring characters. (Also, in both plays, I got cast opposite the same girl, and you can imagine the rumors that started swirling 'round the middle school after that.)


Kelly Ooh dear! Scandalous!


Lori (Hellian) Ha Elijah!

Aw I love this play. Could be something to do with the fact that the Zeferreli movie came out when I was 12. Perfect age for sorrowful romance, plus Juliet is just a great great character. I always wanted to play her. But now I'm so old I'm probably beyond Lady MacBeth, ha!


Kelly Elijah- I did end up thinking that this play was rather cynical in its way, as you'll see from my review. But only in parts, often as a critique of Greek Tragedy in general, and often with the greatest of understanding.


message 13: by Elijah (last edited Feb 25, 2010 02:10PM) (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector Ha! Great review. Glad to know that my memory wasn't off. I actually kinda want to delve back into this one now and see how much I can find, because before I just had a vague idea. (Although, I can't bring myself to READ Shakespeare, I have to hear it spoken--or speak it myself.)

And Lori, it's true that 12-17 or so is the perfect age for sorrowful romance... and thank God most of us grow out of it in time to realize that it's fine to be happy with someone, right?


message 14: by Ellen (last edited Feb 25, 2010 04:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ellen I'm in the minority, apparently :), but I still like this play, and I've read it a few times.


message 15: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Kelly, Brilliant review.

I really like the play though, although not as much as when I first read it as a teenager.


message 16: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 05:00AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly Thanks you guys- even if this isn't one of my favorites, it was a pleasure to re-read. There was so much more there, so many more layers than I had bothered to see before.

I particularly liked the discussion of the masks.

That was one of the more interesting themes to me. That, combined with the hiding, especially Romeo's- Romeo's hiding when people are first looking for him, hiding again from Mercutio and Benvolio later, hiding in his mask at the party (even though they know who he is), hiding from Juliet when she comes out on her balcony, hiding in the Friar's cell later, and ultimately, hiding in Juliet's tomb where he should never be. I'm curious why especially in Romeo's case he made the decision to do that- an indicator of his adolescence? Perhaps he didn't want to grow up and become the man that he should be (involved in fights, in the Capulet/Montague war). After all, every time he ends up with a sword, he kills somebody. Maybe he'd rather be a cowardly lover than be socialized manly like these other dudes. Or maybe its just to show that he doesn't understand the world. I don't know. But any way, it is interesting.


Lady Salford I love the first paragraph of your review. Brilliant!

I never liked it nor will I ever... but your review really sums up what I thought about the entire play when I read it in High School.


message 18: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 06:18AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly You know, I think they that school systems believe that Romeo & Juliet is a good thing to teach to HS freshmen because they think we can relate to the subject matter, and therefore we'll like Shakespeare.

It often really doesn't work that way. Thankfully, my real intro to Shakespeare was Midsummer, so I already knew that there was better stuff than this.


message 19: by Bram (last edited Feb 26, 2010 07:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bram Great stuff, Kelly.

Just another case of why True Love Waits SUUUUCCCCKS! If only Romeo had himself a girlfriend, this whole thing coulda been avoided.

Heh, didn't they have brothels in Verona?


message 20: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 07:10AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly Heh, didn't they have brothels in Verona?

I'm assuming that handing over money to a prostitute wouldn't have been Tortured and Emo enough for him to enjoy. Though, of course, I'm sure there were specialty houses for him to visit if he was into that kind of thing... I bet Mercutio could have told him where they were... One more reason he should've listened to that man!


Kelly Kelly, you're so right about the hiding. I was distracted by all the weeping...

That's fair. When you're already massaging a migraine from distress over his many other stupidities, I can see one or two slipping through the cracks.


Kelly I don't know about a "thing", but yeah. He's definitely the easy character to love. He's the cool kid at the table- the one who's worldly wise, sarcastic, sees right through people. He gets to be both inside the story and out of it, commenting on the absurdity of the action. Teenage boys just wish they were as awesome as him!

Plus he has a lovely complexity. We're never quite sure if he's in love with Romeo or not, but either way, he cares about him a lot. He dies yelling about how stupid this whole fight is "A plague o'both your houses!"... and yet he sacrifices himself in order to protect Romeo anyway. So he gets to be both the cool wise guy who Gets It and a selfless hero. Pretty potent combination for a character to have.


message 23: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 09:10AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly but it's not like these kids had never been exposed to love before, they just didn't know it.

That's a fabulous comment. I think that fits right in with the insights into the teenage psyche Shakespeare's giving us- how self-centered and selfish these idiots are. As teenagers, its really much more romantic to imagine yourself persecuted than to admit to the love of your family that you've always taken for granted. (Although, to be fair, Juliet's parents kind of suck, so I can see that she might have a more legitimate case for feeling a bit angry.

But I don't know that Romeo learns anything from Mercutio's love. We get to see it, but Romeo remains flawed... hey, maybe it really is a tragedy?

