RJ Powerpoint0

Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare
I. A Brief Biography
II. The Globe theatre
III. Themes, Motifs, and
Symbols in Romeo and
IV. Dramatic Terms
Shakespeare: A Brief Biography
Born in April 1564 at
John Shakespeare
– tanner, glover, dealer in
– town official (alderman,
and later mayor)
Mary (mother)
– daughter of Robert Arden,
a prosperous gentlemanfarmer.
Shakespeare: A Brief Biography
• Married Anne Hathaway in 1582
• Three children born: Susanna, Judith, and
Shakespeare: A Brief Biography
• By 1590, he was an actor and playwright
• Leader of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men
and the King’s Men
• died April 23, 1616
Shakespeare: A Brief Biography
• He was buried in Stratford; the inscription
on his tombstone reads. . .
Shakespeare: A Brief Biography
“Good Friend, for Jesus’ sake, forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here;
Blest be the man that spares these stones
And curst be he that moves my bones.”
Shakespeare: A Brief Biography
Author of 37 plays and 154
Robert Greene, a critic,
attacked Shakespeare, a mere
actor, for writing plays.
He acted before Queen
Elizabeth in 1594.
The exact year in which
William Shakespeare wrote
Romeo and Juliet is unknown,
but it is definitely one of his
earlier works, and one of only
two tragedies written in the
period from 1590 to 1595.
Romeo and Juliet
• Romeo and Juliet is as
much about hate as love
– Although Romeo and
Juliet is considered one
of the world’s greatest
love stories, it can be
argued that the love story
is only a vehicle for the
resolution of the story
about hate, that is, the
feud between the two
Romeo and Juliet
• The plot was based on a fourteenth-century Italian short
story, or novella, written by Matteo Bandello, that
included elements of history, tradition, romance, and
• A boy and a girl, from families who hate each other
bitterly, fall in love, but everything goes wrong for them.
Most of the play takes place in 'fair Verona' an attractive
little city in the north of Italy. The action moves quickly
from the city streets to the hall of old Capulet's house,
then to the orchard below Juliet's balcony, to Friar
Lawrences' lonely cell and finally to the vault.
The play starts on a Sunday morning in the middle of
July; less than five days later - just before dawn on the
following Thursday - it is all over.
Dramatis Personae
ESCALUS prince of Verona. (PRINCE)
PARIS a young nobleman, kinsman
to the prince.
MONTAGUE ,CAPULET , heads of two
houses at variance with each
An old man, cousin to Capulet.
(Second Capulet)
ROMEO son to Montague.
MERCUTIO kinsman to the prince,
and friend to Romeo.
BENVOLIO nephew to Montague, and
friend to Romeo.
TYBALT nephew to Lady Capulet.
BALTHASAR servant to Romeo.
SAMPSON ,GREGORY , servants to
PETER servant to Juliet's nurse.
ABRAHAM servant to Montague.
An Apothecary. (Apothecary)
Three Musicians. (First Musician)
(Second Musician) (Third
Page to Paris; (PAGE) another Page;
an officer.
LADY MONTAGUE wife to Montague.
LADY CAPULET wife to Capulet.
JULIET daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet. (Nurse)
Citizens of Verona; several Men and
Women, relations to both houses;
Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and
Attendants. (First Citizen)
(Servant) (First Servant) (Second
Servant) (First Watchman)
(Second Watchman) (Third
Watchman) Chorus.
SCENE Verona Mantua.
The Globe Theatre
He wrote his plays to
be performed in the
Globe theatre.
The only account we
have of the Globe is
from a diary of a
Swiss doctor who
visited London and
crossed the Thames
River to see a play in
a theatre with a
thatched roof.
The Globe Theatre
• It was built in
1599 and
burned down
14 years later
in 1613.
• It was an 8
sided building
with a central
The Globe Theatre
Spectators’ price of
admissions was
– one penny - to stand in
yard around stage
(these were called the
– two pennies - to sit in
2nd and 3rd floor
– three pennies - to sit in
the first floor galleries
The Globe Theatre
– 1/3 of yard was filled with 6ft high
– no curtain
– no artificial lighting
– back wall had at least two doors
– balcony was used for hilltops,
walls of cities, or second story
– trapdoors were used to raise or
lower actors and props.
The Globe Theatre
• Take a tour of the new Globe theatre. . . .
