středa 29. února 2012

Picture of the balcony scene from one of many play adaptations.
One of many book covers.
From the earlier version of the film
Well hello again! This week´s assignment is to write about the author and because I have already done this like 2-3 weeks ago, I´m having a break! I am going to post here at least some interesting pictures and videos! Bye for now, K.

pondělí 27. února 2012

PRODUCTION NARRATIVE aka how would this play look on stage if I was the director?

Casting: The two main characters of this play are of course Romeo and Juliet. I would definitely try to pursue Kate Winslet to play Juliet. She is the main character of the movie Titanic, where she played an amazing role. She showed how greatly she can express love as well as pain and death of her loved one. Titanic´s plot is very similar to Romeo and Juliet´s plot and because Kate Winslet has made a fine job playing Rose, I believe she would be stunning also in this tragedy. For the part of Romeo I would probably choose Orlando Bloom. He is a great actor, played in many romantic movies as well as tragedies. His performance was unbelievable especially in the movie Troy. Also, when you look deep into his eyes, you can see that he is a romantic type and this role would fit him. I am not sure which actors would play the other roles of the play, but I definitely know who would play Tybalt. Tybalt is a negative character, fighting, cursing, etc. This is why I would definitely choose Cam Gigandet for the role because he plays a gangster in every movie that I have seen with him and he is great at it. For Juliet´s nurse I would have Meryl Streep play it because she looks like a nursing type.

Stage design: Due to the fact, that the play is set in different places, I would have to change the stage design quite often. At first, the story begins in the streets of Verona with a brawl between the Capulets and the Montagues. In the background I would place a miniature symbol of Verona so that everyone in the auditorium would right away know where the story is set. This symbol would probably be the Verona Arena of Opera, which is known worldwide. Because the scene is taking place in the streets, I would have to symbolize this somehow. On one side of the stage I would put three full dumpsters. On the other side I would put a kind of poster-like picture of Italian architecture houses. What I have in mind by this is kind of the houses that we can find for example in Venice. For the second scene by which I mean the scene at the ball where Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time I would only change the stage design completely. I would make a half circle wall-like drawing of a nice modern ball room. In the middle of the stage would be iron stares leading up to a balcony dotted with red roses. After this scene I would again make a half circle wall-like drawing of the inside of a church, where Romeo and Juliet get married. For the last scene, I would only make a meter high bed in the middle of the stage. The bed would be all red, candles all over the floor and Juliet lying in the bed.

Lighting: I do not think that lighting in this story is so important. It is a tragedy and that means that most of it should be played in a dim light. The only light during the play should be on the actors so that the audience sees them clearly. Maybe in the ball room scene, the lighting could be a little brighter because it is a positive moment of the play and the lighting should express that. Also, in the lasts scene when Romeo comes inside the room, where he sees Juliet lying on the bed there should be a lot of light on Juliet at the beginning and when Romeo comes towards her, the light should slowly dim into numbness.

Sound effects:  The sound effects should probably be changing depending on the scene. Of course the music is only going to be instrumental, mostly using piano. During the beginning brawl the music is going to be deep and heavy and loud. This creates the tension in the play for the audience. During the ball, the music is going to me slow and light and quite. These transactions of the music will happen all throughout the play depending on whether the scene is romantic or sad.

Costuming: I decided to make the play modern. All the characters are going to be wearing modern nowadays clothes like for example jeans and sneakers. What´s more, because most characters are divided into the Montague or Capulet families, each actor is going to wear the coat of arms of their belonging family, so that the audience can easily recognize everyone. They are going to wear this coat of arms on their shirt right over their heart in order to short that they have their families best interests at heard. Due to the fact that there is a lot of sword fighting, the characters are not going to fight with swords but with guns named SWORD. Just like it was in the latest Romeo and Juliet movie. I believe this will make it seem more realistic to today’s audience.

Props: I think that I have listed everything important and I am really not going to use any special props. The only prop I am going to use is that both Romeo and Juliet are going to wear crowns in order for the play to be a little different that other plays and so that it is more interesting. The audience is then going to think that these two are something special ale their love story is something special as well.

