May 18 2017

Gallop apace you fiery steeds!

Image result for chagall romeo and juliet image

Tonight, please write a response to today’s class period by answering the question below.   Please consider all the class discussion and analysis we’ve done regarding the play, the lithograph, and orchestral suite, to help you in your response.  As always, please follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

In Shakespeare’s play, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, and Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet, the author, the composer and the artist structure their work with intention.  What aspects of Romeo and Juliet do Shakespeare, Prokofiev, and Chagall choose to emphasize and to leave absent?  What effect do these choices create when you consider them in context of the events of the play?

R&J blog #18

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Posted May 18, 2017 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

30 thoughts on “Gallop apace you fiery steeds!

  1. Toa Neil

    My analysis of the painting is the blending of the Montegues’ and Capulets’ colors. They also seem to be ghosts as they are floating. The obelisk in the background looks like a dagger, similar to the one Juliet killed herself with.
    The music was very foreboding at points, and while it was occasionally fast it was usually slow and melancholy.

  2. charlottes

    In way’s, this painting relates a lot to the play “Romeo and Juliet.” All of the scenery, like the Obelisk, Arch of Triumph and Place de Concorde which are all in Paris, but the play is set in Verona, an Italian city. This may seem confusing, but Paris is the name of the gentleman who Juliet was matched with and the reason Juliet took the sleeping potion. This is very ironic. The two figures seem to be floating, so maybe they are meant to represent Romeo and Juliet’s spirits after they have both passed away. Chagall puts Romeo and Juliet;s faces in a circle above their floating figures because circles represent unity. It symbolizes their love and marriage (shape of a ring). Also, the two houses are different colors, used to represent Capulet and Montague. Finally, Juliet stabs herself with a dagger, which is similar to the shape of the obelisk. The music played during the play has its loud and bold moments and soft and tender moments, just like the play. Romeo and Tybalt fight and the lover’s death are bold and loud, when the scene where Romeo and Juliet meet and kiss for the first time is tender and soft.

    1. francescaa

      The colors of Capulet and Montague where definitely shown. But my question is how did Chagall know that the color of the Montague’s were blue and green and the colors of the Capulet’s were red and yellow? Nowhere in the play does Shakespeare mention the colors of either house, so where did Chagall come up with these colors?

  3. ilyssal

    After today’s class discussion, I continued to think about the art forms we looked at today in class. The music I feel suits Romeo and Juliet very well with the dynamics emphasizing the happy and sad scenes of the play. It gets loud and terrifying at certain times, and is bright and soft at others. This aligns well with the play by Shakespeare, as the play reaches both extremes in a matter of minutes. In the painting, you can clearly see the two figures centered are supposed to be Romeo and Juliet. A village is pictured to the left, and as we discussed in class, it is in Paris. This may be a reference to Paris from the play.

  4. tarika1

    The two works of art both portray the play of Romeo and Juliet. The musical version followed the play by going from strong low notes, to high light notes. I felt this was meant to follow the play, through its deep scenes and it’s light hearted scenes. But, the pictorial version can be interpreted differently. There are objects in the sky that can be seen as different things. Also, the painting is green which is an unusual color. The Montague house is blue and the Capulet house is yellow, so the green can come from Romeo and Juliet uniting them. Also, the figures of a man and woman in the sky can be Romeo and Juliet going to heaven after dying.

  5. caias1

    The painting relates to Romeo and Juliet in many ways. The reference to Paris, the man who Juliet was matched to by her father, is shown because the setting is in Paris, France. The green mixture of the Montague color (blue) and the Capulet color (yellow) is a symbol of how Romeo and Juliet united their families. In class, we also touched on how the two big people in the center of the painting resemble a frog. I believe it was made this way to show how unpredictable Romeo and Juliet’s marriage was. You never know where the frog will jump. The music relates to Romeo and Juliet because in some places it is loud and frightening, like the fight scenes, but soft in other places, like the stolen moments of love between Romeo and Juliet.

