Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

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Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Rachid Amri on Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:57 pm

The following link is a valuable resource that covers key concepts we have discussed in the tutorials during this semester:
http://www.brocku.ca/english/jlye/criticalreading.html

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Introduction to Greek Tragedy

Post by Rachid Amri on Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:50 pm

http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/netshots/tragedy.htm
The following link includes selections from Aristotle's poetics
http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/poetics.html
The following link includes 'EXERCISE FOR READING, COMPREHENSION AND INTERPRETATION'
http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/netshots/oedipus.htm
The following link includes: Plot, tragic Hero, and Catharsis
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/~caylor/index221_files/aristoteliantragedy.htm

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High and Low comedy

Post by Rachid Amri on Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:54 pm

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=high+comedy
Types of Drama / Plays: Comedy
http://novaonline.nv.cc.va.us/eli/spd130et/typecomd.htm

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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by olfa.saidani on Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:29 pm

Types of comedy :


http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/LTComedy.html
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by rahma beji on Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:06 am

http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet

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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:18 pm

[url=http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/ titles/Romeo andJuliet/about.html. ]www.gradesaver.com/classinotes/titles/Romeo and Juliet/about.html[/url]
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:28 pm

Romeo and Juliet was first published in quarto in 1597, and republished in a new edition only two years later. The second copy was used to created yet a third quarto in 1609, from which both the 1623 Quarto and First Folio are derived. The first quarto is generally considered a bad quarto, or an illicit copy created from the recollections of several actors. The second quarto seems to be taken from Shakespeare's rough draft, and thus has some inconsistent speech and preserved lines which Shakespeare apparently meant to cross out.

Romeo and Juliet derives its story from several sources available during the sixteenth century. Shakespeare's primary source for the play is Arthur Brooke's Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562), which is a long, dense poem. This poem in turn was based on a French prose version written by Pierre Boiastuau (1559), who had used an Italian version by Bandello written in 1554. Bandello's poem was further derived from Luigi da Porto's version in 1525 of a story by Masuccio Salernitano (1476).

Shakespeare's plot remains true to the Brooke version in most details, with theatrical license taken in some instances. For example, as he often does, Shakespeare telescopes the events in the poem which take ninety days into only a few days. He also depicts Juliet as a much younger thirteen rather than sixteen, thus presenting a young girl who is suddenly awakened to love.

One of the most powerful aspects of Romeo and Juliet is the language. The characters curse, vow oaths, banish each other, and generally play with the language through overuse of action verbs. In addition, the play is saturated with the use of oxymorons, puns, paradoxes, and double entendres. Even the use of names is called into question, with Juliet asking what is in the name Romeo that denies her the right to love him.

Shakespeare uses the poetic form of sonnet to open the first and second acts. The sonnet usually is defined as being written from a lover to his beloved. Thus, Shakespeare's "misuse" of the prose ties into the actual tension of the play. The sonnet struggles to cover up the disorder and chaos which is immediately apparent in the first act. When the first sonnet ends, the stage is overrun with quarreling men. However, the sonnet is also used by Romeo and Juliet in their first love scene, again in an unusual manner. It is spoken by both characters rather than only one of them. This strange form of sonnet is, however, successful, and even ends with a kiss.

It is worthwhile to note the rather strong shift in language used by both Romeo and Juliet once they fall in love. Whereas Romeo is hopelessly normal in his courtship before meeting Juliet, afterwards his language becomes infinitely richer and stronger. He is changed so much that the Mercutio remarks, "Now art thou sociable" (2.3.77).

The play also deals with the issue of authoritarian law and order. Many of Shakespeare's plays have characters who represent the unalterable force of the law, such as the Duke in The Comedy of Errors and Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet. In this play, the law attempts to stop the civil disorder, and even banishes Romeo at the midpoint. However, as in The Comedy of Errors, the law again seems to be a side issue, one which cannot compete with the much stronger emotions of love and hate.
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:29 pm

Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Character List

Romeo Montague: One of the protagonists, he falls in love with Juliet Capulet at a masquerade. He marries her, but after killing Tybalt he is forced to flee the city. Acting on a plan that Friar Laurence puts together, he thinks that Juliet is dead and drinks poison to kill himself while in her tomb.

Lord Montague: the father of Romeo, and a mortal enemy of the Capulets.

Lady Montague: the mother of Romeo.

Benvolio: the nephew of Romeo's father.

Abraham: a servingman of the Montagues.

Balthasar: Romeo's servant.

Friar Laurence: Romeo's older friend who is involved in Romeo and Juliet's attempt to run away. He provides Juliet with the sleeping potion, but is unable to inform Romeo of his plan. Romeo returns to the city and, thinking Juliet is dead, kills himself.

Juliet Capulet: A young girl who falls in love with Romeo Montague at a masquerade. She marries him, but is troubled when he kills her cousin Tybalt in a street fight. She later takes a sleeping potion administered by Friar Laurence in an attempt to escape the city, but wakes up to find Romeo dead beside her. She takes his sword and kills herself.

