History Fridge / RomeoAndJuliet

12th Jul '17 1:25:29 AM CharlesPhipps
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*** As one Renaissance Professor told me, "Marriages happened when women were younger but not that younger." However, more to the relevant point, Juliet's father is actually creeped out by Paris ''in the play'' and wants to put it off for a couple more years at least. It's only when he thinks she's emotionally devastated by her cousin's death that he agrees.
4th Apr '17 6:28:54 AM Theatre_Maven_3695
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* I went into reading ''RomeoAndJuliet'' expecting something romantic, if sad, and instead wound up reading about two teenagers (barely) who "fall in love" and make a series of really, really bad decisions and selfish choices before they die. It was several months later before I realize that Shakespeare had not even intended to write a romance, despite popular belief, but had actually been TRYING to warn against impulsiveness. -RaspberyParfait
** Alternatively, RomeoAndJuliet was one of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's earlier plays (it ''was''), and like the early work of many authors and artists, it sucked and it only became popular because of who wrote it. Using this theory, one can take the dumb show from ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'' and see it as Creator/WilliamShakespeare {{lampshad|eHanging}}ing the crappiness of his own early work. -@/{{Ikaru}}
** Both close, but not quite. ''RomeoAndJuliet'' is a GenreDeconstruction of the bawdy romances that were popular in Shakespeare's day. It proceeds according to the associated romantic comedy tropes for the first half, then RealityEnsues with Mercutio's death and things quickly get out of hand. This is the reason for the prologue, something rare in Shakespeare- the audience has to be ''told'' what the play is going to be about, otherwise they'll get miffed at the [[MoodWhiplash sudden switch from romance comedy to tragedy.]] - BellosTheMighty

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* I went into reading ''RomeoAndJuliet'' expecting something romantic, if sad, and instead wound up reading about two teenagers (barely) who "fall in love" and make a series of really, really bad decisions and selfish choices before they die. It was several months later before I realize that Shakespeare had not even intended to write a romance, despite popular belief, but had actually been TRYING to warn against impulsiveness. -RaspberyParfait
impulsiveness.
** Alternatively, RomeoAndJuliet was one of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's earlier plays (it ''was''), and like the early work of many authors and artists, it sucked and it only became popular because of who wrote it. Using this theory, one can take the dumb show from ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'' and see it as Creator/WilliamShakespeare {{lampshad|eHanging}}ing the crappiness of his own early work. -@/{{Ikaru}}
work.
** Both close, but not quite. ''RomeoAndJuliet'' is a GenreDeconstruction of the bawdy romances that were popular in Shakespeare's day. It proceeds according to the associated romantic comedy tropes for the first half, then RealityEnsues with Mercutio's death and things quickly get out of hand. This is the reason for the prologue, something rare in Shakespeare- the audience has to be ''told'' what the play is going to be about, otherwise they'll get miffed at the [[MoodWhiplash sudden switch from romance comedy to tragedy.]] - BellosTheMighty]]



** I've always heard it called a love story, but if it's about love, this play sucks. Then someone told me "It's not a love story, it's a hate story." And it's so much easier to like the story that way--because all the "love" I see appears to be horniness and stupidity, but there's plenty of random, unexplained hate that exists because generations ago someone did...something, we're not sure what, and now it's so out of hand that people who should've gotten off lightly for being stupid youths are dead.--HapaxLegomenon
* I used to dislike ''RomeoAndJuliet''. No, I practically despised it. I was convinced that it glorified teenage angst and falling in love at the drop of a pin and then acting like an idiot afterwards. Compared to shows like ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' and ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'', the romance seemed more about hormones than anything deeper. Then, I read it again in college. And I realized that, while Romeo still comes off as a lovestruck teen, Juliet comes off much better. She's the one who makes plans and follows through with them. She's the one who sets up the scheme at the end for them to be together. Only at the end, after both the love of her life and the arranged husband that she agreed to "look to like if looking liking lead" are dead does she succumb to despair and turn to the dagger. Of course, I also suspect that the high school version may have had all the good bits pulled out of it for space and {{bowdlerization}}. -- Tropers/FuzzyBoots
** It's amazing how easily people overlook the fact that RomeoAndJuliet is about war and violence as much as it is about love; or more accurately, it's about the way they influence and interact with each other. I didn't realize this until I watched the Zeffirelli production for the first time in college, at the tail end of my History and Political Science majors. I mean, this is not the kid-friendly lovey dovey show people seem to think it is- for god's sake, the opening scene is two of the Capulets talking about raping and/or decapitating the women of their enemy's house. And the famous lines- ''what's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor any other part belonging to a man''- are actually a profound moment of political awakening for Juliet, the moment she realizes that there's a vast gulf between the labels attached to a person and their fundamental humanity. Vonnegut, consummate cynic though he was, mentions RomeoAndJuliet in the prologue to ''Literature/BreakfastOfChampions'' as an example of something sacred, and this troper suspects there's a reason he chose this play, out of all of Shakespeare's: That man understood war. -- LaplacesKyton