  6. margauxc

    Chagall’s lithograph depicts several aspects of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in unique styles, which are open to a few peculiar interpretations. Primarily, the color scheme of Chagall’s work is one which strikes the viewer immediately. In a certain perspective, one could pin the choice of using green for the background as an intentional decision. To the average Petrarchan lover, Romeo and Juliet’s love-at-first-sight endeavor is an intimacy which others are desirous of. This is where the phrase, “Green with envy” comes into significance. In a certain perspective, Chagall could have chosen to depict their love as something which is to be envied, and therefore used the color green to convey this. In addition to the background essentially consisting of shades of green, French architecture is also present. As generally interpreted, the landscape is intended to be reminiscent of Paris. Paris is the city of love, after all, and so this choice can be seen as merely a insignificant detail which is meant to emphasize the essence of love present in “Romeo and Juliet”- yet one could also argue that, in a certain perspective, the fact that Paris is looming in the background can be connected to the County Paris- whose mere presence threatens Juliet and Romeo’s relationship. However, Paris’ character is not necessarily present during the course of the play- he tends to loom in the background of the events happening. In the play, Paris is a notable character who happens to be forgotten by Juliet as soon as she falls for Romeo. In the lithograph, Juliet and Romeo are portrayed to be so deep in love that they have “left behind” the city of Paris, and are soaring at level with the stars (except, the painting shows no stars). In regards towards stars, their lack of presence is an indication of something which Chagall excludes from his piece. It has been established countless of times that Romeo and Juliet are star-crossed lovers; This fact, which imparts the presence of tragedy in the play, is ultimately excluded from Chagall lithograph. Love is the paramount emotion delineated in Chagall’s art- and from what the average observed can conclude- the only emotion shown in the faces of Juliet and Romeo. In contrast, the suite composed by Prokofiev emphasizes the tragic aspects of “Romeo and Juliet.” The tone and melody, initially, is somber- which is conveyed through the usage of a percussion opening and the presence of other low-toned instruments. The pace settles and sets into a sweet, tranquil state- which can be seen as symbolizing the love accumulating between Romeo and Juliet. The music progresses and features several more transitions between a dreary tone and a light-hearted melody. Essentially, both Prokofiev and Chagall manage to create different, unique interpretations of “Romeo and Juliet”.

    1. eshap

      I agree, you made some really excellent points. I hadn’t realized how the city of Paris could be a representation of the County Paris. After all, he was the one who almost broke apart Romeo and Juliet by marrying Juliet.

  7. arihantp1

    Both works of art represent the play Romeo and Juliet. The art work cleverly uses colors to show the unity of the Montagues and Capulets. It also shows Romeo and Juliet together and floating, as if they are still together even after their death. The music, however, represents a different aspect. The pictorial represented the ending of Romeo and Juliet, but the musical shows the mood throughout the play. It starts off with a light and cheery tone, and it abruptly switches to a more dark and melodramatic tone. The abrupt changes in tone and melody, from cheerful to dramatic is similar to the play. Both versions represented Romeo and Juliet in their own ways.

    1. christophert3

      I greatly agree, the two interpretations of Romeo and Juliet do focus on different things, like how you brought up the focus on the lovers’ lives in the musical version, while the painting focused on their death or portrayed it.

  8. avae1

    The story of “Romeo and Juliet” can be interpreted using different mediums of art, such as with music, on stage, and with paint. In Chagall’s painting, the main focus is on Romeo and Juliet, as they embrace and enter the phase of eternal love. I noticed that this painting creates an emphasis on the death in the play. I interpreted the two faces enclosed by the circle to be Mercutio and Tybalt, slain men from each of the feuding households side by side. This conveys the message that in the afterlife, there are no names or titles, and that people can reunite without any bad blood. The idea of names is also mentioned in Shakespeare’s play, as Juliet and Romeo both wish to forget their names and carry on their love without fear. In the lithograph Romeo and Juliet glide over what appears to be the city of Paris, which is odd because the play is set in Italy. However, Paris is the man who was supposed to marry Juliet, so that background could represent him, who is yet another dead person referred to in the painting.

    In Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, when the volume first increases the sound is not exactly pleasing to the ear. This could represent the beginning fight scene, and sets the tone for the rivalry between the families. From then on the overture continues to vary between a soft lovely tune to a quicker pace, which can be quite eery at times. This describes the relationship between Romeo and Juliet, at first it seemed harmless and delightful, and so quickly it turned into something much more complex and dangerous. The music and play seem to emphasize the life and actual plot of the story, as they should, and the painting focuses on the possible afterlife. The lithograph provides a perspective the reader or listener might not have considered before, and therefore balances that person’s understanding of it.

