Saturday, June 25, 2011

Romeo and Juliet Act 5, Scene 3


what a week this has been! whew! we got home from our California road trip, i started working at LUSH, my show opened, and i had family in town. yeesh! all i have to do for the rest of the weekend is work and Shakespeare. thank goodness! i don't think i could take any more than that. that being said, i have some bath bombs and bubble bars from LUSH to try out, so let's get this show on the road!

act 5, scene 3
Paris arrives at Juliet's tomb with his Page. 'sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed i strew--' he says. Paris' page signals him that someone is coming, and Paris hides. it is Romeo, of course, with his man Balthasar. Romeo gives Balthasar a letter for his father and threatens him with physical violence if Balthasar doesn't leave him alone now. Romeo gives him money and sends him off, but Balthasar hides close by just in case. Paris steps out of the shadows to challenge Romeo. he thinks Juliet killed herself because of Tybalt's death(caused by Romeo), so he is ready to fight. Romeo, not realizing it is Paris, tries to get him to understand and go away, but Paris persists. they fight, and Paris dies. Romeo realizes that the person he has killed is Paris and remembers that Balthasar told him that Paris wanted to marry Juliet. out of respect for a man who loved his love, he brings him into the Capulet's monument to lay there in death. Romeo sees Juliet. he notices that she still looks alive and as beautiful as ever. he is distraught. he is ready to accept death. he kisses Juliet, drinks the poison, and dies. Friar Laurence finally arrives and runs into Balthasar. worried, he rushes into the tomb to find Paris and Romeo dead, and Juliet just waking up. he tries to get her to leave the tomb, but she will not. he hears people coming, gets scared, and flees. Juliet sees Romeo. she longs to die with him. (see quote below.) she hears voices, grabs Romeo's dagger, and kills herself. watchmen, Paris' page, Balthasar, and others come and go as they all figure out what has happened. the prince is summoned, along with the Capulets and Montagues. they find Friar Laurence, and bring him back to the tomb. everyone is grief-stricken and confused by what they see. Montague reveals that his wife has also killed herself, for grief over Romeo's banishment. Friar Laurence, the page, and Balthasar re-cap everything they know. finally, the truth is revealed to all. the Prince comments that 'all are punished.' the Capulets and Montague make amends. Montague will have a golden statue of Juliet built for the town, and Capulet will allow Romeo to be buried alongside his wife, Juliet. they join hands in sorrow. the Prince finishes the play with this comment: 'for never was a story of more woe/ than this of Juliet and her Romeo.'

there was a surprising moment of sweetness of Paris' moment at Juliet's grave. i didn't remember that AT ALL. it was the first time i realized that he really loved her. and it touched me. also, i always thought Paris was a little older, but Romeo calls him a 'youth'. is he young too? if so, that would completely change my opinion of him. in that case, i feel like he becomes such a tragic character. man, he never even had a CHANCE. poor Paris!

is Friar Laurence a coward? he helps them when doors are closed, but as soon as he hears a watchman coming, he bolts. he leaves a 13-year-old alone in a tomb. her husband is dead. he got her into this mess. and he just leaves her! not cool, Friar Laurence.

i had forgotten the change Luhrmann made to this scene. in the text, Romeo dies, some other stuff happens, and then Juliet wakes up. in the film, Romeo takes the poison, and Juliet wakes up. they have the briefest moment of eye contact before he dies. it's so good! why didn't you think of that, Shakespeare! HA. just that moment of realization... so intense... maybe the purists might think it was cheap? but i thought it was A MAY MAY!
quote of the day:
'go, get thee hence, for i will not away.
what's here? a cup, closed in my true love's hand?
poison, i see, hath been his timeless end.
o churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop
to help me after? i will kiss thy lips;
haply some poison doth hang on them,
to make me die with a restorative. (she kisses him.)
thy lips are warm.'

another play down! huzzah! for tomorrow: sonnets 43-47

-rebecca may

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