Saturday, June 11, 2011

Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scenes 1 and 2


Day 3 of Epic California Rpad Trip 2011! We are zipping through Arizona as we speak, only one state away from our final destination! I am so excited I can barely stand it. We have seen some beautiful landscapes today. I just can't wait for Sean to see how great Cali is. I'm telling you, if you've never taken a road trip across the United States, you're missing out. There's so much to see! I am ripping my eyes away from the scenery to write this down!

(see quote below.)

act 1, scene 1
A couple of Capulets and a couple of Montagues meet on the street. One 'bites their tongue' at the other (perhaps something like the middle finger to us?) and a fight breaks out. Benvolio, a friend of Romeo, tries to break the fight up. Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, tries to stir it up. Capulet and Montague themselves join the group, blaming the other family for starting the brawl. Finally Escalus, Prince of Verona, comes between them. He is sick and tired of this family feud. Anyone who causes a fight between them again will be put to death. As the crowd disperses, the Montagues ask Benvolio for Romeo's whereabouts. He has been seriously moping about, and they're worried about him. As they talk, they stumble upon him. Romeo's parents send Benvolio to check on him, and head back home. Benvolio learns that Romeo is very sick. Love-sick to be exact. He is in love with Rosaline, but she has sworn to life-long chastity. Benvolio suggests that Romeo find a new girl to love. Romeo finds it impossible to think of, but leaves with his friend nonetheless.

act 1, scene 2
Capulet enters with Paris, one of Escalus' family members. He is interested in marrying Juliet, but Capulet insists that she is too young. She isn't even 14 yet! Paris presses on, so Capulet agrees that he can at least court her for now. Capulet is having a party that night and invites Paris. As they leave, Capulet gives the rest of his guest list to a servant to take care of invitations. After they exit, we learn that the servant can't read. Benvolio and Romeo come along and help the servant read the list. On the list is none other than Rosaline herself. Benvolio and Romeo agree to secretly attend the party. Romeo hopes to see Rosaline, and Benvolio hopes Romeo will see that there are many other pretty girls to fall in love with.

I love Benvolio. He reminds me of Horatio from Hamlet, another of my favorite characters. He is a great friend. I also love that his name sounds like 'benevolent'.

Romeo is ridiculous. How are we supposed to take him seriously later when he falls in love with Juliet? He's so moony over Rosaline! And Juliet is only 13, a fortnight from 14. Can we take 13-year-old love seriously? How old is Romeo? Apparently, an average age for marriage at that time was several years older than that, so we can't even say it's just the time period. And yet, by play's end, we will all be crying. Shakespeare is mighty tricky.

Anyone recognize the prologue speech (below) from the musical Bare? So good!

Quote of the day:
'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-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.'
-Chorus; prologue

For tomorrow: act 1, scenes 3-5

-Rebecca May

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