Romeo and Juliet Essay
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As you are my drama teacher, I am writing to inform you that I have been chosen to play the role of Juliet in the forthcoming 21st century film ‘Romeo and Juliet’. I am extremely pleased to have been chosen to play such an important role and I am writing to request some of your professional guidance. I have already thought through how I intend to approach the role in various scenes. However, I am unsure whether my ideas fit Shakespeare’s description and actions of Juliet.
I would be extremely grateful if you could spare some time to read over my thoughts and point me in the right direction to getting the most out of playing this role.
I see Juliet as a lonely, young girl who spends most of her time inside with her closest, if not only friend The Nurse. Juliet is ‘yet a stranger to the world’ said by Lord Capulet (Juliet’s father) and had known none other than to obey her parents. The Nurse brought Juliet up from a small child, as her Biological mother would have nothing to do with it because of her own importance. This meant that whenever Lady Capulet went to speak to her daughter it was for an important reason and it would be a formal conversation with the Nurse in the same room.
Whereas The Nurse spoke very openly to Juliet expressing all her thoughts and opinions giving Juliet all the advice she needed. Throughout the play you can tell the Nurse makes it her main priority to maintain Juliet’s happiness. This is shown when The Nurse betrays her employer, risking her job just to arrange Juliet’s marriage and last night with Romeo. At the beginning of the Play Juliet is a nai?? ve child who has thought little about love and marriage. However, after falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy she seems to grow up very quickly.
Juliet’s development consists from being a wide-eyed girl into a self-assured, loyal and capable woman. Do you think this is how Shakespeare wanted me to see Juliet? Having read the book and watched other films this is how Juliet’s character comes across to me and its how intend to act the role. The two scenes I have thought about in depth are; Act 1 scene 5 (Capulet’s party) and Act 2 scene 2 (Juliet’s balcony). I have thought about these scenes quite a lot as I feel they are key scenes within the play which need to be acted out very well. During the course of Act 1 scene 5 at the Capulet mansion, Romeo and Juliet meet.
This is a very dramatic scene which was not planned at all, it just happened and no one could change it. Romeo was at the party to see Rosaline and Juliet was at the party ‘to look to like’ Paris: whom her parents wanted her to marry. But once Romeo and Juliet set their eyes on each other there was no stopping them. When Juliet first sets her eyes on Romeo I think she feels quite flattered that such a handsome man is looking at her and doesn’t know quite how to react. Shakespeare gives the impression that Juliet has not had past relationships so doesn’t know how to deal with situations like this.
Her innocence is contributed to by her lack of experience and young age (she is only thirteen). This is my idea of Juliet’s thoughts in this key moment when she first sees Romeo. As soon as Romeo and Juliet begin talking to each other you can tell they are two very intelligent people who are falling in love with each other more and more by the second. I think at first Romeo should keep trying to kiss Juliet whilst she turns away. This will then make Juliet confused and have second thoughts over Romeo leading her to think he is like all other men and only after one thing, sex.
However after a long conversation involving romantic poetry it makes Juliet really see what a sweet heart he is. During this conversation with Romeo I think I, being Juliet, would act extremely happy and would appear to be wooed by love. Juliet has never loved anyone before so I think this feeling for her is extremely sensational and moving. I don’t think Juliet even thought for one moment that Romeo could be a Montague. Juliet’s first conversation with Romeo is a key point in the play as it really puts across Juliet’s sweet and gentle character.
Throughout their first conversation they speak in the form of a sonnet. This is the traditional way of writing love poetry. They have fourteen lines, each line has the same rhythm and every other line rhymes. This is extremely romantic and in those days you had to be very intelligent to do this. I think that being Juliet, after Romeo first speaking in a sonnet I will reply to him continuing the sonnet showing I am also very intelligent and quick thinking. I will also act very happily that by the second I am liking this person even more.
I will feel extremely privileged that he is treating me like a goddess and acting like a real gentleman. NEED PROOF OF THIS! When Romeo speaks to Juliet he compares her hand to a holy place (“shrine”) which he may defile (“profane”) with his hand. He compares his lips to pilgrims that can “smooth” away the “rough touch” of the hand with a kiss. EVIDENCE I COULD USE I think Juliet is extremely tempted to kiss Romeo right from the beginning but she doesn’t want to rush things incase she’s read him all wrong, and he isn’t the all nice man she sees him as.
However, towards the end of the conversation she can’t resist the temptation and kisses him. Right at the end of the scene, Romeo and Juliet’s worst nightmares come true, they are both children of the two heads of families that are great enemies. Romeo and Juliet were having so wooed by love that they don’t think twice that anything like this could have happened. After finding this out I think I will act completely gob smacked and speechless but so wounded by cupids arrow that nothing can get in between her and Romeo. Having kissed Romeo twice Juliet comes out with the line: “You kiss by th’ book”.