  9. francescaa

    Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet definitely relates the the Shakespeare play. The very first thing I noticed was Romeo and Juliet, painted dead center. Chagall painted them as if they were flying. It is hard to portray one’s ideas through a painting, but I could see that Chagall believed that Romeo and Juliet rose together into heaven. Another detail Chagall included was the painted vials on Juliet’s dress. As we know, Juliet drank the potion Friar Lawrence gave to her so she could look dead, so to add this little detail was pretty clever. Another thing that struck my interest was the building in the background. Although the buildings actually are in France, they could symbolize the town of Verona. After all, these scene was split down the middle, possibly signifying the division between the houses of Capulet and Montague. Overall, the painting was very fascinating and it proved how much can an artist can communicate with his or her viewers.

    Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suit was definitely an interesting, yet relevant piece of music. It was as if the music took you through a journey of a play. For some reason there was one part that I felt represented the day of the wedding. It was a soft, upbeat, feel-good part of the song. In the background there was some chiming of bells, which sounded a lot like the sound of wedding bells. This also reminded me of the wedding because of the fact everything was going by so fast. Romeo and Juliet literally met the day before and now they are all of a sudden getting married. Clearly Prokofiev did a great job of translating the play of Romeo and Juliet into a piece of music.

    (In class today it was brought to everyone’s attention that there supposedly a frog in the painting. After a few minutes of looking at it I finally saw what everyone was talking about, yet I thought the creature was a snail, not a frog. Once I thought about it I realized that maybe the snail/ frog has some significance. Generally snails are thought as slow creatures. Well, the way Romeo and Juliet went about thing was not slow at all! Matter of fact, they did everything as if there was no tomorrow. I realize this idea is a bit out there, but I thought it was worth mentioning.)

  10. alexo

    Despite me looking at the photo for so long, I can’t seem to make any meaning out of it! I can see that the depiction of Paris clearly resembles the character himself, but other else than that, I have nothing. I wait for tomorrow’s class where we can discuss what others thought of it.

    The music, however, I can make meaning out of. The music, in my mind, seems to go along with the play. While listening to the orchestra, I can imagine the story playing through. The music is dramatic and loud when they fall in love. The music softens and takes a melancholy tone when Mercutio and Tybalt are murdered. This eems to go throughout the whole music, but I don’t want to bore anyone by going through scene-by scene, music change by music change.

  11. sofiad1

    The artistic renderings of Romeo and Juliet have different emphasizes on the parts of the story than the book does. The musical rendering starts at a nice mezzopiano, and then crescendos and decrescendos accordingly based on what the composer thought nessecary. The painting puts emphasis on only the town square and Romeo and Juliet. The artist particularly made it so the only two things tag at mattered were Romeo and Juliet. The town square was simply symbolic of the reason that Tybalt died, which set off the downfall of the events that cause the suicide. The artist even made Romeo a tree. I interperated this as his generosity of love, mainly towards Juliet.

  12. ivanl

    The artwork is clearly related to Romeo and Juliet. First catching the observer’s eye is the 2 figures floating in the middle of the painting. This clearly is meant to represent Romeo and Juliet, perhaps their ‘spirits’ in the afterlife, floating together with another, always together as they had said in the play. The two differently colored towns under them perhaps represent the Montague and Capulet families, they both live near each other, but have a deep hate for one another, explaining the different colors. However, Romeo and Juliet both are colored green, perhaps to show that they have moved past the hate of the two households, for their love has made them a ‘color’ of their own.

    The music by Prokofiev was a very interesting piece to listen to. The accents made by the violins perhaps showed the beginning fight between the servants. The continued bass trombone feels like it is there to add a deeper meaning to it too, perhaps the long feud between the two families. In addition to this, the first few minutes were played in E minor, the minor to create more of an ‘unfriendly’ atmosphere. After these first few unhappy minutes, it resolves from E minor to G major. Here, the tempo is slowed, perhaps to show a more joyful time. There a bells chiming in the background, which might represent the wedding bells. After this joyful few minutes, it changes back to the original ‘angry’ tone of music. This would probably represent another fight, perhaps when Tybalt spots Romeo at the party, but doesn’t actually fight him. This would explain why it was so short at that part. The music goes almost entirely hand in hand with the scenes in the book.

