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Romeo and Juliet


William Shakespeare s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Introduction and Background William Shakespeare Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeares The Tragedy of
  • Introduction and
  • Background

William Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare was born in
  • 1564 and died in 1616.
  • He grew up in a town called Stratf0rd-on-Avon and
    later moved to London to become an actor and

The Plays
  • Shakespeares plays include comedies,
    historiesand tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet.
  • Some of his other famous plays include Julius
    Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and A Midsummer
    Nights Dream.
  • In addition, Shakespeare wrote love poems called

Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?
  • Some scholars have suggested Shakespeare, who had
    little formal education, could not have written
    such powerful and creative plays.
  • However, nobody in Shakespeares day thought to
    question his authorship. Apparently, he was just
    a genius!

Elizabethan Theater
  • Shakespeares time period was during the reign of
    Queen Elizabeth I. Literature was used and taught
    very often in London because they thought it was
    important for them to write. They began to value
    writing and theater.
  • Elizabethan theaters were makeshift, dirty, and
    loud, but nevertheless they attracted audiences
    as large as 3,000 from all social classes.

Elizabethan Theater
  • Since Ancient Greece, theater had gained
    popularity and now was a common event and form of
  • Theater was still extremely political. It
    addressed hot topics that the country was
  • Being an actor was not a highly regarded
    profession actors were looked down upon in
    society. Actors were looked down upon by the
    church because they used profanity, heresy, or

The Globe
  • Shakespeares plays were performed in a theater
    called the Globesometimes called The Wooden
    O because of its circular shape.

The reconstructed stage of the Globe
  • Theaters had no lighting, so performances took
    place during the day.
  • There were few special effects or props
    Shakespeare used detailed verbal description to
    paint a picture of his scenes.

  • The time period in which Shakespeare
    livedElizabethan England, named for the
    queeninfluenced the content of his plays as well
    as the way in which they were performed.
  • Elizabethans believed the earth was flat.

  • In Shakespeares day, marriages were generally
    contracts set up by the parents.
  • When Juliets parents arrange a marriage for her,
    it seems strange to us Shakespeares audience
    would have thought it was completely normal.

  • Soliloquy speech where a character speaks to him
    or herself and inadvertently the audience as a
    way to reveal thoughts and feelings
  • Romeo But, soft! what light through yonder
    window breaks?
  • It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
  • Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
  • Who is already sick and pale with grief,
  • That thou her maid art far more fair than she
  • Be not her maid, since she is envious
  • Her vestal livery is but sick and green
  • And none but fools do wear it cast it off. (2.2)

  • Aside remark by a character in a play intended
    to be heard by the audience but not by other
  • Juliet 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.
  • Romeo Aside. Shall I hear more, or shall I
    speak at this? (2.2)

  • Monologue long speech by a character
  • Prince Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
  • Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,--
  • Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you
  • That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
  • With purple fountains issuing from your veins,
  • On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
  • Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground,
  • And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
  • Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
  • By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
  • Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets,
  • And made Verona's ancient citizens
  • Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
  • To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
  • Canker'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate
  • If ever you disturb our streets again,
  • Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
  • For this time, all the rest depart away

  • Prologue an introduction or preface
  • Chorus Two households, both alike in dignity,
  • In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
  • From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
  • Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
  • From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
  • A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life
  • Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
  • Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
  • The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
  • And the continuance of their parents' rage,
  • Which, but their children's end, nought could
  • Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage
  • The which if you with patient ears attend,
  • What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to
    mend. (1.1)

  • Oxymoron figure of speech that combines
    contradictory terms
  • Romeo Heres much to do with hate, but more with
  • Why, then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
  • Oh anything of nothing first create
  • O heavy lightness, serious vanity
  • Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms
  • Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick
  • Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
  • This love I feel that feel no love in this.

  • In Shakespeares tragedies, the main characters
    make decisions that upset the proper order of
    their world and so affect them and everyone
    around them. The situation is resolved only when
    others learn lessons from the main characters
  • Shakespeares tragedies also follow a pattern
    that would have made sense to his audience.
  • Elizabethans believed that peoples decisions and
    mistakes always had consequences, and that people
    sometimes had to pay a high price for their

Why we read
  • So why do we still read plays like Romeo and
    Juliet? When Shakespeares world was so
    different from ours, what can we learn from his
  • Well, the plays are not only great, powerful
    storiesthey also teach lessons about life that
    apply to people in all cultures and time periods,
    and those lessons can help us when we come across
    hard times in our own lives.

Keep in Mind
  • Dont be alarmed by the old-fashioned language
    this is really a play about people who are a lot
    like us, and the difficult words, when you look
    at them carefully, express emotions anyone can
  • And remember, the play is POETRY its not
    supposed to be written exactly the way people
    talk. The poetry is part of what makes it
    beautiful and powerfuland worth reading.

Reading the Play
  • Two things to know
  • Sometimes a character will give a long speech all
    by herself, revealing her secret thoughts to the
    audience this is called a soliloquy.
  • Sometimes a character will just make a brief
    comment to the audience that the other characters
    dont hear this is called an aside.
  • Shakespeares plays were meant to be
    performedthey were some of the most popular
    entertainment of their time. So when we read the
    play, the point is to try and imagine it
    happening onstage!

Because of the minimal props and scenery, the
action in Shakespeares plays had to be conveyed
through words and conversations. A conversation
between characters is called DIALOGUE.
So Whos Who Here?
  • First of all, all of the characters in
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • are arranged around a central conflict between
    two rival families the Montagues and the
  • Shakespeares plays can have LOTS of characters.
    Lets try to get them straight in our minds

The Montagues
The Capulets
The Peacemakers
  • The Prince of Verona
  • This ruler tries to mediate between the feuding
  • He is pretty tired of all the bloodshed caused by
    their ancient grudge.
  • Friar Lawrence
  • This religious leader is respected as a holy man
    by both sides, and would like to see them
  • As a friar, hes interested not only in religion,
    but also in medicinal herbswhich becomes
    important later.

And finally
  • One other character
  • The Chorus
  • The Chorus is not a part of the action, but a
    speaker who comes onstage to make comments on the
    action. The Chorus is kind of like a TV
    announcer in contemporary lifeas far as the
    characters know, the chorus doesnt exist, but he
    helps explain things to us.