March 28

That’s not how I see it….

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 #19


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Posted March 28, 2019 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

21 thoughts on “That’s not how I see it….

  1. Sunna

    In Shakespeare’s play, Chagall’s artwork, and Prokofiev´s music, the idea of Romeo and Juliet being separated from their families´ hate is demonstrated. In the play, Romeo and Juliet so often go away to be alone together. While their families are busy with their petty feud, Romeo and Juliet look past blood, and instead look at what type of person they are. This is demonstrated in the artwork, as well. In the village, you can see the red and blue houses, separate from each other. But Romeo and Juliet are floating above it all with one another. They are neither red nor blue, but instead they are green, symbolizing being neutral. The music also shows this. When there are intense, loud parts of the music, it symbolizes the hate and anger that the Montagues and Capulets harbor towards one another. But when the volume is softer, and the music is sweet and calm, it symbolizes Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. It is as though they are in their own safe-haven, away from the rest of the world. They seem to be cut off from all others, lost in their own fantasy. All three of these versions of this story demonstrate this in their own, different ways.

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  2. angelicac1

    In Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, the composer and the artist structure their works with intentions of certain details. In Chagall’s depiction he showed Romeo and Juliet hugging each other. By including this detail, Chagall emphasizes the fact that Juliet finds protection in being with Romeo because it seems as if she is hugging him like he is protecting her since his arms are around her. Below the two star-crossed lovers are structures that are either blue or red. Having Romeo and Juliet in each other’s arms above all these structures show that they are wanting to protect each other from the feud between both of their families. Something I observed was how the red blob-like shape in the top left corner was the sun and how the circle that has the two people in them was the moon. An important detail about this is that the sun is the color of one of the families while the people in the moon are Romeo and Juliet. This made me think of the settings when Romeo and Juliet are together. I realized that night time is one of the only times when Romeo and Juliet can enjoy their presence and love together, because in the day they would have to deal with avoiding their families. All these details that were included in this piece of art are incredibly accurate to the play.

    In Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, something I thought that was really noticeable was the difference between the dramatic measures in the musical work and the mellow measures. Like what we discussed during class, the music accurately fit along the events in the storyline of the play. After I listened to the whole video, I noted on all the times the music would grow loud and dramatic throughout the piece to represent all the duels and fights. The music would then gradually grow soft and relaxing to represent all the times that Romeo and Juliet were together. To me, this shows how Romeo and Juliet can only relax with each other when they’re apart from all the drama between their families.

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    1. trinityt

      Great analysis. I didn’t even think about the sun and moon, and how Romeo and Juliet can only be together at night, and have to deal with the drama from their families until now.

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  3. stephaniec

    Shakespeare’s play, Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet’s Suite all are similar in that they show how strongly Romeo and Juliet love each other. In the play, Shakespeare uses words to express how much they love each other. Furthermore, he uses the actions of the characters to express love. For instance, at the end of the novel Romeo and Juliet can’t image life without the other and both decide to kill themselves for the other. In the painting, Romeo and Juliet are suspended in the air hugging each other. This shows how they are putting their families problems aside and focusing on their own love. Finally, in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet’s Suite Romeo and Juliet’s love was shown in the parts when the music was gentle, upbeat, and graceful. This represented the good parts of Romeo and Juliet’s love.

