pondělí 12. března 2012


Some picture from the 1996 movie.
For the last task, I am going to compare the original play with the 1996 movie directed by Baz Luhrmann. There two are so different! Of course the main plot stays the same in both of these interpretations, but the details are very different. The movie is set in modern times at Verona Beach. This is a made up location but in my opinion I kind of think that it is reffering to a park of the town Verona in New York. I know this is nowhere written and the director even said that the place is made up, I really think it is supposed to be the one I mentioned because as you know Americans think that every great part of history was achieved by them and they are the best (sorry Mr.Healy). To compare it with the play, it is set in Verona, Italy in an Elizabethan period. For me, the biggest difference is the use of weapons. In the original play the characters used swords and in the movie they used 9mm guns which had SWORD written on them. Also, the race of the characters is little bit different. Mercution is the play is white and in the movie black and the Prince in the play is white and on the movie black as well. Also, the Prince in the movie is actually the chief of police because nowadays you do not have any princes being the heads of certain towns of cities. It is the chief of police who has the security of the town in his hands. What is really controversial is that the famous "balcony scene" in the movie is actually set in a pool. I don´t really understand why though. Also, in the original play 6 people were killed and in the movie only 4 people were killed. I think that this is changing the main plot a little bit eventhough the other 2 dead characters had only small roles.
So yes, the original play and the movie had several things changed, but for me the most crucial change as the setting place. The play is historical and I don´t think it fits into our world anymore. The movie was great on one hand, but on the other I think it did not really go together with the whole helicopters and other modern things. Also, I don´t think that love like this could occur in our time at all. People are unfortunately different than they were in the Elizabethan period and love is not so important anymore. Nowadays it is careed and money that most people care about. But what was positive about tzhe movie is that the language in the play is very literary and it is hard even for mothertongue English speakers to understand some parts. When you watch the movie, even if you do not understand some parts, you can understand what is going on in the play by seeing the imagery.
To sum this comparison up, the original play and the movie are both very different but I cannot say that any one of them is better, because both has something that the other one does not have.
Okay, so the next post is going to be about my reaction about the play and some interesting quotes that I have chosen. In a previous post, I talked about the plot and the ending as well, so you all already know how the play ended. As I have also mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I am a big fan of this play and now I can express what I trully think about it. It is MAGNIFISCENT! I believe that the play is perfect. What I like about it is the contrast. As you know, in real life men and women are different. Men are reffered to as the strong ones, that like violence and tough situations. Women are the ones who are innocent and fragile. But eventhough men and women are opposites, when they join together into a couple it is perfect. That is also what happens in the play. On one hand there is a lot of hatred, blood, killing and violence. On the other hand there is Romeo´s and Juliet´s neverending true love. When we put these two themes together it makes a perfect combination just like putting a man and a woman together in real life. If I was supposed to say something negative about this book, there would be nothing for me to say. The plot is perfect and catchy for the readers, the characters are so extraordinary, that the reader can see himself in at least one of the characters and the language...? Well the language is simply classical Shakespeare´s language that takes the reader´s breath away. Now I am going to show you several different quotes that caught my eye and were interesting to me:
1st quote: 
"O Romeo, Romeo,
wherefore art thou 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."

This quote is said by Juliet and it is perhaps the most well known quote of the whole play. Juliet says these words in the balcony scene, still unaware that Romeo is listening. She is wondering why Romeo has to be Romeo, the son of  her greatest enemy. She wishes that he would deny his family for her love. She also adds that if Romeo does not do so, she will deny her family if he tells her that he loves her.
2nd quote:
"O, I am fortune’s fool!"
This short quote is spoken by Romeo and it is very important to the story. I have already told you about the themes and motives of the play in a previous post. I said that one of the themes was fate. This quote here reffering to the fate of the story just like for example the quote "star-cross´d lovers".
3rd quote:
"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."

I have mentioned this prologue many times already in this blog. Why? The answer is simple. In my opinion, it is the most catchy beginning of any book I have ever read. After reading only these six lines, I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to read the book. I don´t really know what makes it so interesting for me, but in my eyes this is a perfect introduction.
4th quote:
Abraham: "Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?"
Sampson: "I do bite my thumb, sir"

Abraham: "Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?"
Sampson: "Is the law of our side, if I say ay?"
Gregory: "No."
Sampson: "No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir."

This is a dialogue between the Montagues and the Capulets before their first brawl. It shows us how both of the sides are foolish. It is supposed to show the reader that the fighting between the two families is as absurd as Sampson´s biting of his thumb.
5th quote:
"Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet."

Romeo´s abstract description of love at the beginning of the play. Any reader who has at least a little bit of soul in him, has to love these lines just like me. And every romantic woman who reads this, should wish to find such true and enormous love like Romeo and Juliet did.
6th quote:
"O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand."