Lord Capulet: the father of Juliet, he is angry when she refuses to consider marrying Count Paris, unaware that she is already secretly married to Romeo.

Lady Capulet: the mother of Juliet, she supports Juliet's father on the issues of marriage.

Tybalt: The nephew of Juliet's mother, he is killed by Romeo in a fight.

Pertruccio: The page of Tybalt.

Nurse: The nurse of Juliet, and the woman she turns to for advice and help. The nurse turns out to be useless in helping Juliet with her marriage to Romeo, however, and instead encourages her to marry Paris.

Peter: A servingman of the Capulets.

Samson: A servingman of the Capulets.

Gregory: A servingman of the Capulets.

Prince Escalus: The Prince of Verona, he provides for law and order. After Tybalt is killed be banishes Romeo and orders the families to cease their feud.

Mercutio: A kinsmen to Prince Escalus and a friend of Romeo. He is killed by Tybalt, resulting in Romeo killing Tybalt in revenge.

Count Paris: a suitor of Juliet, liked by Lord Capulet but hated by Juliet.

Apothecary: A man who looks like a skeleton, he sells Romeo the poison that Romeo commits suicide with.

Chief Watchman:
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:34 pm

Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Short Summary

The play is set in Verona, Italy, where a feud has broken out between the families of the Montegues and the Capulets. The servants of both houses open the play with a brawling scene that eventually draws in the noblemen of the families and the city officials, including Prince Escalus.

Romeo is lamenting the fact that he is love with a woman named Rosaline, who has vowed to remain chaste for the rest of her life. He and his friend Benvolio happen to stumble across a servant of the Capulet's in the street. The servant, Peter, is trying to read a list of names of people invited to a masked party at the Capulet house that evening. Romeo helps him read the list and receives an invitation to the party.

Romeo arrives at the party in costume and falls in love with Juliet the minute he sees her. However, he is recognized by Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, who wants to kill him on the spot. Capulet intervenes and tells Tybalt that he will not disturb the party for any amount of money. Romeo manages to approach Juliet and tell her that he loves her. She and he share a sonnet and finish it with a kiss.

Juliet's Nurse tells Romeo who Juliet really is, and he is upset when he finds out he loves the daughter of Capulet. Juliet likewise finds out who Romeo is, and laments the fact that she is in love with her enemy.

Soon thereafter Romeo climbs the garden wall leading to Juliet's garden. Juliet emerges on her balcony and speaks her private thoughts out loud, imagining herself alone. She wishes Romeo could shed his name and marry her. At this, Romeo appears and tells her that he loves her. She warns him to be true in his love to her, and makes him swear by his own self that he truly loves her.

Juliet then is called inside, but manages to return twice to call Romeo back to her. They agree that Juliet will send her Nurse to meet him at nine o'clock the next day, at which point Romeo will set a place for them to be married.

The Nurse carries out her duty, and tells Juliet to meet Romeo at the chapel where Friar Laurence lives and works. Juliet goes to find Romeo, and together they are married by the Friar.

Benvolio and Mercutio, a good friend of the Montegues, are waiting on the street when Tybalt arrives. Tybalt demands to know where Romeo is so that he can challenge him to duel, in order to avenge Romeo's sneaking into the party. Mercutio is eloquently vague, but Romeo happens to arrive in the middle of the verbal bantering. Tybalt challenges him, but Romeo passively resists fighting, at which point Mercutio jumps in and draws his sword on Tybalt. Romeo tries to block the two men, but Tybalt cuts Mercutio and runs away, only to return after he hears tha. Mercutio has died. Romeo fights with Tybalt and kills him. When Prince Escalus arrives at the murder scene he chooses to banish Romeo from Verona forever.

The Nurse goes to tell Juliet the sad news about what has happened to Tybalt and Romeo. Juliet is heart-broken, but soon recovers when she realizes that Romeo would have been killed if he had not fought Tybalt. She sends the Nurse to find Romeo and give him her ring. Romeo comes that night and sleeps with Juliet. The next morning he is forced to leave at dusk when Juliet's mother arrives. Romeo goes to Mantua where he waits for someone to send news about Juliet or about his banishment.

During the night Capulet decides that Juliet should marry a young man named Paris. He and Lady Capulet go to tell Juliet that she should marry Paris, but when she refuses to obey Capulet becomes infuriated and orders her to comply with his orders. He then leaves, and is soon followed by Lady Capulet and the Nurse, whom Juliet throws out of the room, saying, "ancient damnation" (3.5.235).

Juliet then goes to Friar Laurence, who gives her a potion that will make her seem dead for at least two days. She takes the potion and drinks it that night. The next morning, the day Juliet is supposed to marry Paris, her Nurse finds her "dead" in bed. The whole house decries her suicide, and Friar Laurence makes them hurry to put her into the family vault.

Romeo's servant arrives in Mantua and tells his master that Juliet is dead and buried. Romeo hurries back to Verona. Friar Laurence discovers too late from Friar John that his message to Romeo has failed to be delivered. He rushes to get to Juliet's grave before Romeo does.

