I played Benvolio in the hot seating exercise. The majority of the questions were asked about my relationship with Rosaline. The first and the most challenging question that I has asked in role was: “If you’d have to chose between your family and Rosaline, which one would you chose?”. I found it very difficult to answer, because Benvolio does love Rosaline very much, but would he leave his family, who has raised him for all of his life, for a girl? I believed that at that point Benvolio would leave almost everything for Rosaline. He was blinded by love and his family wanted revenge, whilst the only thing he wished was peace. Benvolio had deep feeling towards Rosaline and he truly believed that he has the power to win her heart and erase the hatred, only if he would give her time.
Another quite interesting question from Plub was raised “How did I know that Rosaline is not going to kill me in the elections of ‘The Prince of Cats?”. My answer was again referring to the fact that Benvolio was extremely in love with Rosaline – “It was in her eyes. She couldn’t do it.” This shows that Benvolio believed only the best of the girl.
This hotseating exercise made me more optimistic that the peace can be achieved between the two families, because Benvolio showed strong feelings of love for Rosaline. Feelings that are strong enough, I believe, to destroy her hatred. Rosaline had already shown some moments of hesitation (she didn’t hurt Benvolio in the end of the elections of ‘The Prince of Cats’) of her dedication to revenge. Therefore if he keeps on trying to win the revolutionary girl’s heart, I am sure that he can achieve the aim. The fighters without the leader will fall apart and slowly the massive hatred between the families will disappear. But on the other hand, I believe that the oldest generation will try to continue the war, but they are too aged and tired to accomplish anything recognizable.
During hotseating I discovered that Benvolio is very straight-forward and open-minded person, who is not afraid to talk about his feelings. His character is sweet and gentle. But on the other hand after diving into his mind, I learnt that he was more blinded by love towards Rosaline that I thought… All the answers to the questions were about creating a better impression of Rosaline – that she is not a bad person by wanting revenge, just confused and hurt. I also wanted to put across Benvolio’s sense of hurt, because Rosaline is rejecting his love, by facial expressions and petite gestures.
Reason of the choice of still images
Still image one
The first still image introduces the situation – the hatred and suppressed urge to fight with each other, which is also referring to the theme of the play. Furthermore the first two characters, Valentine and Rosaline, both lost somebody dear to them in Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, therefore are very revengeful. Even more significant is the fact that Valentine and Rosaline are representatives of the opposite families: Montagues and Capulets. This noteworthy detail and their violent movement suggest that there is really no truce existing between the two families.
Still image two
Benvolio is offering Rosaline his love, whilst she is still devastated because of the loss of Romeo. This as well is one of the main points of the play: Benvolio is trying to stop the endless fight by opening her eyes. But Rosaline is blinded and deaf by the dead love. The scene shows the levels of power to emphasize that Rosaline is the one who makes decisions whether to be on the same side of Benvolio or not.
Still image three
In the still image ‘Revenge vs. Passion’ the levels of power are greatly highlighted. The situation is similar to Still image two, but in this scene Rosaline’s feelings have developed from mourning to hatred and revenge. This darkness has filled her heart and she can’t even look at people who care for her, because they might distract her from the mission. From the mission of revenge. It is the ultimate theme of the play: Is Rosaline’s hatred strong enough to carry out the revenge or Benvolio will stop her with his passion full of love.
Still image four
Rosaline goes to the tomb to steal the sword that lies between Romeo and Juliet. It is the turning point of the play, because now Rosaline has dangerous weapon. As previous still images have shown, Rosaline is full of rage and wants to spill the blood. And now she has the right tools for it. There is high range of tension, because Rosaline is having a monologue with dead Juliet – her jealousy and disgust, as well as nasty insultings became more powerful with each sentence. This suggests that she is confident and ready to have the revenge.
Still image five
The election for Prince of Cats has commenced. We chose this still image to show the audience will officially peace begin or revenge takes its chance. People on Rosaline’s side represent the rage and eager to fight, while Petruchio’s side is full of peace. As well as we can see from the still images, there are more people on Rosaline’s side, which means that the revenge will continue. Alice is in between the two leaders. With that point we wanted to represent the fact that she loves Petruchio, but the urge to fight it too strong.
Still image six
The last still image signifies the testing of Rosaline’s love and revengeful feelings. She lays her sword on Benvolio’s chest. Rosaline does not cut nor hurt him; however she has the chance, which means that even though her heart is full of hatred, there is hope for it to cool down. There is hope for peace. But still the war hasn’t ended, because nobody laid their weapons down.