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  4. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, both the composer and the artist structure their works with intentions of providing the viewer with certain details. Throughout the painting, the first thing that catches your eye are the two people hugging each other in the middle. I believe that these two people are Romeo and Juliet flying up to heaven after the both die, away from all their troubles started between their families. When seeing the two people hugging and caressing for each other you can clearly see how they love each other dearly. It also shows how they find protection within each other and want to be by each other’s side forever. Furthermore, in the picture there are both red and blue building below Romeo and Juliet as they are flying. The red buildings represent the Capulets while the blue buildings represent the Montagues. As Juliet and Romeo are flying you can clearly see that Juliet’s dress is a shade of purple (which is a mixture of the colors red and blue!). I think this represents the joining Romeo and Juliet and how they defy the hatred between the rival families. They are showing they can all mix together and be with each other, which is what the purple represents. Lastly, I noticed some animals within the painting as well. One animal that I thought was intriguing was the dove. A dove is a bird that represents love and peace, which is the opposite of what the Capulets and Montagues had with each other. Therefore, the dove must represent the love between Romeo and Juliet or maybe even how the Capulets and Monatgues changed and are beginning to make peace. Another animal was a horse/mule type of thing. It seemed as though Romeo and Juliet were riding him to make their way to heaven. Therefore, in his painting, Chagall did a great job of really emphasizing certain aspects of the play.
    Also, the producer of the music made some interesting choices while composing his piece. The first thing I noticed about the music was the pace and the pace and volume of the music. Usually, when the music got loud and moved slowly or at a medium speed, you could tell something bad, or upsetting was going on. However, if the music is more quiet, not as booming and is more high pitched, you can tell a happy event is occurring. Another thing I noticed about he music, was that you can approximately match the music to the scene it goes along with. For example towards the middle of the portion we listened to in class, there was peppy dancing music that you can tell was going along with the great ball at Capulet’s house. Therefore, Prokofiev did a great job making choices of emphasis during his interpretation of how the music should go during the play of Romeo and Juliet.

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  5. Emily

    In all three forms of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s play, Prokofiev’s Suite, and the Painting of Romeo and Juliet by Chagall, their are similar themes present. All of them showcase the division between the families, as well as the connection between Romeo and Juliet. In addition, they also accentuate the peacefulness between Romeo and Juliet, in contrast to the fighting that goes on between the Capulets and Montagues. In the play we experience this in many ways, such as Romeo and Juliet always being separated from their families. Romeo never really connected with his parents, and he was always a little different from everyone else. Juliet used to always want to please her parents, but then she realized that she was better than fighting wit no real purpose. In Prokofiev’s suite, the listeners experience the differences between the families and Romeo and Juliet by the dramatic change is mood. During the times that represent the meetings of Romeo and Juliets, the music is soft and peaceful, which is in great contrast to that when it is loud and rushed. When it is loud, it represents the times when the families were quarrelling, and how pointless it was. The peaceful music shows what could have been had the families just put an end to their feud. Finally, the painting shows how Romeo and Juliet are separate because they are floating above Paris, away from their families. Most of the city buildings are portrayed as either blue or red, which represents the contrast between the families. On the other hand, Romeo and Juliet are painted as green, the neutral color. The pair is separate from their families and in all three portrayals of their story this is prevalent.

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  6. trinityt

    Shakespeare’s play, Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, all three shows certain things. For example, they show that Romeo and Juliet are not really involved in their families’ grudge with each other. In Shakespeare’s play, the text described that the Montague and the Capulet hated each other, and they would get into fights even if it’s in the middle of the street of Verona. However, Romeo and Juliet are different from the rest of their families. They don’t get into fights and the air around them are calm and peaceful, while their families’ fight scenes always creates a chaotic mood. Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet displayed this as well. In the painting, we see that the Montague and the Capulet are divided and represented by colors. The Montague is blue, and the Capulet is red. It also shows that Romeo and Juliet are hugging each other, which represents their love, in the air, away from their families’ fights and hatred. There was also a white dove above them with a hand reaching out to it, which represents reaching for peace since a white dove symbolizes peace. As for Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, it shows the same idea as well. As the music was playing, there are moments where the music was loud and intense, but then the music turned into soft, gentle, and happy melody. The loud and intense parts symbolizes the hatred and fights between the two families, and the soft, gentle, and happy parts is when Romeo and Juliet are together and it symbolizes their love. Even though these are different types of arts, they show similar ideas, which in this case is the idea of Romeo and Juliet not involved in their families’ fights, just in different forms.

