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Romeo and Juliet
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Romeo & Juliet > Romeo & Juliet: Thoughts & Discussions

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Adam (spartacus007) | 95 comments Mod
Post your thoughts about the play here


message 2: by River (new)

River (riveraria) What are your thoughts on the seeming lack of close parental relationships between Juliet and her parents and Romeo and his? How do you feel that this affected their decisions?


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Haaze | 10 comments River wrote: "What are your thoughts on the seeming lack of close parental relationships between Juliet and her parents and Romeo and his? How do you feel that this affected their decisions?"

If I recall correctly that seemed to be the norm in the past - i.e. parents weren't invested directly in their children's upbringing or decision making. Parents made all the relevant decisions. It is kind of interesting to ponder how rebellious the couple is in their love for each other. Besides, their parents were clearly unaware of the relationship. Wasn't romantic love an exception during this time period in England?


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Haaze | 10 comments This play brings tears to my eyes every time I experience it.......




message 5: by River (new)

River (riveraria) Haaze, when we discussed this in my tragedies course the complete coldness, particularly between Juliet and her parents, was a large topic of discussion. While wealthy parents weren't nearly as involved as they are today (at least during the formative years), they were still involved. They knew the goings on of their children and had a relationship with them. Juliet and her parents were excessively cold to each other. This is traditionally shown in the performance of the play. (That is one of the downfalls of reading. Shakespeare is meant to be performed and watched rather than merely read. Yes, this goes back to both my English and Theatre studies. I'm truly a nerd.)

The disassociation with their parents is very much brought to the forefront of the show at the end when they are bitterly weeping. It was foreshadowed by the Prince breaking up fights throughout the course of the play.

I agree. This is truly a moving work. It has always made me want to get just a little closer to my family and urged me to be patient and involved with my children.


message 6: by Haaze (last edited Oct 21, 2017 11:03PM) (new)

Haaze | 10 comments River wrote: "Haaze, when we discussed this in my tragedies course the complete coldness, particularly between Juliet and her parents, was a large topic of discussion. While wealthy parents weren't nearly as inv..."

Interesting.
'It was foreshadowed by the Prince breaking up fights throughout the course of the play. :
Aren't these the fights between the Montagues and the Capulets? How is that related to a disassociation with the parents?

I respectfully disagree with you in terms of the view of the parental relationship with their children. Rich people of that specific century had numerous servants, nannies, tutors, trainers etc that took care of their children. I suspect that the children were rarely seen, but of course, there must certainly have been variation in the child-parent relationship. It is certainly a topic one can ponder, but I never got the feeling that Shakespeare emphasized this issue in this play. I can see it being one out of many topics discussed in a class setting via a professor. That doesn't mean that this was Shakespeare's intent in his play. I know that this is something that is omnipresent in essays and notes etc. Isn't it a matter of interpretation rather than fact?
However, please point me to a few lines that show the cold relationship between the children and their parents - I would love to dig deeper in my understanding of the question you posed.

Besides, considering their infatuation, I doubt if the parents could have done anything differently. Obviously, they could have worked on their psychological issues in the family vendetta. ; -)


Vicki | 4 comments Last summer, I reread Romeo and Juliet and saw a production of it at Shakespeare on the Common in Boston. And it is the first time that I had ever laughed during this play. Yes, there was humor. Lots. Amidst the extreme emotions of hate and love, director Allegra Libonati captures Shakespeare's depth and dimension of the characters and the human experience that we share with them, both good and bad. Shakespeare knows humans are complex creatures and portrays them as such. No psychobabble needed. We so dearly want Romeo and Juliet's marriage to be blessed and persevere, regardless that they are surrounded by not-so-very nice people. We want to urge these people to lighten up a bit and forget about petty grievances. And we are skeptical, after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, that those very people will honor their vow to set all disagreements aside and to live in peace. Would the love of Romeo and Juliet endure had they lived? Would it succumb or evolve beyond the idealistic expectations of youth? These questions have been asked for over 300 years and we keep returning to the story to find the answers. (Shakespeare certainly knew how to keep his audiences coming back!) But given what we know, the odds don't look good for the marriage or, at the least, it will be very difficult. Director Allegra Libonati does not have the answer either, but she accepts that they died loving each other. She ends the play with Romeo and Juliet, embracing each other as they ascend into heaven, making their love eternal. Shakespeare may have dissed the sentimentality, but I admit it, I cried.


Adam (spartacus007) | 95 comments Mod
River, Haaze and Vicki, I'm really glad for your comments, and your defense of the romance in the story. My high school English teacher guided us pretty strongly towards the view that Romeo & Juliet *weren't* actually in love, and that the play was some sort of satire. But, like love, the Shakespeare is too complex for that.


Vicki | 4 comments Romeo and Juliet would not be a tragedy if the families weren't such jerks and if Romeo and Juliet didn't have some kind-of passion for each other. It's drama and Shakespeare's first and foremost goal was to get people to buy tickets to see his plays. Please remember that Shakespeare, for the majority of his plays, borrowed from written texts of prose and poetry for his stories. Romeo and Juliet is no different and its roots in two works, a poem by Arthur Brooke and a story by William Painter. What Shakespeare did do was to exhibit human behavior with all it's subtlety, complexity, inconsistencies, and range of emotions, as well as increased the presence of different societal classes in his plays and expanded the roles of minor characters than in the original sources. Humor is found in his tragedies, despondency in his comedies. All of these elements were innovative approached to drama that did not exist before Shakespeare. Drama was based on the Greek traditions: they were either tragedies or comedies, nothing in-between and no mixing of the classes. His masterful use of prose takes us beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary (just compare his description of Cleopartra on the Barge with the original source). Therein lies the genius of Shakespeare. Yes, Adam, Shakespeare is complex and that is why his plays are such a joy to read, to watch, and to perform to this day.


message 10: by Cynda (new) - rated it 1 star

Cynda Adam wrote: "River, Haaze and Vicki, I'm really glad for your comments, and your defense of the romance in the story. My high school English teacher guided us pretty strongly towards the view that Romeo & Julie..."

Hi Adam you might enjoy watching the 1997 movie Shakespeare in Love. Tom Stoppard wrote the play so it is intelligent and witty. In the movie version, you can see how Shakespeare came to write the play based on a fictional romance. It is great fun. Traditonal threatrical crossdressing plus something extra beyond that. As a delightful bonus: Dame Judi Dench has a small part as Queen Elizabeth I, something beyond a cameo.


Vicki | 4 comments Cynda wrote: "Adam wrote: "River, Haaze and Vicki, I'm really glad for your comments, and your defense of the romance in the story. My high school English teacher guided us pretty strongly towards the view that ..." Shakespeare in Love is a fictional account and not based on events in his life. Romeo and Juliet, like that majority of Shakespeare's plays, It was based on the poem "The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet" written in 1562 by Arthur Brooke and the tale "The Palace of Pleasure" written around 1680 by William Painter. This was common among dramatists at the time. Of course there are some elements in the plays that may have been drawn from Shakespeare life, but his works for the most part, including Romeo and Juliet, are not autobiographical. We know very little about Shakespeare's personal life and one should hesitate before making assumptions. And don't fall for that stuff about Shakespeare not loving his wife. Most of what we assume is based on a contemporary interpretation of his will ("the second best bed") and there are a growing number of historians who are disputing these assertions.


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