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Bard Talk: The Shakespeare Thread:

Though with Cinna the poet (Pannic is an idiot and got it confused with Casca) it was a One-Scene Wonder who appeared in that one scene solely to get lynched by the mob. Bit of black comedy there.

Also, can't forget Falstaff. He's mentioned in Henry V has having died, so he died somewhere in the space between Henry IV and Henry V.

edited 7th Oct '12 7:07:44 PM by Pannic

 102 Hodor, Thu, 14th Feb '13 1:06:26 PM from Westeros
Cleric of Banjo
Depending on how much the performance plays out their comic aspects, Rodrigo in Othello and Polonius in Hamlet are fairly comical characters, and their getting killed off is what underscores that the work in which they appear is a tragedy.
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 103 kalel 94, Mon, 8th Apr '13 11:49:28 AM from Dragonstone
Rascal King
[up] Same goes for Mercutio in R and J.
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I've often heard that Romeo and Juliet are horny morons who get punished for their own stupidity, and it's an interpretation I really, really dislike. (As a sidenote; I've heard that the poem by Arthur Brooke, which Shakespeare used for inspiration, really was meant as a cautionary tale against the dangers of pre-marital love, but that Shakespeare in his adaptation decided to side with the lovers instead and make them much more sympathetic.)

Despite their recklessness and shallowness when it comes to romance, Romeo and Juliet are actually among the saner members of the cast. The entire city of Verona is occupied in this pointless feud that's been going on for so long that no one even knows what it's about anymore. Romeo and Juliet are among the few characters who learn to see the other family as something else than simply an object irrational hatred, and the two of them breaking away from this mindset is what finally ends the conflict and exposes just how ridiculous it all is. People point out that they only knew each other for a couple of days, but that is because of the feud keeping them separated from each other before the masquerade and then leading to their deaths after the masquerade. People complain that they choose to die because of their romance but seem to forget how absurd it is that they even had to face such a decision. People say they are reckless due to how they risk getting caught, but doesn't seem to care about why they have to worry about getting caught simply talking to each other in the first place. As people so often point out, they simply had a shallow teenage crush, in any sane world this would not have to be such a big secret. It's true that their deaths are a punishment for foolishness, but not for their own foolishenss, but rather for the foolishness of their parents (this is explicitly stated in the very last scene of the play). While I agree that they are very reckless and foolish, the truth is that if they didn't live in a world even more insane than they are, their tragic fates would likely have been avoided.

TL;DR: I think that Romeo and Juliet makes more sense as a story about the pointlessness of hate rather than a story about the Power of Love (although The Power of Love still plays an important part in exposing said pointlessness).

 105 lancesolous 13, Sat, 3rd May '14 4:47:12 PM from California Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
[up]That's the same way most of us felt when my school put on Romeo and Juliet. I really have never seen it as a Love Story at its basics; but a story that is meant to show how BOTH Love and Hate can lead to a destructive outcome. Funny enough, the actors who played R+J didn't feel the same and saw it as a love story.

Also, I see it as a Love Triangle between Juliet/Romeo/Mercutio and I think the text really agrees with it at a number of points. "A PLAGUE ON BOTH OF YOUR HOUSES!" and what stops the letter to Romeo from reaching him? A plague. Additionally, Mercutio's dialogue is peppered with innuendo of all kinds; I think its such a waste to not add a new level to them by adding some truth to his words.

edited 3rd May '14 4:47:41 PM by lancesolous13

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I don't even like Romeo and Juliet that much, I just get annoyed when people try to turn the play's victims into its villains.

 107 Hodor, Tue, 6th May '14 11:23:40 AM from Westeros
Cleric of Banjo
[up] and [up][up][up][awesome]

Thank-you. I think that idea has become popular as sort of an anti-Twilight kind of thing directed against teen romances, but as you indicate, a big part of the play is the idea that these are people that could/should have met and fallen in love under better circumstances, but things went wrong because of the stupid feud between their families. Seriously, the play itself makes that clear, especially because (as you noted) Shakespeare's source does blame the tragedy on disobeying one's parents, whereas Shakespeare's work doesn't (Juliet's parents actually come off in a fairly unsympathetic light).

Also, glad to see posts in this thread. I recently attended a reading/production of Alls Well That Ends Well and found it very enjoyable.

edited 6th May '14 11:25:14 AM by Hodor

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If anyone's interested, Kyle Kallgren of That Guy with the Glasses has recently completed his Shakespeare Month, in which he's reviewed seven different Shakespeare movies, including that 1996 Romeo + Juliet movie that is set in the Nineties, the 1995 Richard III movie that turns the title character into the British Hitler, a porno named A Midsummer Night's Cream and more. He concludes it all with an Anti-Stratfordian movie by Roland Emmerich, treating it just as you hope he will. If this sounds interesting to you, just follow the link I posted and watch everything from "Shakespeare Month: Intro" to "Anonymous".

edited 28th May '14 1:39:35 PM by Druplesnubb

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