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  7. Laila Sayegh

    In all three art forms, Chagall’s painting, Prokofiev’s Suite, and the Shakespearian play, we can point out the important theme of duality. Starting with Shakespeare’s play, we can easily note the contrasting characters, themes, and imagery. These include darkness and light, Capulet and Montague, and most importantly, love and hate. Of course, the play includes the most detail because we are watching the story unfold from start to finish, but, the music and painting still tell a story. The music follows the timeline of the play. After reading the entire play, it was interesting to compare scenes of the play to parts of the music. When it was implied that Romeo and Juliet were together, the music was light and happy. When it was implied that there was fighting, the music was dark and rough. It shows the theme of love and hate, love being between Romeo and Juliet, and hate being between their families. The composer did an excellent job using these two contrasting sounds to tell a story. Lastly, the painting. When looking at the painting, I divided it into three sections. First, on the bottom, we have the Capulet and Montague families. One family is represented by the red buildings and the other is represented by the blue ones. It shows the division between the two. Next, in the middle, we see Romeo and Juliet soaring above their feuding families. They are portrayed in green and pink. I think that the green represents ambition and renewal, while the pink represents love. Lastly, in the top section, we see a hand reaching for a dove, symbolizing the want of peace. Romeo and Juliet’s love is fighting between their family rivalry and the dove, and they are reaching for peace. Clearly, in all three art forms, there is a lot of dualities. They each tell the same story in a different way.

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    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I really like how you connected the theme of duality to all three pieces! I didn’t even notice this, but the fact that you could identify it in the play, the painting, and the music really shows how important it is.

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  8. Mylesn

    In the art work you can see the artists idea of Romeo and Juliet. They are not on the ground and instead they are floating in the sky. Their families feud and their love was not mean to be, but yet it is. By having the couple floating over the land it is showing that their love is above all the petty problems of the world. There were many important things in the story, but only one other, besides Romeo and Juliet, was represented in the painting, a horse. A horse sent of Romeo to Mantua, a horse had brought Balthazar to Romeo and thus bringing him the news of Juliet, and a horse was used to deliver the letter to Romeo (but failed). The music had highs and lows, much like the relationship of Romeo and Juliet. The loud and lower music represents the fighting between characters in the story and the lighter, higher notes are when Romeo and Juliet are together.

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  9. Mikayla Friedman

    Shakespeare’s play, Chagall’s painting, and Prokofiev’s suite emphasized the love and hate that is apparent in this story, as well as the life and death. In Shakespeare’s play, the love and hate is clear. The Montague and Capulet families have a feud, but despite this family rivalry Juliet and Romeo fall in love. Romeo and Juliet are living their lives to the fullest while they are married, but then they die. Many other people die, including Tybalt, Mercutio, Paris, and Lady Montague.

    Marc Chagall’s painting of Romeo and Juliet also shows love versus hate as well as death versus life. Romeo and Juliet are embracing, which shows the love they have for each other. This love continues even after they die, because the floating of Romeo and Juliet implies they are no longer living. On the other hand, the fact that the Montagues and the Capulets are on opposite ends of the painting and in two different colors shows that the hatred they have for each other. The painting depicts life because it has so much green, which (to me) represents the springtime, which is when trees and flowers come to life after the cold of winter. I cannot find much representation of death, but the fact that Romeo and Juliet are floating above the town implies that they are dead, and perhaps ascending to heaven.

    Finally, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite also displays the aforementioned themes. Love and life can be found in the light and airy melodies that are played by instruments such as the flutes, violins, clarinets, etc. Death and hatred can be found in the beginning of the piece, when the band is playing murky and minor chords, as well as when the melody is played by the lower instruments.

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  10. Kate Ma.

