Sunday, June 12, 2011

Romeo and Juliet Act 1, Scenes 3-5


day 4 of epic California road trip 2011!!! my brother came into L.A. from San Francisco for the day, and my grandma arrived for a two week stay. we got a guided tour of downtown L.A. by my dad and i had the most deeelish goat cheese tart for dinner. it was wonderful! now i need to wrap up my Shakespeare affairs so i can get some much-needed rest!

act 1, scene 3
Lady Capulet seeks out Juliet's Nurse to help her approach Juliet about Paris. when they go to talk to Juliet, it is clear that Nurse knows Juliet much better than her mother does. with Nurse by her side, Lady Capulet has the nerve to ask Juliet about her opinions on marriage, and on Paris in particular. Juliet promises her mother that she will take a look at him tonight at their party.

act 1, scene 4
Romeo, Benvolio, and their friend (another of the Prince's kinsmen) Mercutio, head out to the Capulet party with other friends. they are all ready, masks in hand, except for Romeo who is still moping about Rosaline. Mercutio tells Romeo, 'if love be rough with you, be rough with love'. Romeo begins to tell him that he has had a dream that this night will be ill-fated when Mercutio interrupts with his Queen Mab speech. once Romeo cuts him off, we learn of Romeo's dream. (see quote below.)

act 1, scene 5
at the party, the banquet has just ended and the dancing has begun. Romeo catches sight of Juliet and, not knowing who she is, falls instantly in love. 'did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!/for i ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' Tybalt recognizes Romeo's voice, and alerts Capulet to the Montague invasion. he is absolutely enraged, and wants to start a fight right then and there. Capulet, however, wants no fighting. he has heard that Romeo is a good kid and commands Tybalt to let it go. meanwhile, Romeo and Juliet begin their little flirting moment which leads to their first (and second) kiss. naughty! Juliet is pulled away by Nurse to speak with her mother. Nurse reveals Juliet's identity to Romeo. he, of course, is crushed. as he is leaving, Juliet sends Nurse to find out who Romeo is. her biggest fear is that he might be married. when Nurse returns with the news, Juliet is also devastated.even worse

act 1, scene 4 is a little fuzzy for me. some of it is confusing. i've seen that Queen Mab speech portrayed in so many different ways. i think my personal favorite was in the DiCaprio/Danes film, maybe because Harold Perrineau is AMAZING! but anyway, if anyone cares to share their thoughts/experience with this, we would all be most obliged. and when he says 'prick love with pricking,' is he suggesting to diffuse the hardships of true love by having sex?

hm... again... by the text it is pretty difficult to take the lovers seriously. i know it's only act one, but Romeo's shift in affection is so darn fast. it feels ridiculous. when will this turn around?

this makes me think about how intense teenagers can be. (this is not a criticism. i love teens. my primary work is directing teens.) everything is uber-felt. it's kind of like- this is what can happen when you don't talk to your kids and you try to bar them from life. they get carried away. the more you fight them, the more they fight back and cling to the thing you don't want them to. for me this isn't a tragic love story. it's a tragic tale of bad parenting and what can happen as a result of it. (that was my aha moment for the day.) The Fantasticks, anyone?

quote of the day:
'i fear, too early; for my mind misgives
some consequence yet hanging in the stars
shall bitterly begin his fearful date
with this night's revels, and expire the term
of a despised life closed in my breast
by some vile forfeit of untimely death.
but He that hat the steerage of my course
direct my suit! on, lusty gentlemen.'
   -Romeo; act 1, scene 4

for tomorrow: some or all of act 2! fare thee well!

-rebecca may

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