Romeo and Juliet A Tragic Love Story

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					Considered by many to be the greatest writer in the English language.

   Lived in England during the Renaissance.
    › A time in history marked by a renewed
      interest in science, commerce, philosophy,
      and the arts.
    › Renaissance thinking was a new emphasis
      on the individual and the freedom of choice.

   Shakespeare started his literary career
    during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
    › During the period between 1558 and 1603.
    › Often referred to as the Elizabethan Age.
 London was the center of the
  Elizabethan stage.
 The Lord Chamberlain's Men were the
  company that both the rich and
  powerful and the common people both
 In 1599, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men,
  along with William Shakespeare, a part
  owner, became joint owners of the
  Globe Theater.
   The Globe was a three-story wooden
    structure with an open air courtyard in the
   Actors performed on a raised stage within
    the courtyard.
   The theater could hold as many as 3,000
    spectators, many of whom stood in the part
    of the courtyard near the stage called the
   These customers were known as
    groundlings, and paid the lowest admission
   Rich theatergoers sat in partially enclosed
    galleries, or inner balconies which
    surrounded the courtyard.
   Audiences would become emotionally
    involved in the performances, openly showing
    their pleasure or disappointment.
   Theatergoers relied heavily on their
    › The theater had no curtains, no artificial lighting, and
      very little scenery.
    › Props, sound effects, and lines of dialogue would let
      the audience know when and where a scene took
    › Elegant costumes also added to the spectacle and
      helped the audience imagine that women were
      playing the female roles.
       In Shakespeare’s day, no women belonged to the
        acting companies. It was considered improper for
        women to be on stage.
       The boys underwent rigorous training in order to be
        move gracefully and speak convincingly on stage.
The original Globe was built in 1599. It burned to the ground in 1613, and was
immediately rebuilt. The original structure was closed in 1642.
Almost 400 years later, The Globe Theater was rebuilt.
The picture represents the restored Globe Theater, built in 1997.
Shakespeare is known for
his clever imagination, the
way he plays with words
and their meanings, and
creating striking images,
that once heard, are
rarely forgotten.

Shakespeare created
more words and
expressions than any
other writer. Among these
are bump, assassination,
and lonely.

Other expressions that are
credited to
Shakespeare’s invention:
“dead as a doornail”               Up Next:
      -Henry IV, Part 2       Shakespearean Drama
“laughing-stock”                 Literary Terms…
      -The Merry Wives of
           Windsor              (found on page 986)
“the green-eyen monster”
“for goodness’s sake”
      -Henry VIII
  A tragedy is a drama that ends in catastrophe—most often
  death—for the main character, and often, for several other
  important characters.

 Tragic Hero
   Usually someone who is nobly born, and who may have
   great influence in his or her society.

   This characters has, however, a tragic flaw—a weakness
   or serious error in judgment—that leads to his or her
Although the events in a tragedy are often set in motion by an
action of the tragic hero, fate may also play a role in the course that
the events take.
In his tragedies, Shakespeare often includes comic relief, a
humorous scene, incident, or speech that relieves the overall
emotional intensity.

This helps the audience absorb the earlier events and get ready
for the ones to come.

This has a practical use as well. Theater companies liked to use
all of their star performers in each play, including those who
specialized in comedic roles.
Allusion is a brief reference,
within a work, to something
outside the work that the
reader or audience is
expected to know.

    Shakespeare’s plays often contain allusions to ancient Greek
    and Roman mythology and to the Bible.
A character whose
personality or attitudes are in
sharp contrast to those of
another character in the
same work.

By using a foil, the writer highlights the other character's traits or

The kind of behavior of one character, for example, will be
made clearer presented in sharp contrast to another
characters who is not at all kind.

      What are some opposing character traits
      that might make good character foils?
Like all playwrights, Shakespeare makes use of what are called,
dramatic conventions—devices that theater audiences accept
as realistic, even though they do not reflect the way people
actually behave.
          Soliloquy                            Aside
A speech that a character
gives when he or she is alone      A character’s remark, either
on stage.                          to the audience, or another
                                   character, that others on
It’s purpose is to let the         stage are not supposed to
audience know what the             hear.
character is thinking.

                                   It’s purpose, too, is to reveal
                                   the character’s private
Shakespeare’s plays are
written in blank verse—a
form of poetry that uses
unrhymed lines of iambic

Iambic Pentameter
 Lines that have FIVE unstressed
 syllables each followed by a
 stresses syllable.
 Each set of two syllables is
 called a foot.

 The pattern is not perfect…sometimes there are breaks in the pattern!
Romeo and Juliet is one of the world’s most famous love stories.

It is based on a 16th century English poem.
The play takes place in the city of Verona in the 14th century when Italy
was not a unified country, but a group of separate city-states. Each was
ruled by a different hereditary ruler, usually called a Prince or a Duke.

At the time the play takes place, most European marriages, especially
ones in the upper classes, were arranged by families for social and
economic reasons.

Because life spans were shorter than they are today, marriages took
place at a younger age, and parents made marriage plans long before
the wedding actually took place.
Romantic love was recognized as a powerful force, but society did
not generally view it as the basis of a sound marriage.
   What is your favorite love story?
    › Why? It is believable? Does it seem real?
   Did the romance end happily or not?

 What were the complications of the love
 What obstacles did the couple face?
    › Were these obstacles caused by the couple
      themselves, or by social factors or other
      outside forces beyond the couple’s control?
         The                                    The

   Lord and Lady Montague            Lord and Lady Capulet
    › The heads of the household       › The heads of the household
   Romeo                             Juliet
    › Son of Montague (more on         › Daughter of Capulet (more
       him later)                         on her later…)
   Benvolio                          Tybalt
    › Nephew of Montague, and          › Nephew of Lady Capulet
       friend of Romeo                Nurse
   Balthasar                          › To Juliet
    › Servant to Romeo                Peter
   Abram                              › A servant to Juliet’s house
    › Servant to Montague             Sampson
                                      Gregory
   Prince Escalus
    › Ruler of Verona
   Mercutio
    › Kinsman of the Prince and friend of Romeo
   Friar Laurence
    › A Franciscan Priest
   Friar John
    › Another Franciscan Priest
   Count Paris
    › A young nobleman; kinsman of the Prince
   Apothecary
    › Sells medicine and other remedies
   Page
    › To Paris (also known as a servant)
   Watchman
   Musicians
   Officers
   Citizens
           The 14th Century

           Verona, Italy

           Mantua, in Northern Italy

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