    Shakespeare’s, Prokofiev’s, and Chagall’s portrayal of Romeo and Juliet are all considerably similar even though the painting is really not too different than a drawing of Paris that is colored in. Shakespeare has clearly defined the theme of duality. A few obvious examples are Romeo and Juliet, Capulet and Montague, light and dark, day and night and love and hate. Some similarities in the painting is the part with the horse’s eyes. For some reason, they are both on the same side. Romeo and Juliet want to be on the same side instead of opposing sides. What we see in the horse is very irregular just like Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. Also, we see them surrounded by green, which in most cases is nature. Every time anything related to love occurs, there is always an abundance of nature surrounding the area. Also, there is a contrast in the blue and orange. One is the Montague and another is the Capulet. On the color wheel, blue and orange are opposite colors so this shows how different they are. Prokofiev’s instrumentals really express major events. For example, he used deep and louder music it seemed for certain events such as the beginning fight, Tybalt’s death, Romeo’s banishment and lastly Romeo and Juliet dying. He used soft sounds to express the romantic and happy scenes such as when Romeo and Juliet were on the balcony, when they first met and when they woke up together; all very joyful romance scenes. All of these versions express different attributes of Romeo and Juliet and it’s very interesting to me to see what everyone thought was important enough to include in their version.

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  11. maxwellw

    In the art of Romeo and Juliet by Chagall, Romeo and Juliet are depicted above the skyline with Paris below them. What’s interesting about the painting is how the towns below are depicted in orange and blue, which could be showing the houses of Montague and Capulet. Interesting enough, Romeo and Juliet are above Paris, rather than in their houses. They aren’t even shown in their houses colors. This might represent the love of Romeo and Juliet allowing them to live happily outside of the strife of their family’s houses. They are also surrounded by green, disconnecting them from the world around them with nothing but themselves being together and sharing the same shade of green. There is also a dove in the painting which could symbolize peace in Verona.

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  12. Zoe

    Shakespeare, Prokofiev, and Chagall choose to represent the love story of Romeo and Juliet through different ways of expression; art, music, and writing. Although each way is incredibly different, each artist captured the correct mood throughout their piece. Prokofiev, through his music, created a piece that started out soft and angelic but quickly turns into a loud symphony and back again several times. This mirrors the play that Shakespeare wrote with his changing of mood in different events, like from a wedding day to murdering another person. Both the play and the song create the story arc of ups and downs through their scenes and notes. Chagall’s art, on the other hand, created a visual piece that makes the specific colors that were used pop out to the viewing audience. His choice for green to surround Juliet and Romeo and seep into them as if they are connected. The two lovers appear very close in this piece and the combination of green and purple in Juliet’s skirt could possibly symbolize the merging of the two families because of them. The other colors symbolize important people and events such as the two houses, using red and blue, and the horse and bouquet in the background. I believe the horse could be the way Romeo was transported to Juliet in the final scene or maybe his banishment and the flowers are part of their ever-growing love. The pieces create different yet similar approaches at telling Romeo and jUliet’s story and all of them succeed in getting the emotions across to the audience.

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  13. Hannah Pitkofsky

    There have been many adaptations to the classic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Two examples of these creations include a painting created by Marc Chagall and a ballet composed by Prokofiev.

    Chagall’s painting includes many elements of the story including the feud between the two families, how Romeo and Juliet were separate from their fighting, and the theme of rebirth and decay. Chagall uses blue and red to represent the Montagues and the Capulets and how they are seperate and distinct from one another. he then makes Romeo and Juliet both with purple, showing the unity that the two of them brought to their families. Green was also used in the painting to both represent a theme of rebirth and decay, as well as the other citizens of Verona who have to live with the two families’ arguments every day of their lives.

    Prokofiev did a similar thing with his ballet overture. He used a combination of light sounds with the heavy, calm parts with the intense, and the violins and flutes with the trumpets and the drums. He uses the heavier instruments and music to show the Montagues and the Capulets with their fighting. Almost as quickly as it had started, the music becomes calmer, representing Romeo and Juliet’s love and how it is different from the fighting that has been going on between their families. Some might interperat this overture as going through the entire play/ballet’s music before the show itself actually begins.

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  14. josepha4

    In the art work represented above of Romeo and Juliet by Chagall they are depicted in green and flying above the rest of the people. Maybe the green depicts the nature and purity of their love and them flying above the rest of the city can be them rescued from their problems by love, leaving the rest of the world to deal with it all alone. I also noticed the different shapes in the dress and wondered if the red could symbolize love and struggle and the shapes could represent the people that she has love for. Lastly there is a creature standing behind them and he is shaded green to red. Romeo and Juliet’s love can be depicted this way because at first they have pure and innocent love and then their love becomes more passionate and complicated as they get caught up in their family and their opinions. The creature itself may be the journey that Romeo and Juliet take together.