You're right that he doesn't ultimately learn anything, but I do think that Mercutio does get under Romeo's skin. He makes comments that sound like echoes of things Mercutio said to him, he just ends up dismissing them. I don't think that's for lack of trying though- Queen Mab speech! I think that Romeo was hell bent on following through with this Great Love story he was so desperate for, no matter what, even if he knew better.

Yeah, Mercutio's part of the story is a tragedy, all right. I think it could be argued that the structure of the play supports that- his death releases all the built up tension and sets off spiral that leads to the end.


Rebecca Why the ephebiphobia?

Even if Juliet had never met Romeo she'd still be facing marriage at thirteen. So, it's not really just to condemn the younguns as idiots. Juliet rebells against her family not because she marries young, but because she doesn't marry their choice. And as for familial love, her father gives her the option of an arranged marriage or homelessness:

But, as you will not wed, I'll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me:
Look to't, think on't, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in
the streets,
For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to't, bethink you; I'll not be forsworn.

Also, it was an adult who advised Juliet to fake her death. That Friar rivals Baldrick in cunning.

The adults are the idiots.


message 25: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 11:25AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly Actually, at the beginning of the play, Juliet wasn't facing marriage at thirteen. As I mention in my review, her father initially felt that she was too young to be married:

PARIS
Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?

CAPULET
But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years,
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

PARIS
Younger than she are happy mothers made.

CAPULET
And too soon marr'd are those so early made.
The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she,
She is the hopeful lady of my earth:
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.

So, initially (and apparently he's held to this view for awhile) he not only says wait two years, he also says that Juliet should have an opinion in the matter. Also, initially, Juliet had no problem with marrying whomever her parents told her to. The dad appears to later change his mind only due to trying to help Juliet with her grief over Tybalt's death. I mean, is he still awful to her? Of course he is. Having his will crossed by his daughter? God forbid! That was pretty bad, of course. But that's the way the times worked- girls did not set up their opinions against their fathers. You can't hold it against the guy that he's a product of his misogynistic time (well, I mean, you can, but his actions can at least be understood). In any case, as I said, Juliet has a bit more of a legitimate case of "persecution" than Romeo does. But yeah... Capulet appears to start off a fairly sensible guy, it's just this stupid war that makes him an idiot.

And that was more my point- when I talk about age, I mean more maturity of mind and experience. Everyone in this play is affected by the theme of immaturity- I think this puts adolescence on display in all its forms. I agree the adults' war is idiotic- everything about it makes them smaller and stupider. Romeo and Juliet get caught up in it. It's not their fault they were raised in an idiotic society- but it did affect them.


Rebecca It doesn't make any difference whether Capulet decided to force his thirteen-year-old daughter into marriage at the beginning of the play, or halfway through the play.


message 27: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 11:48AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly I agree that it says bad things about the society that he a) can do that and b) does do that, for whatever reasons. However I think it does make a difference- it makes her father a more complex character than he could have been. No doubt about it he turns ugly when she says no. I'm not trying to defend the man, but they do repeat several times that it was normal practice that Juliet should be married by now, even have a kid. Both her parents mention it, as does Paris. I think that should be taken into account.

As I said above, everyone in this play has a bit of the idiot in them. Young and old.


message 28: by Rebecca (last edited Feb 26, 2010 12:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rebecca In the review, you condemn Romeo because of Juliet's age, making no allowances for 'normal practice'.

"EXACTLY. She's THIRTEEN, you guys. That's exactly what he SHOULD have said when he met her, and didn't."

If the young are idiots tis because they mimic the old.


message 29: by Kelly (last edited Feb 26, 2010 12:50PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly Well I condemn it based both on her age and on his motivations. However, that's a fair point. I'm at work at the moment, but I'll get back to you on that one.

If the young are idiots tis because they mimic the old.

Yes. In this play, the adults are idiots. Because this is an adolescent society where people are largely not allowed to develop past their immature loves and hates due to this fight going on between the two families.

I'm pretty sure that I'm agreeing with you- I just think that the ultimate message isn't, "adults suck, the young are better!" but how horrible society can be and how much damage people can do if they refuse to grow up, despite their age.


message 30: by Miriam (last edited Feb 26, 2010 06:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Miriam Remember also that 13 would have been considered rather young (although not illegal) to get married in Shakespeare's time. And since relativism hadn't been invented yet, it is possible that he intended to sound disapproving even though he asserts that it was acceptable in the social context of the play's setting. The English didn't exactly idolize the Italians!


Rebecca Defining a society as adolescent on account of its violence and stupidity is just ephebiphobia. This play demonstrates that maturity is not synonymous with wisdom. The violence of the young upholds the society the adults have established, and the only true act of rebellion is Romeo's refusal to fight.


message 32: by Stuart (last edited Feb 27, 2010 03:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stuart Romeo and Juliet was written in the 1590s. The source material was The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, by Arthur Brooke in 1562, who in turn translated it from an Italian novella by Matteo Bandello (the source of several Shakespeare plays). This in turn has its origins even further back in the French fabliaux of the 13th and 14th century.

Given this, why do you seek to impose your 21st century sensibilities and judgments on an age and a culture of which you have absolutely no appropriate frame of reference?

What will you tackle next? Chaucer?