Act 1 scene 5 line 109 One common view, to which people believe, is that Juliet suggests Romeo has studied the art of kissing from this “book” she speaks of. When we speak of being “by the book”, it means we play by the rules, do everything right; and by doing everything right, what we are doing, must be perfect. So, it appears that Juliet is in fact suggesting that Romeo has ‘mastered’ the perfect kiss. However, many believe this to be a simple way of explaining the quote. To back this theory up, in act 1 scene 2, Juliet’s Father exclaims that Juliet is “yet a stranger to the world”.
Suggesting that she would never have loved or experienced a relationship before. By taking the quote and reading between the lines, I would have to conclude that Juliet would never have kissed before. The question this theory proposes is how could Juliet know of a perfect kiss, when she had never kissed before? So perhaps, Juliet’s words could be darker than we initially thought! It could in fact be an insult toward her ‘star-crossed lover’, meaning his kiss was taken from a book and therefore, not natural!
One last and more humorous outcome from Juliet’s line could be that Romeo ‘kissing by the book’ is line devoted to telling us his geographical position, which in this case would be next to a set of books or a bookcase at that. Unfortunately I was not present at the first showings of this play, so I could not tell you whether Shakespeare in fact placed Romeo next to a set of books or not. However I doubt the relevance of that as I doubt as much the line means Romeo is standing next to books.
For me, Shakespeare’s literature is far more expressive than that. In conclusion, by exploring all the possibly outcomes, the answer to me seems simple. Ironically also the simple view taken on Juliet’s meaning is the one I in fact think is correct. The idea that Juliet would insult Romeo is ludicrous and would not allow for the continuance of their perfect love. Their love would have been stained and I certainly do not think that when William Shakespeare wrote this play, he wrote it with the idea of demeaning the perfect ness of their love at all.
Therefore, the logical explanation for the meaning in Juliet’s words ‘You kiss by th’ book’ was used to justify, again their perfect love for each other. As everything must be perfect, Juliet was simply saying the kiss was the best she could have possibly received. I find all the conversations between Romeo and Juliet extremely romantic and touching. I feel that between the two of them, their conversation unwraps their love to the audience. I really want to act out this scene with emotion and act really passionate towards Romeo.
Their love for each other comes across really strongly when they speak to each other in imaginative love poetry and it seems like they have known each other for a long while, when really its only just one evening. I want to make Juliet’s character completely clear to the audience, seeing as she plays a major role in one of the most popular plays around. The other scene I have thought about in depth is the ‘Balcony scene’ (Act 2 scene 2). This is the scene directly after the party and it is where Romeo and Juliet declare their love for each other and arrange their marriage for the following day.
Juliet gets quite a shock when she is standing on her balcony proclaiming her love for Romeo when he jumps out of the blue into the sight of Juliet. I think Juliet feels extremely embarrassed by this, the fact that Romeo has just heard her speak continue sly about him and how much she loves him and then there he is. When Juliet is talking to herself about Romeo and how she can ignore the fact that he is Montague she quotes: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet” Act 2 scene 2 lines 43-45
By this Juliet means that she’s so in love with Romeo that she can totally blank out the fact that he’s a Montague. Here she says, why does it matter what your name is (Montague) it will never change the person that you are. So in other word she says ‘why judge a book by its cover’. So for the whole of these long speeches (IS IT SOLILOQUIS GARETH?! ) I will act as if I’m love sick like I’m missing Romeo already and I’ve only just met him. I will also just continuosly cover for him and the fact he is a Montague, how it doesn’t matter. Hey gaz, Can u check this over.
Correct mistakes! Thank you! The end is so lame coz I had 3 hrs sleep I have an excuse hehe! Ok I will do the ending some other day it shouldn’t take too long, I just need to basically conclude I think!? Thank you ! I LOVE U!? Lauren xxx When Juliet starts to back off from Romeo it is dramatic because Romeo knows that Juliet likes him and he just wants to spend time with Juliet but Juliet knows that she must go because they are in grave danger if they get caught. Then they won’t be able to spend time with each other and Romeo will probably get killed if caught.
It is dramatic when the nurse keeps interrupting Romeo and Juliet when they are talking near the end of the scene. The nurse does this by saying “Madam” then Juliet keeps talking to Romeo then says it again then Juliet carries on talking then the nurse says Juliet and Juliet replies by and by I come”. Then eventually she goes. This is dramatic because Juliet’s nurse keeps calling but she carries on talking to Romeo and then Juliet eventually decides to go and still can’t tear herself away from Romeo.