    Next, the musical piece by Prokofiev is very emotional. It sounds very mysterious mischievous like the love of Romeo and Juliet is. They understand that their love is forbidden and dangerous but do it anyway, maybe to displease their parents or because they truly love each other but the mystery of uncertainty plays a role in the way they feel for each other. Then it goes to a more soothing and slow tempo with a light feel to it with a little bit of eeriness soon creeping in later in the measure. This may be the part of their relationship when they feel more comfortable with each other and can relax a little but still know that they are doing something wrong in the eyes of their families. There are many different ways to analyze the way that the music resembles Romeo and Juliet and they all can be right in their own way. However, all of them do have to do with love in some way.

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  15. Sophie

    One of the most important idea in Shakespeare’s play, Prokofiev’s music, and Chagall’s art is contrast between peace and violence. First and foremost, the play. There is so much peace and love and acceptance when it comes to Romeo and Juliet themselves, but overall that is pretty much it. Families hate each other for stupid reasons. Immature teenagers can’t stop sword fighting – which eventually results in multiple deaths. Friar’s are giving out poisons. Almost all of the main characters commit suicide. That’s a lot of violence. Next, in relation to the play, the music has peaceful moments and aggressive moments as well. For example, the slower more lyrical sounding songs are representing the peaceful moments because the pace is slower, the notes are higher pitched, and they usually used flutes or clarinets or violins. The aggressive sounding songs are representing the violent moments. Those are used with fast and loud instruments, such as trumpets and percussion. It also causes a lot of feelings of suspense and mystery. Finally, onto the picture, Chagall portrayed love by using warmer colors and romantic visuals. Obviously, Romeo and Juliet are hugging each other, and they are also floating above the clouds – like they are in their own fantasy life. Chagall also painted Juliet’s dress purple and red shades, to represent the deep love Romeo and Juliet have for each other. Then when it came to the violence aspect, the green color in the background kind of reminded me of poison. Like the stereotypical liquids that brew in a witches cauldron. This relates to the poison in the play because that is how Romeo kills himself.

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  16. Brishti

    A common thing I noticed bwteen all three works was the use of heavenness/dreams to symbolize the contrast between heaven (a better place) and the real world (a more tragic place). In the play, there are several nods to heaven and a life after death. In the end, Romeo and Juliet are “Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself” (4.5). In Prokofiev’s suite, there is a stark contrast between the heavenly music and the darker, more dramatic music. The heavenly parts and the dramatic parts are connected. Though they die in the end, Romeo and Juliet can live together in heaven, a better place where they can love despite their families. In the painting, this idea is further expressed. The picture has a whimsical feel to it. The use of the colors green and magenta, along with the odd-looking horses and the fact that Romeo and Juliet are floating to convey this idea. This reminded me of the Queen Mab speech that Mercutio does in Act I. He describes “Queen Mab”, who gives people dreams based on their greatest desire. The painting, in a way, could show a dream that Queen Mab could give to either Romeo and/or Juliet. Both of them could be together, and float above all of the conflict between their families. Like we discussed in class, the hand reaching for the dove could be a symbol for the peace that they are trying to achieve.

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  17. Madi R.

    There are numerous aspects of Romeo and Juliet that Shakespeare, Prokofiev, and Chagall choose to emphasize or leave absent in their different forms of art. One common element that each of them emphasizes in their form of art is emotion. In Shakespeare’s play he tells the story of Romeo and Juliet. The play is filled with emotions such as love, happiness and grief. These emotions are portrayed to the audience in words that allow the reader to feel. Similarly, in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, the composer portrays through music the mood or tone which represents how the play is impacting the feelings of the audience. The music coincides with the play of Romeo and Juliet because the music interprets the different emotions that the characters experience. In Chagall’s painting, the viewer can feel many emotions as well. I think the colors have a lot to do with the different emotions the viewer feels. In class, someone pointed out, that the different colors of red and blue symbolize the houses of the Capulets and Motagues. These two colors are almost opposites and stand out next to each other. This represents the feud between the two families. The colors give the viewer an emotion of anger and contrast. Above the houses and monuments, Romeo and Juliet are hugging. Chagall creates them using the color purple. The color purple represents the mixture of blue and red. It allows the viewer to sense a unity between the two houses.