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Themes in Romeo and Juliet
Themes are the fundamental and often
universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Themes in Romeo and Juliet
1. The Forcefulness of Love
• The most famous love story
in the English literary
• Focus on romantic love
• Love as overpowering force
– Family
– Friends
Themes in Romeo and Juliet
2. What is love?
– Religious
– Magical
- Madness
- Chemicals in the Brain
Themes in Romeo and Juliet
3. Love as a Cause of Violence
• Hate, Violence, Death, Love?
• Love is blinding. . .
Themes in Romeo and Juliet
4. The Individual Versus Society
• Romeo and Juliet against. . .
– Family
– Law
– Religion
– Honor
Themes in Romeo and Juliet
5. The Inevitability of
• Straight path or
series of
• “Star-crossed
• Feud
• Series of
Unfortunate Events
• Bad Timing
Other Themes:
Family Conflict
Civil Disorder and
Parenthood and the
Generation Gap
Youth and Old Age
Political Authority
Death and Time
Gender Roles
Appearance vs. Reality
Motifs in Romeo and Juliet
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or
literary devices that can help to develop
and inform the text’s major themes.
Motifs in Romeo and Juliet
Light/Dark Imagery
• Night/Day
– Night = Good/Evil?
– Day =Evil/Good?
• Provides contrast, hints at
Motifs in Romeo and Juliet
Opposite Points of
• Mercutio’s POV
• Servants’ POV
– Nurse
– Peter
– Musicians
Other Motifs:
Death and Life Imagery
Love and Hate Imagery
Bird Imagery
Sun / Moon / Stars Imag
Hot (fire) and Cold
Illness and Health
Heaviness and Lightness
Sight and Blindness
Hearing and Deafness
Severity and Vanity
Weddingbed and Deathb
Symbols in Romeo and Juliet
Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or
colors used to represent abstract ideas or
Symbols in Romeo and Juliet
• “Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
And vice, sometimes by action dignified.”
• Tendency to “poison” things
Symbols in Romeo and Juliet
• An insulting gesture
• A juvenile, vulgar display
• Meaningless
– Foolishness of entire
Montague/Capulet feud
– Stupidity of violence
in general
Symbols in Romeo and Juliet
Queen Mab
• Brings dreams
– Confirms vices: greed, lust,
• Is total nonsense
– Fairy pulled by “grey-coated gnat”
• Tiny, Insubstantial
– Just like the
dreams/desires/fantasies of people
Shakespearian Drama
Tragedy: A drama that ends in catastrophe—most
often death—for the main character and often
for several other important characters as well
Tragic Hero: The main character, someone who is
nobly born and has great influence in his or her
society. This character has weakness or errors
in judgment (Tragic Flaws) that lead to his or
her downfall. Fate may play a role in the course
that events take.
Shakespearian Drama
Comic Relief: A humorous scene, incident,
or speech that relieves the overall
emotional intensity in the play. Comic
relief helps the audience absorb the tragic
events in the plot of a play.
Shakespearian Drama
Allusion: A brief reference, within a work, to
something outside the work that the reader
or audience is expected to know. Many of
Shakespeare’s allusions are to mythology
or the Bible.
Shakespearian Drama
Foil: A character whose personality or
attitudes are in sharp contrast to those of
another character in the same work. This
highlights the other character’s traits
Shakespearian Drama
Soliloquy and Aside:
A Soliloquy is a speech made
by an actor alone on stage to
let the audience know what is
on that character’s mind.
An Aside is a character’s
remark to the audience or to
another character that others
on stage aren’t supposed to
hear. The purpose of an aside
is to reveal that character’s
Shakespearian Drama
Blank Verse: Unrhymed lines of iambic
pentameter. Shakespeare wrote all of his
plays in blank verse.
Shakespearian Drama
Example of Blank Verse
~ /
/ ~
/ ~
But soft.|What light| through yon|der win|dow breaks?
~ / ~ /
~ / ~~ / ~ /
It is| the east|, and Jul|iet is |the sun!
Opening Discussion…
1. Do you believe in love at first sight?
2. What is true love?
3. What role should parents play in the relationships of their
4. What qualities do you look for in the opposite sex?
5. Are females more romantic than males, or is that a
6. What are some advantages and disadvantages of being
7. What role does marriage play in society today?
8. Who or what controls what happens to people in life –
destiny? fate? our own characters?