  13. christophert3

    I believe that Shakespeare, Prokofiev, and Chagall all emphasized the opposition and difference between the two houses, as well as the love
    of Romeo and Juliet and the strength of that love. They also emphasize those times when the houses oppose each other or have fights, making them greatly dramatic. They also include how peaceful the town is when the two houses aren’t in conflict. Another thing that is emphasized is the joy of Romeo and Juliet when each other, and the sadness of not being able to be with each other as a result of the conflict between their houses. These choices create the effect that the main idea of the story is of this love between the two that is incredibly strong and how the great tension between the two families often tests and tries to break that bondage. But in the end, the death of the two leads the two houses to settle their differences. This is my take on the versions of Romeo and Juliet created by these persons.

  14. briannag3

    After listening to Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite again tonight, I noticed that his music really follows the mood of the play. As the play changes from good, bad, dramatic, or whatever mood that was happening the music followed. In Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet I can see a very pronounced emphasis on color. The use of warm and cool colors really make me think about the difference between Montague and Capulet. However, green is used a lot in his painting. Green is a product of combining red and blue, which are the colors of Capulet and Montague. This represents the uniting of Capulet and Montague due to Romeo and Juliet, and how they had to sacrifice themselves to force the unity of their two families.

  15. willowm

    I believe that Prokofiev’s music and Shakespeare’s play go hand in hand, the music complements the play. When the music crescendos, it makes me think of important or dramatic scenes in the play, like when Romeo fought and killed Tybalt. When the music slows and becomes quieter, I think of romantic and peaceful scenes between Romeo and Juliet. They both emphasize the good and the bad in the play, whereas the painting only emphasizes the good. Chagall emphasizes the love between Romeo and Juliet by using proportion to make them stand out as their united spirits fly over the city.

  16. maddy

    The artworks discussed during class depict multiple aspects of “Romeo and Juliet”. As portrayed within Chagall’s lithograph, there is a clash of warm and cool colors. One may interpret this usage to be the Capulet-Montague feud. Additionally, the orchestral suite conveyed disharmony through the alterations of crescendos and diminuendos. In the commencement of this suite, the music was gentle and upbeat. The tempo and volume increased, adopting a melancholy tone. Once the initial music slowly returned, this mercurial pattern proceeded throughout the suite’s entirety. Thus, it can be argued that the orchestral suite is intended to portray the plot of “Romeo and Juliet”.

  17. adam

    Both the orchestra and the painting have much in common and fit together with the play and movie. As for the music, it is very dynamic and changes in volume quickly. This coveys the play and it’s major events without using words. An example is when Tybalt killed Mercutio, the music may be louder and once he is dead, the music will be more quiet to show sorrow and silence. It shows all of the different feelings of Romor and Juliet through sound rather than words. In the painting, there is a great amount of symbolism. There is plenty of green, which is the color of both the Capulets and Montagues combined, showing that both families have united. It shows Romeo and Juliet going in heaven together, on what seems to be a horse. I am unsure what that horse symbolizes and am looking forward to what my classmates have to say. They are leaving what seems to be the setting of Paris, who also died in the play. This shows that they both have nothing to do with Paris, and they are in a better place without him. They seem to be pictured together in the moon, looking down possibly at the city and the changes that have taken place between both families. Both artistic renderings display Romeo and Juliet in two different ways.

  18. faithw

    Prokofiev began his performance with loud, dramatic music. The piece radiated the feelings of suspense and danger, just like the opening scenes of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. The onset of the tragedy included a thrilling fight scene between the feuding Capulet and Montague families. As the composition progressed, instruments such as the flute are introduced to the oeuvre. The flute lightened the mood of the arrangement and gave it a happier feel. I believe the change in sound was composed to represent the early love of Romeo and Juliet. However, at the end the production, the piece transformed into dark, hectic music. The development of the music represented how Romeo and Juliet’s love was ultimately because of the supporting character’s judgements.

    Shakespeare concentrated on the vile part of the play. Many scenes in the tragedy were of fighting and/or death. Despite all of the obstacles Romeo and Juliet faced, Shakespeare chose for the characters to die, instead of allowing them to live happily ever after.

    In Chagall’s 1964 painting, “Romeo et Juliette” he displayed the many, complex portions of the story. The depiction combined pictures of Romeo and Juliet, Paris, and several of important buildings found in Verona. Romeo and Juliet appeared to be flying or soaring through the air. I think that the idea of Romeo and Juliet floating represented the characters spirits moving up to heaven. Also in the upper middle section of the artwork, a dove is depicted. Doves tend to represent peace and purity. The incorporation of the bird might portray that Romeo and Juliet were only truly free to love each other after their deaths.