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** I've always heard it called a love story, but if it's about love, this play sucks. Then someone told me "It's not a love story, it's a hate story." And it's so much easier to like the story that way--because all the "love" I see appears to be horniness and stupidity, but there's plenty of random, unexplained hate that exists because generations ago someone did...something, we're not sure what, and now it's so out of hand that people who should've gotten off lightly for being stupid youths are dead.--HapaxLegomenon
dead.
* I used to dislike ''RomeoAndJuliet''. No, I practically despised it. I was convinced that it glorified teenage angst and falling in love at the drop of a pin and then acting like an idiot afterwards. Compared to shows like ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' and ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'', the romance seemed more about hormones than anything deeper. Then, I read it again in college. And I realized that, while Romeo still comes off as a lovestruck teen, Juliet comes off much better. She's the one who makes plans and follows through with them. She's the one who sets up the scheme at the end for them to be together. Only at the end, after both the love of her life and the arranged husband that she agreed to "look to like if looking liking lead" are dead does she succumb to despair and turn to the dagger. Of course, I also suspect that the high school version may have had all the good bits pulled out of it for space and {{bowdlerization}}. -- Tropers/FuzzyBoots
{{bowdlerization}}.
** It's amazing how easily people overlook the fact that RomeoAndJuliet is about war and violence as much as it is about love; or more accurately, it's about the way they influence and interact with each other. I didn't realize this until I watched the Zeffirelli production for the first time in college, at the tail end of my History and Political Science majors. I mean, this is not the kid-friendly lovey dovey show people seem to think it is- for god's sake, the opening scene is two of the Capulets talking about raping and/or decapitating the women of their enemy's house. And the famous lines- ''what's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor any other part belonging to a man''- are actually a profound moment of political awakening for Juliet, the moment she realizes that there's a vast gulf between the labels attached to a person and their fundamental humanity. Vonnegut, consummate cynic though he was, mentions RomeoAndJuliet in the prologue to ''Literature/BreakfastOfChampions'' as an example of something sacred, and this troper suspects there's a reason he chose this play, out of all of Shakespeare's: That man understood war. -- LaplacesKyton



*** I actually saw Rosaline's presence in the play as a way of introducing ambiguity. Romeo's initial infatuation with Rosaline could mean one of two things: Either that he's an unintentional manskank who falls for women easily and is a slave to his infatuations when he does, or that his love for Juliet was the real deal- real enough to pull him out of his funk and make him recognize his crush on Rosaline as the petty infatuation it was. Which makes the burying of the parents' strife all the more powerful- not only does Shakespeare illustrate that love can be a real political force, but that it's a better way than violence even in it's dumbest and most adolescent forms. -- LaplacesKyton
*** High school teachers regularly screw up teaching ''Romeo and Juliet'' because they assume it was written to appeal especially to youth. This causes them to concentrate only on the love story, as if everything else going on was irrelevant, and teenagers end up viewing the play as sappy and maudlin. But ''Romeo and Juliet'' is much more than a love story, and it was written primarily to appeal to adults (the people who bought tickets). The Aesops one can take from the play range from "we can't always get what we want, because the fates can act against us and there's nothing we can do about it" to "if you keep your daughters stupid they're likely to fall prey to the local Lothario" to "Italian customs bad, English customs good". Elizabethan audiences would have seen the Capulets as negligent parents, Romeo as a liar and a con artist who took the opportunity to get into the pants of an emotionally distressed thirteen-year-old, and Paris as a sleaze who wanted to marry a barely pubescent girl. (The trope of the time was that marrying a virgin would cure syphilis, so any man who wanted to marry one was assumed to be poxy.) Most playgoers in the 17th and 18th centuries who described the play in their diaries or otherwise (such as Samuel Pepys, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, and David Hume) universally disliked it, seeing it as brutal, heartless, and even coarse. It took the chocolate-box Victorians to play up the love and romance angle and to discard everything else. -- Blurgle, who has taught Shakespeare for years and who is constantly unamazed at how badly high school teachers screw up every single play

