Day 2 of epic California road trip 2011!!! Wahoo! We left New Orleans today and headed straight for Killeen, Texas to visit my cousin's wonderful wife and their gorgeous baby daughter. Then we headed out to west Texas for some more camping, and in a much more beautiful setting his go round. A river and mountain as our backdrop? Yes please! Also the wifi isnt 100% here, so you'll have to forgive my brevity. It took me 30 minutes just to log on!
Here's some stuff I learned about R and J today:
So even though this play is a 'tragedy', it actually has a lot more in common with Shakespeare's early romantic comedies than his other tragedies. First of all, it was the only tragedy other than the 'experimental' (according to Bevington) Titus Andronicus to be written in the first decade of Shakespeare's career. The play doesn't concern itself with a tragic hero, as the other tragedies do, but with naive lovers. This is exactly what we have seen in such plays as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labor's Lost. In fact, this whole idea of 'the course of true love never did run smooth' that we saw in Midsummer is arguably the main theme in R and J. The domestic troubles the lovers have are also something usually found in comedies. These conflicts, as in Midsummer, usually all work themselves out in the end. That is (obviously) the difference here. This play even has some of the stock characters we are used to seeing in the comedies: the controlling father, rival wooer, and the bawdy nurse. The lovers themselves first appear almost comedically. Romeo is hopelessly and unrequitedly in 'love' with Rosaline until he sees Juliet. This kind of sets us up to see him as a fool rather than a tragic figure. Maybe that's part of the genius of the play! Shakes sets it up for us as a romantic comedy and then it turns out to be something far from that. Awesome.
i hope you will read along with me, and I hope I will be able to post this blog from the road!
For tomorrow: act 1