The World of Shakespeare

A wonderful site promoting Shakespeare. I am currently posting about Romeo and Juliet.

Location: Stratford upon Avon, England

I was born in 1564, and died in 1616. I was married to a woman named Ann Hathaway. during my career as a playwrite for the Globe Theater, I wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets. I had two daughters, and one son who died at a young age. Luckly history has not forgot me, and I have been named the greatest english playwright.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

O True Apothecary, /Thy Drugs Are Quick: Romeo and Juliet: A Nearly Happy Ending

While reading through a new book on Shakespeare, I found an ending from a rewrite of R&J. In this, Juliet wakes up right after Romeo drinks the poisin, and they are allowed to talk together before he dies. This is an excert from David Garrick's rewrite. That is

ROM.  Arms take your last embrace; and lips do you
The doors of breath seal with a righteous kiss.
Soft! soft! She breathes and stirs!

Juliet wakes .

JUL. Where am I? Defend me, powers!

ROM. She speaks! She lives! And we shall still be blessed!
My kind propitious stars o'erpay me now
For all my sorrows past. Rise, rise my Juliet,
And from this cave of death, this house of horror,
Quick let me snatch thee to thy Romeo's arms,
There breathe a vital spirit in thy lips
And call thee back to life and love!

JUL. Bless me! How cold it is! Who's there?

ROM. Thy husband.
It is thy Romeo, love, raised from despair
To joys unutterable! Quit, quit this place,
And let us fly together.

JUL. Why do you force me so? I'll ne'er consent.
My strength may fail me, but my will's unmoved.
I'll not wed Paris: Romeo is my husband.

ROM. Her senses are unsettled. Restore 'em heaven!
Romeo is thy husband; I am that Romeo,
Nor all th'opposing powers of earth or man
Can break our bonds or tear thee from my heart.

[Juliet recovers herself, and the lovers are afforded a tender moment of
reunion before Romeo succumbs to the poison and dies a drawn-out, raving

ROM. My powers are blasted,
Twixt death and love I'm torn, I am distracted!
But death's strongest-- and must I leave thee, Juliet?
O, cruel, cursed fate! in sight of heaven. . . .
Pull not our heart-strings thus; they crack, they break.
O! Juliet! Juliet!

That is abridged, but it gives you the idea. Romeo dies and the play continues normaly

I am going to move on to a new area or play of Shakespeare next post.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The World of Shakespeare: Question #6

Romeo and Juliet:
6) What does Juliet place by her bedside as she takes the sleeping potion?

A. Bible

B. Dagger

C. Portrait of Romeo

D. Tybalt's ring.

Please post your answer. I will post the answer with the next question.

Q: Believing that Juliet is dead, who does Romeo kill in Capulet's tomb?

D: Paris

Congratulations to running guy, hankthedog and pyro_shark!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Holy Saint Francis! Romeo and Juliet: The Odd Parts.

As wonderful a play as R&J is, there are many parts that are a little hard to agree with. Today I am goining to adress those points.

There are infact two forms of time thaat seem a bit rushed. The first most don't notice, but line 12 of the prologue quotes "Is now the two hour traffic of our stage." In brief, that means the play takes two hours! To perform a 3000 line play in two hours, you need to talk a mile a minute! Who can even talk, let alone act that fast?
The second form of time I've already mentioned briefly in one of my questions, but incase you didn't know, R&J takes place in about five days! Think about that, that means Romeo forgets about Rosaline, meets and mairies his enemy's daughter, watches his friend be killed, kills a man, gets incorrect news that Juliet is dead, and kills himself. That is the amount of main events most people have in a lifetime! In five days!

Another big part of R&J is the ages. Romeo's age is unkown, (probably around 14-16) but Juliet is 13, almost 14. In Shakespeare's time that's not an uncommon age for a young women to get married at, but here's the catch. A few lines in the play metion that women younger than Juliet are already married mothers. I know people lived shorter lives back then, but were they so short that they should've married at age 11? I don't know. Mabey. People who direct and perform R&J usually cast and perform lady Capulet as an old woman, but she really is only about 25, 26, or 27 years old. Not what we consider old.

There are probably other little odd points, but those two are the main ones, according to me at least.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The World of Shakespeare: Question #5

Romeo and Juliet:
5)Believing Juliet is dead, who does Romeo kill in Capulet's tomb?

A. Tybalt

B. Benvolio

C. Petrucio

D. Paris

Please post your answer. I will post the answer with the next question.

Q: The action of Romeo and Juliet comprises how much time?

A: B. 5 days

Congratulations to pyro_shark and hankthedog for posting the correct answer!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The World of Shakespeare: Question #4

Romeo and Juliet:
4) The action in Romeo and Juliet comprises how much time?

