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
May 17 2017

Youth in this play is a separate nation.

Please read the following excerpt by Professor Frank Kermode.  He was the Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University.  This excerpt is short, but you should take your time in reading it and most importantly thinking about what Professor Kermode is actually saying.

Youth in this play is a separate nation; its customs are not understood by the old.  For the hot blood which makes love at once a matter of rapture and low jokes is the same that keeps warm the obsolete Montague-Capulet feud.  The same passions work toward both ends. 

After you have read and carefully thought about this excerpt, write a response in which you answer the questions below:

  1. What is this critic’s claim or thesis?
  2. What evidence can you find to support this critic’s claim?  (Make sure you explain how this evidence actually justifies the critic’s claim.)
  3. What evidence can you find that would refute the critic’s claim?  (Make sure you explain how this evidence refutes the critic’s claim.)
  4. Overall, do you agree with the critic?  Why or Why not?
R&J blog #17
May 16 2017

O my love, my wife!

Tonight should finish reading the play!  Then, please paraphrase and analyze Romeo’s soliloquy, Act V, scene iii.    What metaphors, references, and comparisons does he use?  How does this help the reader or audience member understand his anguish?  What insight about life and death is Shakespeare conveying to his audience?

O my love! my wife!
Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:
Thou art not conquer’d; beauty’s ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet?
O, what more favour can I do to thee,
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in twain
To sunder his that was thine enemy?
Forgive me, cousin! Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
Here’s to my love! [Drinks.]  O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.          [Falls.]

R&J blog #16
May 15 2017

Come, vial.

Tonight, please read Act II, scenes iii and iv.  Then, please paraphrase and analyze the “Come, Vial” speech.  After your paraphase, analyze how Juliet has changed over the course of the play so far.

Come, vial.
What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then to-morrow morning?
No, no: this shall forbid it: lie thou there.

(Laying down her dagger)

What if it be a poison, which the friar
Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead,
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour’d,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear it is: and yet, methinks, it should not,
For he hath still been tried a holy man.
How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me? there’s a fearful point!
Shall I not, then, be stifled in the vault,
To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in,
And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?
Or, if I live, is it not very like,
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place,–
As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
Of all my buried ancestors are packed:
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say,
At some hours in the night spirits resort;–
Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
And shrieks like mandrakes’ torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad:–
O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears?
And madly play with my forefather’s joints?
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone,
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?
O, look! methinks I see my cousin’s ghost
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body
Upon a rapier’s point: stay, Tybalt, stay!
Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

(She falls upon her bed, within the curtains.)

R&J blog #15
May 12 2017

I’ll not be forsworn.

Please read Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scenes iv and v.

Then, please paraphrase and analyze Capulet’s speech below.   In your analysis, please focus on the following three elements: characterization, plot development, and theme.

  • What do we understand about Capulet’s character or personality from this speech?
  • How do you think his character and this speech are likely to affect the plot of the play?
  • How does this speech add to your understanding of the themes and underlying messages of this play?

As always, be sure to follow the rules of standard English and comment on at least one other response in this thread.

God’s bread! it makes me mad:
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her match’d: and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train’d,
Stuff’d, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportion’d as one’s thought would wish a man;
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love,
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.’
But, as you will not wed, I’ll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me:
Look to’t, think on’t, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to’t, bethink you; I’ll not be forsworn.

R&J blog #14
May 9 2017

O, I am fortune’s fool!

Image result for image of romeo and mercutio

Tonight, after you finish reading Act III, scene i, of Romeo and Juliet please write your response here.  You have free choice of response, but please keep your comments grounded in the text and, unless you are the very first student to comment, respond to previous comments as a part of your comment.  In other words, let’s try to have an online conversation and see where it leads us!

As always, please check your writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

R&J blog #13
May 8 2017

It is enough I may but call her mine.

This evening, please paraphrase and then analyze Romeo’s speech below.  Next, you must then compare it to the Friar’s speech beneath it.

What perpetual truth does each speaker express in his lines?  What possible outcome does the imagery foreshadow in each quotation?

Don’t forget: you must analyze both speeches and comment on the analysis of your classmates as well.

Amen, amen! But come what sorrow can,
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy
That one short minute gives me in her sight.
Do thou but close our hand with holy words,
Then love-devouring death do what he dare –
It is enough I may but call her mine.
 
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss, consume.
The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
 
R&J blog #12
May 5 2017

Holy Saint Francis!

Tonight, please paraphrase and then analyze the speech below.  For your analysis, be sure to tell who said the quotation, to whom, and under what circumstances.   Be sure to focus on characterization, plot development, and theme.

As always, be sure to follow the rules of standard written English and don’t forget to respond to the analysis of your classmates as well.

Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
Hath wash’d thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!
How much salt water thrown away in waste,
To season love, that of it doth not taste!
The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears;
Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
Of an old tear that is not wash’d off yet:
If e’er thou wast thyself and these woes thine,
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline:
And art thou changed? pronounce this sentence then,
Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men.

R&J blog #11
May 3 2017

What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night, / So stumblest on my counsel?

What can you infer about Romeo and Juliet by comparing their use of language  in Act II, scene ii, lines 52-111? Consider their main concerns in this excerpt.  Be sure to use specific textual evidence to support your claim, and further, be sure to make clear how that evidence actually supports that claim.

As always, please be sure to follow the rules of standard in your writing and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog #10
May 1 2017

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

SCENE II. Capulet’s orchard.

Enter ROMEO

ROMEO
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

JULIET appears above at a window

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,                                5
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!                                                  10
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks:                               15
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,    20
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,                                 25
That I might touch that cheek!

JULIET
Ay me!

ROMEO
She speaks:
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head                     30
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.                                   35

JULIET
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.

ROMEO
[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?           40

JULIET
Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!                    45
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,                         50
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Choose a specific line from both Romeo and Juliet in the lines above that demonstrates an emotion Shakespeare is crafting in this scene. Explain what the emotion is and how each line you chose does demonstrates that emotion.

As always, be sure to follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog 9