  19. Kat

    In the painting of Romeo and Juliet I saw many things that stood out to me. First of all when we look at the colors we see mostly variations of green. When I first saw this I thought it meant envy, and jealousy. I was unsure exactly how this tied into the book however. I also noticed that in the city below Romeo and Juliet there are two very distinct colors. These colors are blue for the Montague’s and orange for the Capulet’s. When it comes to thee figures themselves I was interested in their expressions. To me Romeo looks content, but Juliet looks somewhat melancholy and scared. This made me wonder about their two characters. In the circle above them we see two faces. To me these faces looked almost like Juliet. I was unsure if that was her in the end when she is not with Romeo. In the end she is the only one in the couple that is alive. Then she kills her self. From the circle we see what looks like a dove. I thought that this meant the relative peace that came from the tragedies that the families suffered.

    The piece of music by Prokofiev seemed like the perfect accompaniment, or telling of this book. When you listen to the piece as a whole it has many different and complicated sections. In each section there are different instruments that are more prominent. Just like Romeo and Juliet’s love this piece is unpredictable and goes through sudden changes in tone. The tempo, tone and modulation in this piece are especially interesting. A lot of sections seem to crescendo as if it is getting more dramatic. This reminded me of the sweeter moments in the play that would suddenly turn to dramatic, and sad scenes.

  20. George

    This painting at first glance seems fairly simple at first galnce however it is much more complicated then that. Color plays a huge part in the study of this painting. You see alot of green which can be seen as a symbol of the new life Romeo and Juliet live as lovers in the sky. However we also see red and blue buildi gs in reference to the colors of the two houses. We see the city of Paris not Verona surprisingly. This is a direct correlation to the fact that Paris os the city of love.

  21. laurena2

    After analyzing the interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, I have noticed that there are two main colors, yellow and blue (Capluets and Montagues) that mix together to make a yellow color. Also, the long object in the background can be compared to a dagger. On Juliet, there is a blood stain on the side of her rib, indicating that this was the dagger that she used to kill herself. Although the picture may seem very calm, there are actually many things happening at once. This corresponds with Prokofiev’s music, a song that is very intense and occasionally picks up the tempo. In the second to last scene of Romeo and Juliet, the music becomes more intense as Romeo and Juliet die. It is important to always have background music, not only to add effect but also to let the listener know that something big is about to happen.

  22. cameronl3

    To begin with, I am almost positive Chagall did not intend to make Romeo and Juliet look like “frogs” in his painting. On a more serious note, his painting really shows the love between the two. Although they are villains and members of different households, they are still together as one, as they are hugging in the painting. What is not shown in the painting, however, is all of the struggles they had gone through. For example, we do not see any clash between their families, or a slain Tybalt. What we do see is two star-crossed lovers. In Prokofiev’s music, we hear lots of dramatic, abrupt tones, that quickly turn into very soothing mellow sounds. This can possibly exemplify how everything was going well for the couple, until the clash between their families and all of the deaths. As things get more intense in the music, many things seem to be intense in the movie as well. What we don’t get from the composer’s music is a true feeling of why and when there is a sudden downfall in the tone of the music. And in Shakespeare’s play, we get the true understanding of when and why everything happens, since all of the play is there, right in front of us. All we miss is the true acting out of the scenes which we got from the movies of Lehrann and Zeffirelli. All of these takes on Romeo and Juliet emphasize different meanings to the play that are all very interesting and true in a sense.