Presentation: Overall, I would like to present the play in a modern style, but I still want to keep the historical view inside of it as well. It is obvious, that this story would nowadays be very rare to happen, but I do not want the audience to think that the play is fiction. I want to them to feel the love that Romeo and Juliet had and to believe that they can experience the same thing that these two characters have. Yes, the play does end tragically, but I believe that this is a positive point. Nowadays, every Hollywood movie ends with a happy end. From the first scene you can predict the whole movie and know exactly how happily it will all end. That is why I think that the audience would appreciate this play because you cannot predict what is going to happen, you expect that there will be a happy end and at the end come a shock. I have seen hundreds of movies, but only a couple of them still come to my mind. One of them is Romeo and Juliet especially because of the ending. When someone sees think play, they are going to remember it forever and that is what I am aiming for in my play.

sobota 25. února 2012

A great picture about the themes and motifs of the play. Hope you can vew it nicely because the picture is huge.
The last main theme of the play I would like to tell you about is time. Time plays an extremely important role right from the beginning. Every major event in the play had something to do with wrong timing. For example it was a coincidence that the Capulets and the Montagues met each other on the streets and their brawl started. It was only a coincidence that Romeo and Juliet met at the party where there were hundreds of people and they fell in love. It was oly a coincidence that Romeo got the Juliet´s tomb and had time to kill himself. See, many of the main events were about being at the right place and the right time or perhaps being at the wrong place at the wrong time (this refers to all the killing in the play). What´s also important is that this story in no longer than one week. In only a several days Romeo forget about Rosaline, fell in love with Juliet, got married, killed Tybalt, was banished from Verona and even died. An example from the play refering to time is Romeo´s quote "O swear not by the moon, th'inconstant moon,  that monthly changes in her circled orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable." Also it would be a shame to not tell you at least something about the duality of the play. By duality I mean the contasts between light and dark especially day and night. What is interesting is that light does not alwas refer to good and dark does not alwas refer to bad. On the contrary, most positive events happen at night and most negative events happen at daytime. Here you have a quote in which you do not see the contrast of day and night but only an ordinary one:
"O brawling love, O loving hate,
O any thing of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!."
Another theme of the story is chance and fate. It is not known if it is fate right from the start that at the end Romeo and Juliet die because of their love or if it is only a series of unlucky changes that leads to this conclusion. Maybe, I could be fater right from the start because in the prologue Shakespeare describes the main characters as "star-cross´d" which tells us that a bad thing may happen at the end because stars have already predetermined what their destiny is going to be like. Or this is something that I think, others may have a different view. On the other hand, as some scholars think, the story may be about unlucky chances. For example, it wasn´t fate that Romeo was banished from Verona by killing Tybalt because this Romeo´s action wasn´t impulsive at all. He killed Tybalt because Tybalt killed Mercutio. Well, whether or not Shakespear wrote this play as a play of fate or unlucky chances, we still can agree that this is a major theme of the play as well.
Okay, so today I am going to write about the themes of the play. The first and most important motive is love, more precisely young doomed love. The play focuses on the intense passion that arises when Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. Love is something that overpowers all other values and loyalties. Both of the main characters have to go against their own families and people who they love the most in order for their love to sprung. An example is when Romeo abandones Mercution and Benvolio after the feast and runs to Juliet´s garden to talk to her. A different example from the play are Juliet´s lines to Romeo “Deny thy father and refuse thy name...or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I’ll no longer be a Capulet”. They also go against the main ruler and Romeo eventhough he is banished from Verona comes back when he hears that Juliet is dead. The way love is shown in this play in not as something beautiful but rather something brutal and powerful that captures the main characters and puts them against their beliefs as well as themselves. Juliet beautifully describes her love for Romeo in the lines “But my true love is grown to such excess...I cannot sum up some of half my wealth”.

středa 22. února 2012

Well I actually wanted to talk about the themes today, but after writing the plot for 3 hours I am too exhausted :-) so I will do that tomorrow. Goodbye for now :-)
The most romantic moment from the whole play-a scene that each and every one of us already know-the balcony scene :-)

Here you have a video of the beautiful, romantic and sad ending :-(
Okay, so today let´s talk about the plot. What happened in the story? I finished reading the play so now I am going to tell you what the whole play was about. At the beginning, as I have already mentioned there was a brawl between the Capulets and the Montagues. It seemed to me, that the Montagues did not want this because Benvolio tried to discuss peace with Tybalt. Unfortunately Tybalt said he hates peace and hates Montagues so a fight started. After the end of the fight, both the Montague leader with his wife and the Capulet leader with his fight had a talk with Princ Escalus. He is very angry and tells them that if they ever fight again in the streets of Verona, they will pay with their lives.

