Directing Act 1 Scene 5 (Romeo & Juliet)
Romeo and Juliet: Act I Scene V Para 1 Romeo and Juliet is a love tragedy play written by William Shakespeare. The play is about a families feud between the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet. They both meet and instantly fell in love at the Capulet Ball (Act 1 Scene 5). The story ends with Romeo and Juliet’s death, however, results in the family feud ending. This is known as a Shakespearian tragedy, because tragedies usually involve separation and death, and this play has a lot to do with that – Romeo and Juliet dying, and Romeo being separated from Juliet as he is banished from Verona. Shakespeare has to consider how to structure the scene very cautiously, since Romeo and Juliet first met in this scene. The structure of this scene would have had an effect on how the rest of the play is portrayed. Para 2 The scene that I’m directing is Act 1 Scene 5 – the scene in which Romeo and Juliet first meet and fall in love. Just after,
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they’ve both fallen deep in love with each other, they find out they’re supposed to be enemies. Another big event is when Tybalt sees Romeo and wants to fight him, but he is stopped by Capulet. I think an important part of the scene, is how Romeo and Juliet’s love contrasts with Tybalt anger and hate in the same scene. When Romeo first sees Juliet, he uses a metaphor when speaking to her ‘“She doth teach the torches to burn bright.” This shows the reader that Juliet’s beauty is far brighter than that of the torches, so she is gorgeous. She is so bright that she teaches the torches how to shine, since torches can’t be taught on how to shine. When Romeo uses the word ‘bright’ it could mean that her beauty shines through but it could also mean she’s clever (even though Romeo hasn’t spoken to Juliet yet). “…this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this…smooth that rough touch with a gentle kiss…”. When Romeo finally gets the chance to speak to Juliet, he compares her hand to a holy place (“shrine”) and he compares his lips to pilgrims that can ‘smooth’ away the ‘rough touch’ of his hand with a ‘tender’ kiss. When we use ‘Gentle Sin’, gentle could mean noble (16th Century), whereas, ‘sin’ is considered the opposite of noble. Juliet response by saying ‘Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much...palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.’ Juliet describes that when you hold hands, it is the right kind of kiss for pilgrims. Also, it seems Juliet wants Romeo and her to be equal. In this scene, if Romeo fell to his knees while Juliet is standing up, it may suggest that Juliet is more important than Romeo. Romeo repsonds to Juliet by saying ‘…then move not, while my prayers effect I take’. This allows Romeo to ask for permission to let his lips do what his hands are allowed to do. When Romeo kisses her, Juliet says she has received the sin he has ‘purged’ (removed) from himself. Cleverly, Romeo insists that he must take it back (the sin) and he kisses her again. This section of the scene, show Romeo being slightly self-obsessed and immature. Also, Romeo seems to be quite ambitious/eccentric with what he thinks of Juliet. Juliet, on the other hand, is more mature and wants to be equal to Romeo. In this section, Romeo has told us that he is attracted to Juliet. Her reaction shows that she is interests in him. Evidence of this is when she allows him to take her hand and kiss her. It would be unreasonable to expect anything more in this this, because it’s a public situation and it might make us think Juliet to be promiscuous. Para 3 This part of the scene is when Tybalt and Capulet have a conversation about Romeo gate crashing the party the ball. I want Tybalt to look like the villain. I want him to come across as a rough and aggressive character. I think that Tybalt should wear a suit – prim and proper to shows he is high class. Tybalt should say his lines very loudly and angrily. This reflects his character. Furthermore, the audience should boo Tybalt because he is evil and he should almost spit his lines as he says words such as ‘scorn’ and ‘flesh’. When Tybalt finds out Romeo has gate crashed the party, he is fuming with anger. Para 4 To have a comical twist, I would have Rosaline and Benvolio, passionately kissing in the background. Even though Romeo describes Rosaline as his ‘only love’ he is too star struck by Juliet to notice the drama behind him. This just shows how immature Romeo can be. At first he says Rosaline is his true love and ‘…this love feel I, that feel no love in this’ but then as soon as he sees someone more beautiful – Juliet, he forgets all about Rosaline and feels he’s seen his first true love (again!) ‘Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’ Paris could also, be in the seen as a non-speaking role. He could be trying to woo Juliet not realising that Juliet is not interested. Moreover, it would be bunny if Paris thought he could dance but all he does is embarrass himself. I would do this so the atmosphere is light. Tensions are running high with Romeo and Juliet’s intense love and Tybalt’s anger. Putting a comical twist would lighten the mood. I feel it would be more effective.