  23. marinas1

    In Marc Chagall’s masterpiece “Romeo et Juliette”, a few things are quite noticeable and important that relate wonderfully to Shakespear’s play. First off, the city of Paris is in the background. Although this may be taken as just an ode to Marc Chagall’s favorite places, it can not be so when seeing it with the context of “Romeo and Juliet” the play. In Shakespear;s tragedy, Paris is the prince’s kinsman, who also happens to be in love with Juliet. Ultimately, his love for Juliet is what causes a duel between him and Romeo, which he ends up losing, and dies in that very same scene. Thus, when looking at Marc Chagall’s painting, it seems as if Paris is in the background, never really reaching Romeo and Juliet. In addition, when looking at the obelisk in the back of the picture, I can see how it is separating two sides. This could also be referring to Paris, who attempts to marry Juliet, who opposes and only wishes to be with Romeo. On another note, there seems to be a hand protruding from the oval with two faces in it.This hand may be Romeo’s during the balcony scene, or possibly Romeo at the very end of his life, when he reaches for Juliet. I favor the second theory, for his hand is outstretched to the heavans, and Juliet is indeed often called the Sun. Additionally, there is a dove at the very top of the painting. At first glance, I thouhgt the bird might be a lark, reffering to how Juliet did not want Romeo to leave, but alas, Romeo had to. Now, realizing that the bird is actually a dove, my analisis is far clearer than before. A dove is the symbol of peace. In the painting, the dove is above Romeo and Juliet, who are laying down together. This leads me to believe that when Romeo and Juliet are together at last, they are at peace. On the other hand, this may be taken completely differently. After Romeo and Juliet’s untimely deaths, the Montagues and the Capulets make peace. That dove may be the embodiement of that shared peace. In the aforementioned oval, there are two faces. In this oval, I see Juliet and the Nurse. This leads me to believe that Juliet and her Nurse are seperate from the world, them being almost like mother and daughter. Switching gears, the horse/doneky under Romeo and Juliet, in my opinion, seems to be like the horse/donkey that sent Romeo the “news” of Juliet’s death. That would explain why the horse/donkey is under Romeo and Juliet’s resting bodies: he/she was really one of the main causes of their deaths. This horse?donkey also has two eyes on one side of its head, which may mean that everyone has a peculiarity, or somehting we do not know about them.

    Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, a wonderful symphony, seems to change rhythmically and musically as it contiunes. For example, about 3 minutes in, there is a portion where this passionate, fiery music is playing. This, to me, seems to be reffering ti Tybalt, and his anger, or possibly to when Romeo kills Tybalt. From this, I suspect each section is trying to convey a particular scene from Shakespear’s play of the same name.

  24. Rebecca F

    Upon looking at Marc Chagall’s painting, I immediately noticed that the colors red and green are primarily used. Red and green are complementary colors, meaning that they are on opposite sides of the color wheel. However, while they lie on opposite sides of the wheel, they so well together, making a beautiful color combination, hence the name complementary colors. Unfortunately, while the colors look nice in tandem, when they are combined, they create a murky, unpleasant brown or grey. This greatly reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. The star crossed lovers were of opposing houses and while they appeared nice together, once they were joined together, things fell apart and unraveled, leading to their death.
    When I listened to the ensemble preforming Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, I noticed that the composition is full of suspenseful crescendos. The music swells and grows ominously before spilling into a melody that is beautiful and hints at misfortune to come at the same time. The musicians lean in as they play, bowing with weight and bite.
    However, several minutes into the piece, the music becomes light and dreamlike, shedding the dark sense of foreboding it had mere measures ago. Instruments with a higher range play airy arpeggios, which contrast with the darkly captivating melodies previously played, before returning to its sadder theme.
    As for how the music relates to the story of Romeo and Juliet, here are my thoughts. In the beginning of the piece, I am reminded of Romeo’s angst and pain when he thinks of Rosaline. While love is a wonderful thing, Romeo’s love for Rosaline was unhealthy and had festered into an ugly obsession.
    But when he meets Juliet, he is happy and lighthearted, having completely forgotten the heartache Rosaline caused him. This correlates to the second phrase of the music, which reflects the untainted love Romeo and Juliet had, the moments where they were happy and unburdened.
    But as the music again grows somber and dark, it reflects the troubles that begin to affect Romeo and Juliet’s love, such as the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio, Romeo’s banishment, and Juliet’s betrothal to Paris.
    The music then pauses before continuing with a dramatic fervor. Short notes and accents portray the unfolding of important events at a rapid pace. The notes fly by so quickly that it is hard to comprehend what is happening, before it slows down into something easier to take in and understand.
    I am reminded of when Juliet goes to the friar, telling him to come up with a solution or she will take her life right there and then. I relate the slower tempo of the music to the friar formulating a plan to get Juliet to her Romeo so that they may live happily ever after.
    But then is where the music ends, as though they will never get the chance to have a happy ending. The music ends on a sad, but resigned note, as though while their story ended poorly, nothing can be done to bring back Romeo and Juliet. The Capulets and Montagues can only now learn from their mistakes and hope to bring an end to their ancient grudge.