In the next scene, Benvolio is talking to father Montague about Romeo and are wondering what is the cause for his sadness and depression. Benvolio then has a talk with Romeo and finds out that Romeo is heart broken. Benvolio tells him to forget about her. The girl is a girl named Rosaline who does not return Romeo´s love.

Later Paris, a kinsman of the Prince, is having a talk with father Capulet about marrying Juliet. The father says that he should wait two more years because Juliet is not even fourteen yet. Then he invites Paris to a party he is having later at his house where Paris and Juliet can start knowing each other better and maybe even fall in love. Also, father Capulet hands a list of the invited people to the party to his servant. Meanwhile, Romeo and Benvolio still discuss Rosaline when they meet the servant with the party invites. Benvolio persuades Romeo to crash the party in order not to think about Rosaline anymore. However, Romeo sees Rosaline´s name on the invitation list si he decides to go. At the same time in the Capulet household, Juliet is talking to her mother and to her nurse about the possibility of marrying Paris. She decides she will look at him during the party to see if she is able to ever fall in love with him.

Later on, sad Romeo enter the party together with Benvolio and Mercutio. On the party he sees Juliet from a distance and instantly fall in love with her. While they are watching each other, Tybalt recognizes Romeo and is mad that he had the nerve to crash their party. He prepares to fight but the other Capulets hold him back. Later, Romeo and Juliet meet again this time kissing without even knowing their names. Unfortunately they soon find out that Romeo is a Montague and Juliet a Capulet. They are both upset. As Mercution and Benvolio leave the party, Romeo leaves into Juliet´s garden and when she is on the balcony their exchange love vows.

After this, Romeo runs to Friar Lawrence who agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet eventhough he is confused by Romeo´s sudden change. This wedding is going to happen is secret.The next day, Juliet arrives at the church with the help of her nurse and marries Romeo. The nurse decides to put a ladder to Juliet´s window so that Romeo can climb up there for their wedding night.

The next day, Mercution and Benvolio meet Tybalt who has challenged Romeo to a duel because he crashed the party. Romeo comes and wants peace with Tybalt until Tybalt knows that Romeo is actually now his kinsman. Mercution is disgused by this and startes fighting Tybalt in his own. Mercutio is killed by Tybalt and as a revenge Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo then leaves because he is banished from Verona by the Prince for his crime. The next morning Romeo leaves to Mantua.When the nurse tells Juliet what happened she is at first shocked but then forgets Romeo for this and wants to continue in their relationship. So, there is one more night to go until Romeo has to leave and what does he do? He is with Juliet the whole night and they make love.

After Romeo leaves for Mantua Juliet learns that due to teh recent events, her father decided to go through with the wedding of Juliet and Paris. This however cannot happen because Juliet is already marries but she is too afraid to say so. She comes for advice to her nurse, who says that she should forget about Romeo and marry Paris. Juliet is disgusted by this and so she goes for advice to Friar Lawrence. He than arranges a secret plan how to get Romeo and Julie back together. The plan is that the night because Juliet is supposed to marry Paris she will drink a special potion that will make her appear dead. She then will be put to peace and Friar Lawrence later on together with Romeo will come and get her alive and she can life the rest of her life with Juliet. The next they Juliet goes on with this plan but the letter from Friar Lawrence to Romeo explaining the whole situation never arrives to Mantua. Romeo only hears that Juliet is dead.

Romeo does not want to live without Juliet so he buys poison and goes to see Juliet tomb. In front of the tomb we meet Paris and they get into fight. Romeo then kills Paris. Afterwards, he layes next to Juliet where he drinks the posion and dies. In that moment Juliet wakes up, sees that Romeo is dead and stabs herself with a dagger. When both families see this, they decide to finally declare peace between each other.

