William Shakespeare’s Juliet What you need to know Romeo and When you hear the name William Shakespeare, what words, feelings and ideas come to your mind? 2 questions my students usually have… 1. Why are we studying Romeo and Juliet? ▫ What’s in it for me? 2. What do I have to know? (or, a nicer way of seeing it is: what new information will I be learning that will profoundly alter my life forever?) Q1 do you literary think wefigure still study • Heanswer: is, by far, Why the greatest in the Shakespeare almost 400language years after his death? history of the English • A question of culture… • “A man for all time” ▫ His characters, stories and themes have been, and still are, a source of meaning and significance for every generation. His work is still relevant to us, despite our differences and time period. We can all find something that we can relate to because we are part of the human race. • Appreciation of the language Important factoids: As a whole, we know very little about William Shakespeare’s life – but here are some important facts that we do know: • Born and raised in England during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, (click on the link) which was called the Elizabethan Era. • He was an actor, poet, and playwright • BRILLIANT! A prolific writer What do you know about William Shakespeare? ▫ 37 plays, 154 sonnets (14-lined poem) ▫ His vocabulary was up to 4x larger than the average, educated man today • Teenage father and dead-beat-dad • A man amidst controversy: Some scholars believe that Shakespeare wasn’t the authentic author of his works. A movie called Anonymous (click on the link) depicts the story of who really wrote the plays and poems. The theatre The Globe Theatre ▫ Shaped like a globe = the world (all the world is a stage) ▫ For actors: Open roof (no articificial light), split-stage (different perspectives/scenes), few props and stage directions ▫ For audience: Set-up: balconies and the pit ▫ Took place during the day All actors were MALE! ▫ Being an actor or playwright was not considered to be a prestigious profession at the time Different colored flags indicated what type of play was being performed: red: history black: tragedy white: comedy What do you know about Romeo and Juliet? • Greatest love story ever told…(again) ▫ Not an original story; re-vamped by Shakespeare • Quite perverted at times! ▫ Lower-class, illiterate citizens appreciated the dirty jokes • Tragi-comedy ▫ Elements of comedy sprinkled against the heaviness of the dominating tragedy ▫ Other Shakespearean play genres are: histories, comedies, tragedies • The ending is revealed in the first 14 lines of the play! ▫ Why do that? What’s the point in reading the rest? Q2 answer: What you need to pay attention to… Important passages in the original text Look for and understand: 1. Literary elements Plotline of a tragedy, characters (dramatic foils, flat vs round / static vs dynamic), themes & symbols 2. Literary devices Simile, metaphor, personification, sounds of poetry, pun, foreshadowing, oxymoron, irony 3. Dramatic terms monologue, soliloquy, aside ***Red indicates new concepts 1. Literary elements •Plot: sequence of events that take place in a literary work. Specifically, in a TRAGEDY, there’s the addition of: complication, reversal and catastrophe. ▫ Exposition, COMPLICATION, rising action, climax, REVERSAL , falling action, CATASTROPHE, resolution (conclusion) 5 Tragedy Plot structure Climax 2. reversal Rising action Falling action 1. complication Exposition 3. Catastrophe Resolution Theme: the main lesson or life lesson of the play 1. Theme of FATE and DESTINY: our lives are at the mercy of the stars 2. Theme of Love: love makes us do crazy things different types of love (unrequited, romantic, friendship, familial) Themes (cont.) 3. Theme of CONTRASTS: there is always a ying to every yang. In life, you cannot have one thing without its opposite This idea is CENTRAL to the entire play and is reflected in every aspect of it. When a recurring image or device presents itself in a play or work which supports the theme, this is called MOTIF (pronounced moteef). This play’s central motif is juxtaposition (opposites/contrasts) Love vs. Hate Young (children) vs. Old (parents) Peace vs. Violence Betrayal vs. Loyalty Light vs. Darkness Light vs. Heaviness Appearance vs. Reality (how things seem vs. how things are) Individuals vs. Society (doing what you want vs. what society expects of you) Theme of contrast • This theme is also present in the literary element of dramatic foils and also in figurative language with oxymorons and irony. Characters • Montagues, Capulets, Others • Every tragedy has a tragic hero: Romeo is the tragic hero who suffers from a tragic flaw which leads to his downfall. • What could Romeo’s tragic flaw be? Characters (cont.) Dramatic foils (opposites attract) • A character whose purpose is to show off another character. Oftentimes, they have opposing viewpoints which is why they are foils of each other. For example: Romeo’s view on love is opposite of his friend Mercutio’s view on love. Look for and take note of other instances of foils throughout the play! Characters (cont.) • Characters can be categorized into two levels: ▫ Round vs. flat characters ▫ Dynamic vs. static characters There is a difference between the two… Round vs. Flat = attention to detail A character who is well-described, with details about personality, characteristics, etc. is a ROUND character. If you can take a character and list several pieces of information on him/her, then it is most likely that you’ve got a round character. A FLAT character is not well-defined and the reader doesn’t have much information about him/her. The shorter the list of information on a character, the flatter he/she is compared to others. Usually a flat character serves one type of role throughout the play. Sampson and Gregory are examples of flat characters. Which characters in R&J are round? Which are flat? Dynamic vs. Static Dynamic vs. static has to do with a character’s change in personality, perspective on life and/or values throughout the text. It is also known as the character’s “growth.” Dynamic characters go through an internal change in character during the course of the story. There is an apparent change in attitude/outlook on life that wasn’t present in the beginning of the story but appeared as the story progressed (usually near or after the climax). Static characters do not change internally or “grow” – they remain the same throughout the text. Usually it is the main characters who are “dynamic”. Take note of and look for examples of dynamic vs. static characters. 