A. 2 days

B. 5 days

C. 2 weeks

D. 3 weeks

Please post your answer. I will post the answer with the next question.

Q: After killing Tybalt, Romeo flees to which city?

A: B. Mantua

Congratulations to hankthedog for guessing the correct answer!

Stony Limits Cannot Hold Love Out: Romeo and Juliet In General

Haven't posted for a few days. Been a bit busy I guess. Anyway, here it is.
One cannot say they wrote about a Shakespeare play if they haven't covered the general. Therefore I will cover the plot and some other minor details today. Next time I will try to make it more interesting. Oh well.

The Plot:
The capulets and Montegues are fueding. Romeo Montegue falls in love with Juliet Capulet at a ball. At night he hears her speak of her love to him. He declares his love, and the marry in secret the next day. Tybalt Capulet kills Romeo's friend, Mercutio. Romeo kills Tybalt and is baanished. Meanwhile, Juliet's father wants her to marry Paris. The friar gives her a potion that will make her seem dead. He plans to tell Romeo, but his message goes astray. Hearing Juliet is dead, he kills Paris in Juliet's tomb, and theen drinks poisin. Juliet awakes, sees Romeo, and kills herself.

That is about as boring as Shakespeare can get. I narrowed it down to only the essentials. Read on for more general info.

R&J consists of 3093 lines
R&J was written in 1594-1596
Prologue & Act I is 739 lines
Act II is 685 lines
Act III is 821 lines
Act IV is 407 lines
Act V is 441 lines
Romeo has the most lines with 612
Prose 12%
Verse 88%
There are 25 speaking parts

O.K. enough of that. lets end with an interesting fact about the play.

Shakespeare may have gotten the idea for R&J from a mock play at the end of A Midsummer's Night Dream, called Pyramis and Thysby.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The World of Shakespeare: Question #3

Romeo and Juliet:
3)After killing Tybalt, Romeo flees to which city?

A. Padua

B. Mantua

C. Venice

D. Florence

Please post your answer. I will post the answer with the next question.

Q: Juliet's father ordered her to marry which man?

A: A. Paris

Congratulations to jordan for guessing the correct answer!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

For Your Info: Play Abbreviations

These are common abreviations for Shakespeare plays that I might use.

1 Henry is IV Henry IV Part 1
2 Henry is IV Henry IV Part 2
1 Henry is VI Henry VI Part 1
2 Henry is VI Henry VI Part 2
3 Henry is VI Henry VI Part 3
2GV is Two Gentlemen of Verona
2NK is The Two Noble Kinsman
12th Night is Twelfth Night
A&C is Antony and Cleopatra
All's Well is All's Well That Ends Well
AYLI is As You Like It
Errors is The Commedy of Errors
JC is Julius Caesar
K John is King John
K Lear is King Lear
LLL is Love's Labor's Lost
M for M is Measure for Measure
Merchant is The Merchant of Venice
MND is A Midsummer's Night Dream
Much Ado is Much Ado About Nothing
R&J is Romeo and Juliet
Shrew is The Taming of the Shrew
T&C is Troilus and Cressida
Timon is Timon of Athens
Titus is Titus Andronicus
W Tale is The Winte's Tale
Wives is The Merry Wives of Windsor

The World of Shakespeare: Question #2

Romeo and Juliet:
2) Juliet's father ordered her to marry which man?

A. Pairis

B. Abraham

C. Escalus

D. Lord Gregory

please post your answer. I will post the answer with my next question.

Q: How old is Juliet during the play?

A: B. 13 (She was to weeks away from her 14th birthday)

Congratulations to hankthedog and georgiapeach for guessing the correct answer!

Never was there a story of more woe: Romeo and Juliet

I'll be writing about Romeo and Juliet for a while. It's a well known play, and a good starter. I'll probably write about it for 4-6 more posts.(I may not post every day.) Instead of boring people with going into boring general details, I'm just going to post interesting and fun facts about the play, that most people miss. If you know of any other little fun fact you want to share about R&J, write a comment and I will try to post it before I finish with R&J.

1) Before Romeo meets Juliet, he is in love with Rosilind. However, Rosilind is not actually in the play.

2) There are three sonnets in R&J. Two are said by the chorus, and the other is actually split between Romeo and Juliet when they first meet in act 1, scene 5, lines 91-104

3) In act 1, scene 1, lines 170-178, Romeo has the longest string of oxymorons (two words meaning the same thing right next to the other) in Shakespeare's plays.

I hope you may find some of these interesting. I know I did.

P.S. In one of my Shakespeare refference books, it mentions that in R&J there is a character called Petrucio. He is described as a mute follower of Tybalt, and has no lines. He is mentioned in act 1, scene 1 line 129, but other than that I don't know who he is. If you know anything about him, please tell me.