Great Book Reading: Romeo and Juliet
1760505637518001.0 Author introduction
William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and his plays have been translated into every major living language. CITATION Syl15 l 1033 (Sylviapurimas, 2015)Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children. Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. The year between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. At age 49 around 1613, he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. Until about 1608, he wrote mainly tragedies, among them Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies also known as romances and collaborated with other playwrights. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Shakespeare’s works have been continually adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain popular and are studied, performed, and reinterpreted through various cultural and political contexts around the world. CITATION Syl15 l 1033 (Sylviapurimas, 2015)2.0 Introduction about the book
Romeo and Juliet is love and tragedy story written by an Author named William Shakespeare early in his life hood about two young sincere lovers who died in the process of reuniting their families who was in the clash within each other. The story is considered among the most popular plays during his lifetime and along with a story named Hamlet. These story was the most popular plays or stories that was ever written by William Shakespeare in his career. For younger generations nowadays this story consider as role model for young lovers. Romeo and Juliet belongs to old tragic love tale or romances happened back in the middle ages. The plot is based on an Italian tale. For the history part Shakespeare borrowed the Tragically History of Romeos of Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567 but expanded the by increasing in number of the assisting characters of Mercutio and Paris.
Prince Escalus is the ruling Prince of Verona. Count Paris is a blood relative to of Escalus who has a rush or interest on Juliet. Mercutio is another blood relative of Escalus but he is a good friend of Romeo. Capulet is the patriarch or leader of the house of Capulet. Lady Capulet is the lady leader of the house of Capulet. Juliet Capulet is the 13 year old daughter of Capulet, she is the main role or heroine of the story. Tybalt is a cousin of Juliet and the nephew of lady Capulet. The nurse is Juliet’s personal attendant. Rosaline is lord Capulet’s niece and Romeo’s love in the beginning of the story. Montague is the leader of the house of Montague. Lady Montague is the lady leader of the house of Montague. Romeo Montague is the son of Montague and he is the main role or hero of the story. Benvolio is Romeo’s cousin and best friend
4.0 The critical theories, themes and valuable lessons
4.1 Feminist Criticism
Feminism is word for the movements and ideas targeted at defining, establishing, and defending equal rights for women in political, economic, cultural, and social rights. This include giving women the same equal chances for women in education and employment. A feminist is consider as a lawyer who argue for the good of women’s around the world so that they are protected well by all the individuals and for the equality of women. Feminist theory, which provoked from feminist process, aims to understand the nature of sex or gender inequality that is given for women’s social roles and lived experience. It has developed theories in a variety of discipline in order to respond to issues such as the social constructions of sex and gender.
For an example, the story portrait the narrative of male domination in regard to female bodies by exploring the economic, social, political, and psychological. Women in Shakespeare are not considered equal, their lives are controlled by men and women have many aspects of their dictated by men. However, most of these women in Shakespeare story will die in the end. Example, Lady Capulet is a patriarchal woman. She know and has accepted her lesser place in the household and the society has defined by patriarchy where Capulet or men is the leader who controls the society. The decision of marriage is taken by the father of Juliet, lord Capulet which it brings our patriarchy and the ladies are not capable of voicing out their own opinion even though Juliet is just 14 and it is not a suitable age for marriage. This shows the lesser position of women as portrayed by Shakespeare in this play. William Shakespeare include feminism theory inside the book so people can educate themselves about the equal rights and the characteristics like bravery and toughness that must be inside of every women in the world. Some social and political changes are caused by women’s and they are being as a back bone of some men’s victory. Every men in this world need a women’s support to him in every aspect in order him to get some moral support so that he won’t be giving up that easily.
4.2 Politic approaches
Politic means that is the process of making decisions that apply to a group of members to controlling or achieving positions of governance. An organized control over a human community or a state. The political approaches in the story gives a wide close up at power, wealth and the social structures of Verona’s society. A society, where the values of property and commerce compete against love, friendship and affection. From the story I found that Montague and Capulet are two big mafia godfathers and their families are enemies over time. Both families live in Verona, an aggressively competitive city that fights over power and fame. William Shakespeare mentions Prince Escales as the country’s most powerful ruler and also the city’s social structure and power. Escales mean ladder as he is at the top of the ladder. My view point is that as a countries leader he should be compromising the both families in a proper way so that it benefits the social system and Romeo and Juliet might didn’t die and lived a happy life. So it is in the politicians hands to decide the country’s destiny.
