Sunday, March 3, 2013

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

1.75 stars

Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet or has at least heard a quote that they didn’t realize that came from this play. Long story short Romeo and Juliet come from feuding families and were starcrossed lovers. From the very start their love is destined to be a tragic one. Since this is a play there will be spoilers. I’m no literary genius. I’m only a freshman in high school, but even I can see the flaws in Romeo and Juliet. The characters broken down:

Juliet Capulet, a nearly fourteen year old girl who is in my opinion an idiot. I’ve never read about someone who is so suicidal over nothing. Her mind process was along the lines of, “Nothing goes my way. Woe me. Nurse, leave me before I plunge this dagger into me.” That’s Juliet for you. Aside from constantly swooning over Romeo, an obviously handsome young man (I still don’t know what he looks like), Juliet is a waste of space. She had absolutely no ambitions in life and until she met Romeo she was just a lump of human without a personality. In case you’re wondering she never gained one of those either. About halfway through the play, everyone in my class was just annoyed with Juliet and wished she would off herself already.  

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: (The Original Mary Sue of Literature) 0

Romeo Montague is apparently supposed to charm my panties off. I’m sure that would happen if I could actually picture a Romeo. This play should be kept in play form. How did they even cast the characters without descriptions? Romeo isn’t all that bad, but Romeo starts off Act 1 with the same woe is me ploy that Juliet uses for almost the whole play. Romeo got out of the whole emo lover boy phase pretty quickly. Too quickly if you ask me. I asked my teacher a simple question that even stumped her, “What would’ve happened to Romeo and Juliet’s relationship if they hadn’t died?” They only knew each other for less than a day before they got married. Juliet was Romeo’s rebound from being rejected by Rosaline. I don’t think Romeo’s love was true. Shakespeare tries to make it seem that way, but in all honesty it wasn’t real for me. Romeo also makes a lot of stupid choices and is a coward.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1

The Houses Broken Down:
The Capulets
Lord Capulet- He is overly protective of Juliet, but cherishes her. Until after Tybalt’s death, he seemed like a doting father and then he wanted to marry Juliet to Paris. When she refused, he was all “I will disown you. You will be dead to me.” His sudden change in demeanor was weird and just seemed to be thrown in to be another obstacle.
Lady Capulet- She was just there. Much like Juliet actually. She wasn’t the most opinionated woman, but she did offer her opinion every once and awhile.
Nurse- The nurse is quite the talker and has no qualms about offering her opinion no matter how crude they are. A lot of the stuff she said to Juliet was quite scandalous and shocking also offensive. The Nurse was good comic relief though. She was so overdramatic it was funny.
Tybalt- Tybalt the Troublemaker. He likes to start things and is an obvious instigator. If he wouldn’t have instigated and abided the Prince’s law he probably wouldn’t have died.
The Montagues
Lord Montague- He was hardly there. In fact he was only key to maybe one or two scenes throughout the whole play.
Lady Montague- She only had like three lines total. Romeo didn’t seem to care about his parents very much.
Benvolio- Benvolio is a peace maker and is always trying to stop fights. After Mercutio died, he dropped off the face of the earth and we never heard from him again. I find this shocking because he’s supposedly super close to Romeo, but yet he dropped him like a hat.

Friar Lawerence- I blame everything on him. After Tybalt and Mercutio’s deaths anything bad that happened pretty much always led back to him. He got off scotch free because he’s a priest. I didn’t find that fair at all. It’s similar to a congregation accepting a priest even though he molests children. It made absolutely no sense. The friar is human, but Prince made him seem almost like an angel and let him go without punishment.
Mercutio- What a player and a bad boy! He made me laugh at some of the idiotic things he said. He was also pretty rude to the nurse but he is a guy. I wished he wouldn’t have died because he was so funny.
Paris- Another unneeded obstacle in this tragic play. He’s obsessed with Juliet, for reasons I don’t understand. He was way too persistent about marrying her and just wouldn’t stop. Then his death wasn’t all that sad and it was kind of really cheesy.
Prince- He’s the prince and not a very good one. He’s also related to Mercutio. Surprise, surprise! More drama!

Character Scale: 2

The play isn’t all that bad and there are some very interesting parts, but then again after Tybalt and Mercutio died it stopped being interesting and didn’t pick back up until the poison situations. There were also way too many soliloquies for the friar. He was so boring and unless he was screwing things up I wasn’t interested. Shakespeare is interesting though and I can see why so many people love him. I hope his other plays are better. I’m sure they will be though.

Cover Thoughts: I didn’t have a cover since I was reading out of a big textbook. But there were pictures of this play with that chick from Sex and the City and this guy that looked creepy and not swoon worthy. I made fun of him especially when I saw him on an episode as a serial killer on Criminal Minds. It explained so much.


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