These are the words of Juliet´s father after the families see what has happened to their children. It is ironical that the two fighting families make peace after their children die and a tragedy like this happens. They have realized too late what their absurd fighting can lead to and now that have to take the blame for it.
Romeo and Mercutio vs. Romeo and Juliet. Even in the pictures we can see who Romeo trully loves.
For the critical piece I have chosen a book called Queering the Renaissance written by Jonathan Goldberg published in the year 1994. As said by the Duke University Press "Queering the Renaissance offers a major reassessment of the field of Renaissance studies. Gathering essays by sixteen critics working within the perspective of gay and lesbian studies, this collection redraws the map of sexuality and gender studies in the Renaissance. Taken together, these essays move beyond limiting notions of identity politics by locating historically forms of same-sex desire that are not organized in terms of modern definitions of homosexual and heterosexual." This means that the book is not entirely about Romeo and Juliet only a small section of it. So if we take the section about Romeo and Juliet, Goldberg examines the sexuality of Romao and Mercution. He believes that these two characters have a homoerotic relationship between each other. The author backs up his thoughts by several quotes.
1st example: "To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle ... letting it there stand / Till she had laid it and conjured it down." This quote was said by Meruction and it is supposed to be reffering to a friendly conversation where Meruction talks about Romeo´s phallus. The quote is supposed to be meant as a joke but Goldberg sees it as a homoerotic offer.
2nd example: Goldberg believes that the character Rosaline is in the play only to show Romeo´s homosexuality. Because Rosaline is distant, there is no way for Romeo to create and offspring with her. That´s why Benvolio tells Romeo to find someone who can give him a child. Goldberg sees this in a way that Romeo is a homosexual and Benvolio tells him that he cannot have a child with a man so he should try to convert to heterosexism. Goldberg has also written that Shakespeare shows the homosexuality of a young character in his sonnets by which he is trying to say that every young male character in a Shakespeare´s book is homosexual.
3rd example: "...that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." This is a quote said by Juliet. In Goldberg´s mind he thinks that what Juliet means is that there is no difference between the beauty of a man and the beauty of a woman.
So to sum up Goldberg´s thoughts-Romeo is a homosexual together with Mercutio and Benvolio tells him to it is a bad idea, so Romeo converts into heterosexuality and falls in love with Juliet, who knows that Romeo is homosexual. WOOOOOW!!! As you have probably realized by now by reading my posts, I am completely in love with this play and I have chosen this critical piece only to show you, that any critic about this play is rubbish. I cannot even believe that someone can write something like this. I do not believe any of Goldberg´s thoughts and to be objective, I actually even cannot see it in the play. In my opinion, any reasonable person who has ever read the play has to agree with me that a critic like this cannot even be taken seriously. Romeo is first in love with Rosaline (who actually IS a woman!!!) and then falls in love with Juliet. I do not see any homosexuality in this. Also, would a homosexual express his love to a woman by these such wonderful words:
"I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight;
And but thou love me, let them find me here:
My life were better ended by their hate,
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love."?
Romeo expresses that he doesn´t mind getting killed because it would be better to get killed if Juliet would not love him. Does a homosexual say this to a woman? I don´t think so.
To end this post, I would only like to say that no criticism could be true about this flawless play.

Today I am going to talk to you about the protagonists(P) and the antagonists(A) of this play and their relationships with each other. The protagonists are definitely Romeo an Juliet which means that the antagonists are theiy families-the Capulets and the Montagues. I have chosen there characters for the Ps and As eventhought other couplets could be chosen. For example Romeo by himself could be a P and his A would then be probably Tybalt. If I chose Romeo again I could many the man who is supposed to marr Juliet (sorry, can´t remember his name right now) could be his A as well. As you see, we have many possibilities here and it is because the whole play of Romeo and Juliet is about love, hate and especially rivalry and enemies. So what kind of relationship is there between the Ps and the As I have chosen? Well Juliet´s parents together with her whole family hate the family of Romeo and are rivals. This means that if any of their two parents would find about the marriage or love between Romeo and Juliet it would be a big problem. Juliet has always listened to her parents and did what they wanted her to do. But now because of the remarkable love for Romeo she goes behing their back eventhough she knows how they would be upset. Romeo does the same thing but I believe that in their family it would not be such a tragedy like in the family of Capulet´s. It is sad that only because two people from different families fall in love their own families become their greatest enemies and they have to hide everything from them. At the end of the story, it obviously ends in a tragedy. How else could the story end when both the Capulets and the Montagues are so concerned about fighting each other that they do not even realize that their own children have turned against them for the sake of love.