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  18. caseyz

    The piece of music seems to follow the plot line of the play Romeo and Juliet. It starts out soft and almost peaceful but then quickly turns ominous, intimidating. With the loud, alternating notes behind the melody of the song give the music an evil tone, contrasting with the high-pitched ups and downs in the melody. It makes the listener feel as if something bad is approaching. The duality between the high and low notes with the duality between the deep brass instruments and high string instruments create a contrasting feel to the music. It could represent how Romeo and Juliet were in constant fear of their parents finding out that they were together and how they knew bad things would happen to them if they ever found out. Then, the loud music stops completely and is replaced by a calm, quiet flute playing a similar melody much softer than the previous one. Apart from the flute, you can still hear the same low notes in the beginning of the piece, but they are very soft and give the music a mysterious tone. This could be the part where Juliet is on the balcony and Romeo comes to visit her. This scene in the play was the first moment Romeo and Juliet were together alone. They were so caught up in the love they had for each other that all of the other problems they were worried about seemed to fade away. Those worries were still there, but less noticeable because they were distracted by love, similar to the low notes in the music. After that, the music switches back to the original tune in the beginning, showing how Romeo and Juliet could only be together for so long until they had to worry about someone finding them. The music changes to a fast and upbeat song, but quickly transitions into a more depressing sound. This could be after Romeo and Juliet fall in love, but realize that they could never be together. A few minutes later, the music sounds less depressing and more peaceful and happy. This could be the scene where Romeo and Juliet sneak out to get married. They thought that if them getting married would solve all of the problems that they were facing. This part of the music also sounds hopeful to show that Romeo and Juliet were hopeful that their marriage would be the end of the fighting between their families in Verona. After all of the peaceful music ends, the tone quickly changes to an evil and dark sound. This correlates to the far of the play where things start to go downhill. Starting with when Romeo kills Tybalt, Romeo gets banished and eventually kills himself, leading to Juliet also killing herself. The quick shift in music shows how quickly Romeo’s “fatal flaw” caused the tragedy of the play.

    The painting showed a different meaning than the music. In the painting, Romeo and Juliet are seen above a small town divided by colors into red and blue. These colors represent the how the town is split between Montagues and Capulets. Everyone in the town has chosen a side. Romeo and Juliet aren’t on either side of the argument. They are shown wearing purple, which is also a mixture of red and blue, showing that they are neutral to the conflict. The two figures the upper right corner represent what Romeo and Juliet could have been if they didn’t kill themselves. Due to Romeo’s “fatal flaw” of being impulsive and overdramatic, Romeo and Juliet are both dead.

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  19. Maddie

    In the play version of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare focuses more on emotion and using words to get a point across. Since the Shakespeare play is the original version of Romeo and Juliet, other versions focus and zone in on different aspects of the original. In the song version, Prokofiev focuses on the drama and feeling that he conveys in the listener. You can tell just by listening when something happy is happening, such as Romeo and Juliet’s wedding, and when something bad is happening, such as their deaths. When something good happens, the music is airy and light and upbeat. When something bad happens, the music is deep and dark sounding, and very loud. Prokofiev uses the different sounds to help listeners paint a picture in their mind of what is going on in that scene.
    In the artwork by Chagall, it is more focused on using colors to portray a certain theme. The colors red, blue, and purple in the painting are very significant. The red represents the Capulets, since they always wore bright colors, and the blue represents Montagues, since they wore darker colors. The color purple is only on Romeo and Juliet, which shows that they are equally bound to both families, since red and blue makes purple. Altogether, the painting and song made up a meaningful representation of the major themes and feelings of Romeo and Juliet.

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