2. Literary Devices (tools the author uses) Figurative Language: playing with language and meaning Simile Metaphor Personification Pun Foreshadowing Hyperbole Irony Oxymoron Literary Devices Review: • Simile: a comparison of two unlike things using “like”, “as” or “than the” ▫ Juliet: (talking about the Nurse) “she is slow, heavy and pale as lead” • Metaphor: same as a simile EXCEPT it doesn’t use like/as/than the. It uses the verb “to be” in the affirmative and negative ▫ Romeo: but soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun. • Hyperbole: an extreme exaggeration, not likely to happen, but used to place emphasis on an idea/object ▫ Juliet: ‘tis twenty years till then (describing how long it will feel until the next time she sees Romeo; even though it will only be a couple of hours until next they meet) • Personification: giving an object or idea human/animal-like qualities and characteristics ▫ Romeo: Arise fair Sun, and kill the envious moon who is already sick and pale with grief, that thou her maid are far more fair than she. Puns A pun is a humorous play on words. Take a look at the puns from Act I, i. SAMPSON Gregory, on my word, we’ll not carry coals. SAMPSON Gregory, I swear, we can’t let them humiliate us. We won’t take their garbage. GREGORY No, for then we should be colliers. GREGORY(teasing SAMPSON) No, because then we’d be garbage-men. SAMPSON I mean, an we be in choler, we’ll draw. SAMPSON What I mean is, if they make us angry we’ll pull out our swords. GREGORY Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of collar. GREGORY Maybe you should focus on pulling yourself out of trouble, Sampson. Collar = shirt collar – get your neck out of your shirt/trouble. Look for and note down other puns that take place – especially with Mercutio! Foreshadowing is a reference to something that will happen later in the story. Romeo – I fear, too early: for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this night's revels…By some vile forfeit of untimely death (Act I, iv) NEW! Oxymoron An oxymoron describes when two juxtaposed words back-to-back have opposing or very diverse meanings. ▫ ▫ Ex: Juliet – “Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!” (Act III, ii) “honourable villain”, “heavy lightness” Ex: Jumbo shrimp, truthful liar, angelic devil, poor rich-man, straight curve, etc. NEW! Irony •When the opposite of what you expect to happen, happens. •3 types of irony: dramatic, verbal, situational • Note: Alanis Morrissette’s song, “Ironic” isn’t always about irony; it’s more about bad luck. Dramatic Irony A contradiction between what a character thinks/knows and what the reader/audience knows to be true The entire play drips and oozes with dramatic irony because of what is revealed in the Prologue (the first 14 lines of the play) More on dramatic irony TedEd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZFYuX84n1U Verbal Irony A contradiction or contrast of what is said and what is actually meant or intended by the speaker. • Think of it like deliberate sarcasm, or someone being two-faced with what they say – they say one thing, but mean another. (Women are awfully good at doing this. Am I right, ladies? ) ▫ ▫ ▫ Man: What’s wrong honey? Woman: Nothing. We’re thinking: Yeah, right. Not all verbal irony is sarcasm, though. When the speaker is deliberately poking fun of or being a little sassy/mean with his comment, this is sarcasm. But you can also say the opposite of what you mean without being nasty More on this with a Ted-Ed video Big Bang Theory: Sheldon attempting sarcasm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=kJp2XAWma_I&feature=end screen Situational Irony An event or action occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience. ex: If a character intends to do good through his action of his help, but the result is that his help in-fact makes the situation worse, this is an example of situational irony. It works both ways – you can intend to do bad, but your intentions actually have a positive result. More on situational irony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqg6RO8c_W0 What the difference between dramatic irony and foreshadowing? DRAMATIC IRONY When the audience/reader has knowledge of what’s going to happen that the characters do NOT have FORESHADOWING Well…that’s pretty much the whole play with Romeo and Juliet… When the characters have no idea that what they’re saying is bringing them closer to their fate… But WE DO! So any mention of marriage, death, consequences, etc. by the characters that hints at their doom is an example of foreshadowing (and also dramatic irony). Got that? Review your knowledge of irony and some other figurative language here: https://quizlet.com/85074909/flashcards NEW! 3, Dramatic Terms: Speech Since audience members can’t hear the characters’ thoughts, the characters must say them out loud. There are three instances: 1. Monologue 2. Soliloquy Monologue (Greek root: monos = one/single, legein = to speak = one person speaking) • When one character has a lengthy speech directed to the audience or to other characters in the play. • Nurse and Mercutio have some lengthy speeches in Romeo and Juliet Soliloquy (Latin word: solus = alone, loqui = to speak) • Similar to a monologue • In a soliloquy, the character is speaking to him/herself (solo) and reveals out loud his/her most intimate thoughts and feelings – worries, hopes, dreams, fears, etc. • The character is ALONE and isn’t heard by others. • Don’t get confused between a monologue and a soliloquy – although both involve only 1 character speaking, the soliloquy is much “deeper” in its content. • Still confused? Here’s another explanation from Cliffnotes.