4.3 Love Theme
The love theme in book is well shown by the author through Romeo and Juliet. The love between Romeo and Juliet are beautiful and passionate. It is pure, exhilarating, and transformative, and they are willing to give everything including their own souls for the love they keep into each other. Unfortunately it is also chaotic and destructive, bringing death to friends, family and to themselves. Over the story, Romeo and Juliet’s love is mentioned in connection with the death and violence. On the other hand Mercutio thinks love is an excuse to influence sexual pleasure and it makes a people weak and dumb. Lady Capulet thinks love is based on handsomeness, wealth and richness so that Juliet will fall in love for him. Paris thought that love comes from command and instruction since he tell and force Juliet to fall for him. In the story love can be seen everywhere from different perspective and viewpoint from different character. From my perspective love is consider a beautiful part in human’s life and must be encourage by all of us. It determines how important a person is to us. It gives moral supports to us whenever we are facing problems in life and a faith companion will never leave us like Juliet as she stabs herself when she find that Romeo is no more alive. Her sincere for love is assonating but in real life commit suicide is a big threat to our country and wrong. Leaving with the lover’s memory is last we can do. Even the Romeo himself wouldn’t wanted Juliet to die.
From opening the scene when chorus stated that Romeo and Juliet will die with trapped fate. The story eventually wanted to tell us that no matter what the lovers do or how much their sacrifice or love each other, their incentive and struggles against fate will only help to fulfil it. But fighting or escaping fate no chances at all. All must rely towards the fate and no one escapes. It is Romeo and Juliet’s determinations to fight against fate in order to be together no matter in life or death shows the love fate inside them. The Fate in the story is not just force felt by the characters in Romeo and Juliet but the audience themselves also sense it though William Shakespeare’s sense of writing skill. Example in the Novel “when Juliet says after meeting Romeo “If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed”. My opinion is that the author definitely showed the play of fate well in the novel. Elders will say that fate predetermines and orders the event accordingly to people’s fate. This is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the environment. The fate will determine our lives so that we always careful with the good and deeds we doing in our life. Every good and bad that going to happen and already happened are just part of the fate and we should appreciate whatever it is so that we can conduct a peaceful life..
WHY CHOOSE ROMEO JULIET ?I chose Romeo and Juliet as my Great Book because of its use of themes. These themes are very universal and relatable.
One of the innumerable theme of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is love and hate can drive people to do extreme things. This universal idea is still relatable in the present day. Themes like this are why William Shakespeare’s play, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, is still so popular to this day. Love and hate is naturally the play’s major and most significant theme as the play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense chemistry that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet and also on the hatred between the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets.
An ongoing feud between the Capulets and the Montagues breaks out again on the streets of Verona. Both sides are cautioned that they must not disturb the peace again and pain of death byPrinceEscalus. Romeo, love-sick for Rosaline, is comforted by his friend Benvolio. Capulet voices Paris that until she’s older , he may not marry his daughter Juliet .Capulets held by Romeo’s and his peers acquire of a party and decide to go to it as masquers. At the party, Tybalt sees Romeo, but is prevented from fighting him by Capulet. Romeo meets Juliet, and they fall in love. After leaving the party, Romeo evades his friends, returns to meet Juliet, and they exchange promises of love. Romeo tells Friar Laurence what has happened and he consents to marry them. Benvolio tells Mercutio that Tybalt has sent Romeo a challenge. Romeo joins them, and is visited by the Nurse, who is told the marriage plan. She tells Juliet, who then goes to Friar Laurence’s cell, and the lovers are married. Tybalt, looking for Romeo, finds Benvolio and Mercutio. Romeo returns, and is challenged by Tybalt, but refuses to fight. Mercutio draws on Tybalt and is fatally wounded. Tybalt then fights with Romeo, and is killed. Romeo flies, and Benvolio reports what has happened to the Prince, who banishes Romeo. The Nurse tells Juliet of Romeo’s banishment and promises to bring him to her. The Friar tells a distraught Romeo he is banished, but advises him to visit Juliet secretly, then to leave for Mantua. Capulet tells Paris that he may marry Juliet in between three days, and Lady Capulet who has bid Romeo a hasty farewell brings the news to Juliet. Juliet refuses to marry Paris, persevering in the face of her father’s fury. She goes to the Friar for help, and finds arranging the marriage. After he leaves, the Friar devises a plan , he will give her a drink that portrait her as dead to avoid the marriage, and will write to Romeo to tell him; they can then elope to Mantua. Juliet infroms her father she will definitely marry Paris , and Capulet carries the wedding to the coming day. Juliet step down and drinks the liquid. When her ‘body’ is discovered, all mourn, and she is taken to the family crypt. In Mantua, Balthasar tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. He promises to bar dead next to her that night, and obtains a poison from an apothecary. Friar John tells Friar Laurence that he was not able to provide Laurence’s letter to Romeo. Laurence leaves to tell Juliet what has happened after realizing the danger. Paris goes to Juliet’s tomb to keen her, and encounters Romeo. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. Romeo then drinks and dies the poison by Juliet. The Friar arrives to check Romeo dead and Juliet waking. She refuses to leave, and kills herself with Romeo’s dagger. Officers arrive, and rouse the families and the Prince. The Friar explains what has happened. Montague and Capulet agree to make peace with each other.