středa 15. února 2012

Short documentary about William Shakespeare´s life :-)
Today I have also decided to tell you something about the author, because he is my biggest idol in history and it would be a shame if someone didn´t know much about him. William Shakespeare is considered as the greatest writer and poet in English history. He wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets and two long narrative poems. His plays are nowadays played more than the plays of any other writer in history. He had a wife named Anne Hathaway with whom he had three children. Later. he began a successful career in London as an actor and a part-owner of a playing company called Lord Chamberlain´s Men, which was later renamed to King´s Men. There have been many speculations about his personal life due to his sonnets. He is thought to perhaps have had mistress and maybe he was even homosexual. I personaly believe, that these are just rumours. He also mainly wrote tragedies, some are: Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth and others. I personaly adore him because of his sonnets. In the year 1609 Shakespeare published a book consisting of 154 sonnets which he wrote. Shakespeare wrote these sonnets all throughout his carrer. To sum it up, Shakespeare was the greatest writer in history and should be adored until the end of time. :-)
As you already know, Romeo and Juliet was composed somewhere between 1951-1595. The motives of the play were however long before that from antiquity. The place of the play is in Verona and it seems to me, that the play could be taking place both in antiquity as well as in the 16th century when Shakespeare wrote it. I think that the time period is important in the story because in that time (the 16th century) this could have actually happened. In that time, family´s chose the husband´s of their daughters for them based on society, wealth and other factors. Love did not play any role in this. If I compare it to today´s world, I believe that the story couldn´t take place. Nowadays, every girl has the right to chose her own husband based on love and attraction. Money does not play its role anymore so much. However, I am talking about developed countries including many countries of Europe and America. As we know, in some developing countries it is still possible that the family chooses the husband for their daughter based on the previously listed criteria, not love! In countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and others, this is still common even in the 21st century, which is sad. So yes, the play is relevant to some parts of today´s world. We all know how this play ends-with a tragedy. Two lovers had to take their life just because they were from fighting families. Isn´t that sad? I believe that every girl should have the right to chose her mate and if this opportunity is not given to her, than it may unfortunately end somelike this play.

úterý 7. února 2012

Others characters of the play:
Tybalt- Juliet´s cousin, killed by Romeo, hot-passionate, choleric
Mercutio-very good friend of Romeo, killed by Tybalt, fun-loving, sometimes coare humour
Count Paris- from the ruling house of Verona, wants to marry Juliet, occasionally arogant
Prince Escalus-mediator of the two fighting houses, authority

The Nurse- personal servat of Juliet, she is one of the few people who know about Romeo and Juliet´s romance, helps Juliet to get married to her true love
Benvolio- Romeo´s cousin and friend, thoughtfull, looks out for Romeo
Friar Laurence- marries Juliet to Romeo, tries to help them with their love by giving Juliet a special potion (I´ll talk about this later)
Other characters: Capulet, Capulet´s wife, Montague, Montague´s wife and some servants of both houses
The other main character of this play is of course Romeo from the Montague family. Eventhough Romeo is in love with Juliet, he makes a great mistake. Juliet´s cousin Tybalt insults him in the street when he finds out that Romeo and Juliet got married. Romeo´s beast friend Mercutio decides to fight Tybalt for Romeo´s honour. Unfortunately, Mercutio is killed by Tybalt and Romeo seeks revenge and kills Tybalt. Luckily, Juliet forgives him and their love story can go on...or at least for a couple more hours. Romeo is an idealistic lover considered in our time because of this character. At the end of the book (not telling you the ending yet), Romeo will prove that life without Juliet would be living hell for him. I personally think, that Romeo is much more childish that Juliet. He acts like a small boy eventhough he should already be a mature adult. The boundaries between him and Juliet are always set by her. He is not considered as a strong character in this tragedy.
I am going to start of with one of the two characters which is Juliet. She is a young woman from the house of the Capulets as I have already mentioned in an earlier post. Her father insists on her marrying a man called Count Paris but unfortunately she falls in love with Romeo who is the son of her family´s greatest enemy the Montagues. Juliet is an intelligent young woman but sometimes she seems a little timid to me because of her age. She is both very passionate and mature. Eventhough her greatest love, Romeo, kills her cousin Tybalt, she is able to forgive him and give her life for their love. I personally adore her because she stood up to her family and secretly married the man she truly loved and not just some randome man, who she is not in love with. All about Juliet for today, you will find out more later :-)
Oukej! :-) sooo today I am going to tell you something about the main characters of this play...get ready to start! :-)

středa 1. února 2012

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet was written somewhere between the years 1951-1955 by William Shakespeare and it was actually at the beginning of his career. It was not his original idea because he adopted an Italian tale written into verse by Arthur Brooke as well as the same story written into prose by William Painter. He used these two stories to write the tragedy Romeo and Juliet as a basis for the plot, but added several more characters like for example Mercutio. The place where it all starts is in Verona. Here, two families-Capulets and Montagues are sworn enemies. Throughout the play there are many fights and problems between those two. The family of Capulets have a daughter named Juliet and the family of Montagues have a son named Romeo.....the rest later ;-)
One more link-unbelievable! Sooooo romantic, makes me wanna cry! Beautiful love story part of the whole play I think
William Shakespeare

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend, 
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.