  25. eshap

    Marc Chagall’s  lithograph “Romeo et Juliette” has a very distinct look, and stands out at the first view. When seeing this painting, I immediately saw the dove at the top of the painting. Most times, doves symbolize peace, love, and purity. Based on the play by William Shakespeare, the dove in the painting represents peace and love. The location of the dove in the painting also affects what the dove means. The love represented by the dove could be Paris’ love for Juliet and Romeo’s love for Juliet, however, since the dove is above Romeo and Juliet’s heads, it is a symbol of their love. The dove’s appearance shows how their love continues even after death. Since the dove also can represent peace, at first I thought it was peace between the Capulets and Montagues after Romeo and Juliet’s deaths, but taking into consideration the location of the bird, I realized that the peace how Romeo and Juliet can be together in peace now that they have died. The two faces in the oval, next to dove, seem to be Lord Capulet and Lord Montague, trying to make the other recede. Both faces have a very distinct emotion  on tem of what seems to be anger. The dove may not represent the peace between all Capulets and Montagues, but it does show the peace between Lord Capulet and Lord Montague. Another eye-catching aspect of the painting is the color green. Normally, green symbolizes envy and jealousy. In this lithograph, the color green makes everything joined together, symbolizing unity. Romeo and Juliet are together in their afterlives, and the Capulets and Montagues joined together in respect. On a different note, the obelisk stands out clearly due to its white color, bringing emphasis. The obelisk could be the divide between the Capulets and Montagues, which, overall, caused Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. It could also be a representation of Romeo’s banishment to Mantua, forcing him to be separated from Juliet. Being separated, the two lovers had no direct contact with each other, and it was impossible for them to be together. This also resulted in their deaths, uniting them after all.

    Listening to the music, I instantly heard the quick changes in tone to go along with the original play. The music starts off strong, when the fight between Capulet and Montagues breaks out. It transforms into a sweet melody, rising again when the Montagues appear at the Capulet’s feast, creating the problem in the first place. The music continues in this pattern, being loud and aggressive during parts of suspense or action, such as Tybalt and Romeo’s duel, and being sweet and soft during parts of comfort or love, such as Romeo and Juliet’s marriage. Towards the end, the music has a whimsical sense to it, being very light but also quick and also strong. This could be the part where Balthasar rides to Romeo in order to deliver the news of Juliet, being quick on his horse. This music continues for some time, showing Romeo’s return to be with his love. The very end has a triumphant tone, that is also a little eerie, representing how Romeo and Juliet ended up together, and united the two families, but they achieved this with their deaths.

  26. alekhya

    When listening to Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite performed by the ensemble I realized that it brought out the mood and in a way the story of the play. In Romeo and Juliet there moments of great tension such as the fight between Romeo and Tybalt and when Romeo comes to see Juliet. The music plays with these ideas by providing a very low tone with many naturals and flats to symbolize the suspense and the chances of the characters being in grave danger. The composer also utilizes changing dynamics to suggest moments of great passion and major turning points such as Mercutio’s death. At these moments the notes become progressively louder until their reach their highest level only to drop back to almost silence to the audience to feel the tension lacing their music. This piece also reestablish’s that Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy rather then a “happy ever after”. If this play had been one of happiness and joy the notes would have been higher and staccato, or short bows, would have been used to relate the airy feel of the play. But to represent the tragedy longer bows, or legato, to get the audience at the edge of their dreading to hear what happens next. But at the end of the piece the music does become very light in what I presume is the composer’s representation of Romeo and Juliet joining together once and for all with their deaths.

    When looking at Marc Chagall’s lithograph “Romeo et Juliette” I noticed how he chose to use green as his base color. Green can represent harmony but also freshness, which seems to tie in well with Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet and Romeo both seem to have been awoken from a deep sleep after seeing one another and are instantly in harmony, synchronizing perfectly; an example of which is the first discussion between Romeo and Juliet where they speak to each other in sonnet form without missing a beat. What was also very intriguing about this painting was the tree that seems to be growing around the heads of Romeo and Juliet. Trees can represent strength but also a family. Throughout this tragedy the love they feel for each other remains strong even though their closest families are what keep them apart. But I do have a question. Could the open area with the surrounding buildings represent the town square? The place where so many things occurred that changed the course of the play?


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