Don't forget, this play was written to entertain the masses of 16th century London. It was a soap opera of its day and as such was never intended to be high-minded art. It was "The Young and the Restless" of its time.

What truly sets Shakespeare apart is the richness, breadth and inventiveness of his language. Getting hung up on the age of the protagonists because it doesn't fit with your 21st century world view, indicates that you have likely missed the whole point.


message 33: by Kelly (last edited Feb 27, 2010 06:00AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly Rebecca, I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I've pretty much said all I have to say on the topic. Unfortunately, I just think this is one of those discussions that's going to keep going in circles if we go farther. :) It happens!

Stuart, thanks for dropping by to sneer and enlighten the masses. The 'oh you're too stupid to get it' opinion always helps move along debate, I find. I definitely feel like engaging with you now! So sweet of you to take the time!


message 34: by Bram (last edited Feb 27, 2010 06:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bram I guess Stuart's already mastered 'bilious condescension' with the guidance of his self-help books: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...


skein I don't perfectly agree with your interpretation (oh noes!), but it's a brilliant review. Please continue to impose your 21st-century sensibilities and judgments on whatever the hell you want.


Miriam I think the early part about Rosaline makes it clear that Shakespeare intended to portray the characters as immature; if this were in fact a portrayal of True Love and its wonders there would be no reason for that subplot. In terms of marriage, romantic love was not considered important so in that sense whether a person were old/mature enough to be in love wasn't much of a consideration for parents when arranging marriages. I wonder [to take a slight tangent:] if this is why female infidelity is such a huge theme in medieval and early modern literature? I mean, if you are married off to a near stranger and end up not loving them, there is a great likelihood of them looking elsewhere for fulfillment. Especially if your wife is a teenage girl who has crazy hormones and is finally away from parental supervision. Think of college freshmen! Obviously the same considerations would apply to the men, but no one ever seems to have cared about male infidelity.


message 37: by Jude (last edited Feb 27, 2010 12:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jude ETA: i LOVE this review. i wish english teachers alloveramurika would read it to themselves before teaching the play. I'm so glad you reading & sharing here, Kelly - it's such a treat.

random thoughts:

they died young & infatuated, so you could say that to call it a tragedy requires really looking at the word tragedy;->

Immature love is a world unto itself, and it's a great vehicle for some kinds of stories- as long as there is war of any kind, it's gonna be the way to call our attention to the idiocy of breeding hatred in the young, etc..

P's ballet: i assume you know the Fonteyne/Nureyev one?

I got to see Zefferelli's R&J when i was young enough to really enjoy it. I despised the adults & was profoundly in love with Mercutio- his was the true tragedy for me. The fabric made me dizzy with lust & even then i understood how brilliant it was to have a children play the roles, especially Olivia.

I liked the sonnet of their meeting at the dance - i still do...

The later version by that crazy australian had one bit of business i considered so brilliant i couldn't believe others hadn't staged it so: Romeo is still alive when Juliet wakes up - he can't talk, but they get to understand the situation together. wheee!


Sarah Kelly, I remember the last time we were bickering about Shakespeare (ah, goodreads!), you told me that his plays shouldn't be reduced to PSA. I think this disagreement takes us right back to that very same point.

It's entirely possible the man just wasn't opinionated! Romeo & Juliet is a beautiful, amusing, provocative play that apparently means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Maybe that, in itself, was the intention...


Sarah Oh, but I wasn't really thinking of cultural context. (I don't think we'll ever unravel that one!) It's possible that in his time, as well as in ours, people applied a personal context, because Shakespeare allows us to do that. (This isn't my favorite of his, by the way. I resent horny teenagers. See? Personal).

You can call me Sarah. :)


Sarah I just realized that neither one of my comments makes any sense. Wretched insomnia... *sigh*


Kelly I'm sorry that I missed the latter portion of this conversation today while I was out, but thank you everyone for your comments. Sarah, I think your comments made fine sense. You're right that Shakespeare isn't a PSA, and I never meant to reduce this play to such. This play is many things, has many things to say- I suppose with Shakespeare its easier to fall into the "pick a theme, write a paper" mode because there's just so much there, no? There's no way to get it all.

Jude- thank you, and no, I haven't listened to that other R&J ballet! I'll have to find that.


Sarah "You're right that Shakespeare isn't a PSA, and I never meant to reduce this play to such."

And, never meant to imply that you were! I'm not articulating myself well today. Sorry about that. =b


Kelly It's really okay, no problems. :)


Ariel lol i love this review


Kelly Thanks, glad you enjoyed. :)


message 46: by Matt (new) - added it

Matt Jahn baddd worrrds


Kelly I know, I am quite a heathen.


Tegan Mae I wish they had taught that in high school instead. haha.


message 49: by Kelly (last edited Aug 24, 2011 05:51PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kelly Yeah, I think teachers often make the mistake that star-crossed lovers and Leonardo di Caprio are the way to sell this play- I think sarcasm and Mercutio would work much better.


Tegan Mae Agreed. I'll be sure to tell my future children this when they read it, "Read this review instead." And by then there will probably be a new movie with which to sell it.


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