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My thoughts and ideas for the play and give you some background information that will be useful in helping you prepare for the part of Juliet

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Introduction

English Literature Coursework: Shakespeare "Romeo and Juliet" Tapton School Darwin Lane Sheffield S10 5RG Dear Julia Stiles, Firstly I would like to congratulate you on your excellent audition for the part of Juliet. As time is limited and due to our individual work commitments, we are unable to meet up before rehearsals begin. Therefore, as the stage director I thought it maybe helpful to discuss some of my thoughts and ideas for the play and give you some background information that will be useful in helping you prepare for the part of Juliet. Shakespeares's Romeo and Juliet was written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I although it is unknown exactly when it was set. During this time people were taught that there was a divine way of doing things and that God has instituted a church and ordained a monarchy so that the people could be ruled over in a proper way. Despite the country being ruled by a powerful woman, women had very little freedom socially, economically or legally. At the time of this play marriages were comparably different to today's idea of marriage. Firstly the common age for girls to be married was fourteen and they had little or no say in the choice of husbands who were often chosen by families. ...read more.

Middle

The nurse is present throughout this conversation and establishes her importance in the play. She cares for Juliet as she almost replaced the nurse's own daughter who had died. At this point the nurse starts to tell stories about Juliet as a baby. Juliet is embarrassed particularly when she recalls how she got her to stop breastfeeding. There are some sexual implications in the nurse's speech here and you need to show the shock and embarrassment that the naive Juliet will feel. We know that she has cared for Juliet since she was a baby as she talks about her childhood. You need to portray Juliet's embarrassment about her childhood stories. The Nurse explains that it would be an "honour" to see her married. You may be taken by surprise at the abrupt way the question of marriage is asked by Lady Capulet. "Speak briefly can you like of Paris' love?" You will need to convey that although Juliet's in awe of Lady Capulet she seeks parental approval. So even though Juliet has not met Paris before and does not know whether she can love him she agrees to look at him during the festivities that night. After a quick glance at the nurse again I want you to pause slightly before replying to Lady Capulet in a soft, formal manner, "I'll look ...read more.

Conclusion

You need to make the audience believe they are almost intruding into your emotions and feelings. They need to sense the strength of your love. This is a very significant part in the production as Romeo and Juliet do not know each others status but the audience do. The audience will realise that it will be impossible for Romeo and Juliet to be together despite their passionate love for each other. This is known as dramatic irony as the audience knows something that the characters do not. Around you the festivities will be continuing with the other actors, dining and dancing. You and Romeo are totally engrossed in each other so much so that you do not notice that Tybalt has recognised Romeo as a Montague and is forced to restrain himself by Capulet not to cause a brawl in the middle of the festivities. Romeo eventually gets to kiss Juliet "Let lips do what hands do" that is join together. The poetry in lines 92-109 is between Romeo and Juliet. They share the same images and thoughts and their words flow together giving us the idea that they complete each other. The content of the sonnet has a religious theme and is an example of how religion is related to love. It uses imagery of saints and pilgrims. Romeo takes Juliet's hand in the gentlest manner calling it a "shrine". ...read more.

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