Romeo and Juliet – summary
For my English coursework, I have been studying the Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet”. “Romeo and Juliet” is a romantic tragedy. The plot chronicles two star-crossed lovers, which belong to two feuding families, the “Capulet” family and the “Montague” family. For the two to be happy they must deceive their families. This is done with the help of Juliet’s maid and Friar Lawrence. The dramatic play concludes tragically as the couple die, together, in a sad twist of fate.
The scene I have chosen to dramatise and direct, as on stage is, Act 1 Scene5. During this scene the two main characters, Romeo and Juliet, meet at the Capulet’s masked ball. Romeo sees Juliet and is infatuated, he then follows her. Meanwhile Tybalt, a highly respected, powerful Capulet, discovers that Romeo, a Montague, is at the party, “Tis he the villain Romeo”. Tybalt is told not to pursue Romeo and let him be, by Sir Capulet “It fits when such a villain is a guest; I shall not endure him”.
Approaching the end of the scene Romeo finds Juliet. He takes her behind a curtain, and tries to kiss her “My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss”, She gives in after playing hard to get, and the two kiss twice. Juliet’s maid then interrupts and tells Juliet that her mother wants to talk to her “Madam your mother craves a word with you.” Juliet goes, and Romeo leaves the party. At the end of the scene Juliet asks her maid what was Romeo’s name, She answers, “His name is Romeo, and a Montague; The only son of your great enemy”. On that note the scene ends.
In the scene leading up to this, the Montague’s were deciding whether or not to crash the Capulet’s party. We find out more about Romeo’s best friend and companion Mercutio, this character plays a large role in this scene, and also later in the play. Romeo then enters the party disguised in a mask.
In the scene following on from mine, the party has ended and Romeo intrudes into the forecourts of the Capulet Mansion. Romeo then goes to Juliet’s balcony. Then the sentence that is most well known, ” O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” is proclaimed. This is an example of irony, because Romeo is actually hidden very near the balcony from which she is speaking. She then encounters him later in the scene Romeo and the two embrace romantically before nearly being caught.
During Act 1 Scene 5 we discover some important information about some of the main characters, such as Romeo, Juliet, Juliet’s Nurse and Tybalt. We learn that Romeo has strong feelings towards his newfound love Juliet, and he seems anxious to pursue these feelings. We also learn that Romeo is about nineteen years old. He is also a Montague, and only son of his father Sir Montague. Juliet is young but is mature, she is about thirteen years old. She is a Capulet.
Also she is the only daughter of Sir Capulet. This proves a difficulty later in the story. Tybalt is the “henchman” of Sir Capulet. He is very powerful and seems to be second in command to Sir Capulet. Juliet’s nurse is understanding of Juliet’s new found love. She is he one who walks into the two would be lovers first embrace. She accepts that Romeo is a Montague, the enemy of the family she works for, and doesn’t hold it against him. She actually acts as a go between, later in the story. She is the one who delivers the news to Juliet, that Romeo is a Montague.
In this scene I am trying to draw out the love and passion of the two characters. I want to show that even though the two families despise each other, Romeo and Juliet would put that behind them, as their love is so strong. I want to point out that Romeo is infatuated with Juliet and the audience should be aware of this. “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear; beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, as yonder lady o’er her fellows shows. The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand, and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” This is what Romeo says when he first sets eyes on Juliet, and it is a great example that he is infatuated with her.