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*** I actually saw Rosaline's presence in the play as a way of introducing ambiguity. Romeo's initial infatuation with Rosaline could mean one of two things: Either that he's an unintentional manskank who falls for women easily and is a slave to his infatuations when he does, or that his love for Juliet was the real deal- real enough to pull him out of his funk and make him recognize his crush on Rosaline as the petty infatuation it was. Which makes the burying of the parents' strife all the more powerful- not only does Shakespeare illustrate that love can be a real political force, but that it's a better way than violence even in it's dumbest and most adolescent forms. -- LaplacesKyton\n
*** High school teachers regularly screw up teaching ''Romeo and Juliet'' because they assume it was written to appeal especially to youth. This causes them to concentrate only on the love story, as if everything else going on was irrelevant, and teenagers end up viewing the play as sappy and maudlin. But ''Romeo and Juliet'' is much more than a love story, and it was written primarily to appeal to adults (the people who bought tickets). The Aesops one can take from the play range from "we can't always get what we want, because the fates can act against us and there's nothing we can do about it" to "if you keep your daughters stupid they're likely to fall prey to the local Lothario" to "Italian customs bad, English customs good". Elizabethan audiences would have seen the Capulets as negligent parents, Romeo as a liar and a con artist who took the opportunity to get into the pants of an emotionally distressed thirteen-year-old, and Paris as a sleaze who wanted to marry a barely pubescent girl. (The trope of the time was that marrying a virgin would cure syphilis, so any man who wanted to marry one was assumed to be poxy.) Most playgoers in the 17th and 18th centuries who described the play in their diaries or otherwise (such as Samuel Pepys, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, and David Hume) universally disliked it, seeing it as brutal, heartless, and even coarse. It took the chocolate-box Victorians to play up the love and romance angle and to discard everything else. -- Blurgle, who has taught Shakespeare for years and who is constantly unamazed at how badly high school teachers screw up every single play



** You get an entirely different look on the works of William Shakespere, once you realize the man wasn't trying to create ''Fine Art'', but was just writing and directing plays as a job, adapting historical tales (Macbeth, Richard III, the Death of Caesar, etc) and writing "stock" drama, comedy and romances, not for scholars and kings, but for the commoners who routinely attended his shows. This makes William Shakespere the Elizabethan equivalent of a Hollywood director, and his most famous plays are the period's Blockbuster movies. So, whenever you see Hollywood rip off Shakespere's plays to make a movie, keep this in mind: He'd probably have approved. -- lonewolf23k

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** You get an entirely different look on the works of William Shakespere, once you realize the man wasn't trying to create ''Fine Art'', but was just writing and directing plays as a job, adapting historical tales (Macbeth, Richard III, the Death of Caesar, etc) and writing "stock" drama, comedy and romances, not for scholars and kings, but for the commoners who routinely attended his shows. This makes William Shakespere the Elizabethan equivalent of a Hollywood director, and his most famous plays are the period's Blockbuster movies. So, whenever you see Hollywood rip off Shakespere's plays to make a movie, keep this in mind: He'd probably have approved. -- lonewolf23k



** I first read this play in 10th grade, and it wasn't really until college that I realized it's not about star-crossed romance, as teachers had suggested, but about the futility of keeping feuds going. The moral isn't "Don't be a doofus about falling in love", it's "Look at what you can destroy with your anger if you let it blind you". Half of both the families are dead at the end of the play, and the people who had a chance at happiness die tear-jerking deaths solely because they had to sneak around about their love. -- {{becky}}

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** I first read this play in 10th grade, and it wasn't really until college that I realized it's not about star-crossed romance, as teachers had suggested, but about the futility of keeping feuds going. The moral isn't "Don't be a doofus about falling in love", it's "Look at what you can destroy with your anger if you let it blind you". Half of both the families are dead at the end of the play, and the people who had a chance at happiness die tear-jerking deaths solely because they had to sneak around about their love. -- {{becky}}



*** He ought to know, since two of those snuffed-out lives were kinsmen of ''his''. -- (Maven)

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*** He ought to know, since two of those snuffed-out lives were kinsmen of ''his''. -- (Maven)
22nd Mar '17 7:41:21 AM cdrood
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** Yes and no. While they would have had more expectations and responsibilities placed on them as high ranking members of wealthy families, they would still have been considered immature and not really taken seriously. Much of the "marriage at 13" that most people think of as common in history is really myth. It was common for nobility as it was more a means of securing alliances. Commoners tended to marry in their very late teens or early 20's. A perfect example is how young kings weren't allowed to really rule in their early teens. They were usually older when the assumed true power, if at all.
11th Mar '17 4:01:37 PM nombretomado
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** Alternatively, RomeoAndJuliet was one of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's earlier plays (it ''was''), and like the early work of many authors and artists, it sucked and it only became popular because of who wrote it. Using this theory, one can take the dumb show from ''AMidsummerNightsDream'' and see it as Creator/WilliamShakespeare {{lampshad|eHanging}}ing the crappiness of his own early work. -@/{{Ikaru}}

to:

** Alternatively, RomeoAndJuliet was one of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's earlier plays (it ''was''), and like the early work of many authors and artists, it sucked and it only became popular because of who wrote it. Using this theory, one can take the dumb show from ''AMidsummerNightsDream'' ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'' and see it as Creator/WilliamShakespeare {{lampshad|eHanging}}ing the crappiness of his own early work. -@/{{Ikaru}}
27th Feb '17 8:51:51 AM Qiam
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** Dignity here is used to denote the Montagues and Capulets as wealthy, noble families - hence the arrangement between Paris ans Juliet.
10th Feb '17 6:06:35 PM BrendanRizzo
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* "Two families, both alike in dignity," -- that is to say, the two families have ''[[EvilVersusEvil no]]'' dignity whatsoever.
16th Jan '17 6:38:59 AM Morgenthaler
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* I used to dislike ''RomeoAndJuliet''. No, I practically despised it. I was convinced that it glorified teenage angst and falling in love at the drop of a pin and then acting like an idiot afterwards. Compared to shows like ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' and ''AsYouLikeIt'', the romance seemed more about hormones than anything deeper. Then, I read it again in college. And I realized that, while Romeo still comes off as a lovestruck teen, Juliet comes off much better. She's the one who makes plans and follows through with them. She's the one who sets up the scheme at the end for them to be together. Only at the end, after both the love of her life and the arranged husband that she agreed to "look to like if looking liking lead" are dead does she succumb to despair and turn to the dagger. Of course, I also suspect that the high school version may have had all the good bits pulled out of it for space and {{bowdlerization}}. -- Tropers/FuzzyBoots

to:

* I used to dislike ''RomeoAndJuliet''. No, I practically despised it. I was convinced that it glorified teenage angst and falling in love at the drop of a pin and then acting like an idiot afterwards. Compared to shows like ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' and ''AsYouLikeIt'', ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'', the romance seemed more about hormones than anything deeper. Then, I read it again in college. And I realized that, while Romeo still comes off as a lovestruck teen, Juliet comes off much better. She's the one who makes plans and follows through with them. She's the one who sets up the scheme at the end for them to be together. Only at the end, after both the love of her life and the arranged husband that she agreed to "look to like if looking liking lead" are dead does she succumb to despair and turn to the dagger. Of course, I also suspect that the high school version may have had all the good bits pulled out of it for space and {{bowdlerization}}. -- Tropers/FuzzyBoots
20th Aug '16 2:37:51 PM Kitchen90
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* The Nurse is possibly right to encourage Juliet to marry Paris when Romeo is assumed dead. Remember that Romeo immediately dropped his attraction to Rosaline to fall in love with Juliet. What if Rosaline wasn't the first girl that Romeo had a crush on? And if Juliet ''did'' discover he was alive and then run away with him, how long would their romance last until the Romeo fell in love with the next girl? Paris is probably going to be a more faithful husband.
8th Mar '15 6:08:02 AM FuzzyBoots
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* This troper used to dislike ''RomeoAndJuliet''. No, this troper practically despised it. He was convinced that it glorified teenage angst and falling in love at the drop of a pin and then acting like an idiot afterwards. Compared to shows like ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' and ''AsYouLikeIt'', the romance seemed more about hormones than anything deeper. Then, he read it again in college. And realized that, while Romeo still comes off as a lovestruck teen, Juliet comes off much better. She's the one who makes plans and follows through with them. She's the one who sets up the scheme at the end for them to be together. Only at the end, after both the love of her life and the arranged husband that she agreed to "look to like if looking liking lead" are dead does she succumb to despair and turn to the dagger. Of course, this troper also suspects that the high school version may have had all the good bits pulled out of it for space and {{bowdlerization}}. -- FuzzyBoots

to:

* This troper I used to dislike ''RomeoAndJuliet''. No, this troper I practically despised it. He I was convinced that it glorified teenage angst and falling in love at the drop of a pin and then acting like an idiot afterwards. Compared to shows like ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' and ''AsYouLikeIt'', the romance seemed more about hormones than anything deeper. Then, he I read it again in college. And I realized that, while Romeo still comes off as a lovestruck teen, Juliet comes off much better. She's the one who makes plans and follows through with them. She's the one who sets up the scheme at the end for them to be together. Only at the end, after both the love of her life and the arranged husband that she agreed to "look to like if looking liking lead" are dead does she succumb to despair and turn to the dagger. Of course, this troper I also suspects suspect that the high school version may have had all the good bits pulled out of it for space and {{bowdlerization}}. -- FuzzyBootsTropers/FuzzyBoots
20th Aug '14 12:07:26 AM vifetoile
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*** Arranging a marriage is one thing. It's another thing to seek to have a marriage enacted and made official -- and consummated -- when a girl was still prepubescent. And there's something skeevy about the way that Paris tells Juliet to smile, because her smiles belong to him, now.
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