Romeo arrives at the Capulet vault and finds it guarded by Paris, who is there to mourn the loss of his betrothed. Paris challenges Romeo to a duel, and is quickly killed. Romeo then carries Paris into the grave and sets his body down. Seeing Juliet dead within the tomb, Romeo drinks some poison he has purchased and dies kissing her.

Friar Laurence arrives just as Juliet wakes up within the bloody vault. He tries to get her to come out, but when she sees Romeo dead beside her, Juliet takes his dagger and kills herself with it. The rest of the town starts to arrive, including Capulet and Montegue. Friar Laurence tells them the whole story. The two family patriarches agree to become friends by erecting golden statues of the other's child.
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:35 pm

The chorus introduces the play, and tells the audience that two families in Verona have reignited an ancient feud. Two lovers, one from each family, commit suicide after trying to run away from their families. The loss of their children compels the families to end the feud.

Act One, Scene One

The servants of the Capulets are on the street waiting for some servants of the Montague's to arrive. When they do, Samson from the Capulets bites his thumb at them, essentially a strong insult. Abraham from the Montague's accepts the insult and the men start to fight.

Benvolio, Romeo's cousin, enters and makes the men stop fighting by drawing his own sword. Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, then also enters the street. Seeing Benvolio, he too draws his sword and enters the fight.

Old Capulet runs onto the stage and demands a sword so that he too may fight. His wife restrains him, even when Old Montague emerges with his sword drawn as well. The Citizens of the Watch have put up a cry, and manage to get Prince Escalus to arrive. The Prince chides them for three times before causing the street of Verona to be unsafe. He orders them to return home, and personally accompanies the Capulets.

The Montagues and Benvolio remain on stage. They ask Benvolio why Romeo was not with him, and he tells them Romeo has been in a strange mood lately. When Romeo appears, the Montagues ask Benvolio to find out what is wrong, and then depart. Romeo informs Benvolio that he is in love with a woman named Rosaline who wishes to remain chaste for the rest of her life, which is why he is so depressed.

Act One, Scene Two

Paris pleads with Capulet to let him marry Juliet, who is still only a girl of thirteen. Capulet tells him to wait, but decides to allow Paris to woo her and try to win her heart. He then tells his servant Peter to take a list of names and invite the people to a masked ball he is hosting that evening.

Peter meets Romeo on the street, and being unable to read, asks Romeo to help read the list for him. Romeo does, and realizes that the girl he loves, Rosaline, will be attending this party. Peter tells him that it will be held at Capulet's house, and that he is invited if he wishes to come. Both Benvolio and Romeo decide to go.

Act One, Scene Three

Lady Capulet asks the Nurse to call for Juliet. She does, and then tells Lady Capulet that Juliet will be fourteen in under two weeks. She then digresses and speaks of how Juliet was as a child, causing both Juliet and her mother embarassment.

The mother tells Juliet that Paris has come to marry her. She then describes Paris as being beautiful, and compares him to a fine book that only lacks a cover. Juliet does not promise anything, but agrees to at least look at the man that night at dinner.

Act One, Scene Four

Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio are making their way to the masked party. Romeo is still depressed, even though he gets to see Rosaline. Mercutio tries to cheer him up by telling a story about Queen Mab, a fictitious elf that infiltrates men's dreams. Romeo finally shushes him and comments that he is afraid of the consequences of going to this party.

Act One, Scene Five

Romeo stands to the side during the dancing, and it is from this spot that he first sees Juliet. He immediately falls in love with her. Tybalt overhears Romeo talking to a servingman and recognizes him as Romeo Montague by his voice. However, before Tybalt can creat a scene, Old Capulet tells him to leave Romeo alone, since it would look bad to have a brawl in the middle of the festivities.

Romeo finds Juliet and touches her hand. They speak in sonnet form to one another, and Romeo eventually gets to kiss her. However, Juliet is forced to go see her mother. The Nurse tells Romeo that Juliet is a Capulet, at which he is startled.

Juliet finds her Nurse at the end of the party and begs her to find out who Romeo is. The Nurse returns and tells her he is Romeo, the only son of the Montague family. Juliet is heart-broken that she loves a "loathed enemy" (1.5.138).

Act One: Analysis

This play begins with a sonnet, a form of prose usually reserved for a lover addressing his beloved. The sonnet is a very structured form of prose, lending itself to order. Shakespeare cleverly contrasts this orderly sonnet with the immediate disorder of the first scene. Thus, the scene quickly degenerates into a bunch of quarreling servants who soon provoke a fight between the houses of Montegue and Capulet.

This scene is wrought with sexual overtones, with the various servants speaking of raping the enemy's women. The sexual wordplay will continue throughout the play, becoming extremely bawdy and at times offensive, yet also underlying the love affair between Romeo and Juliet.

The disorder within the play is evidenced by inverted circumstances. Servants start the quarrel, but soon draw the noblemen into the brawl. The young men enter the fight, but soon the old men try to deny their age and fight as well. The fact that this whole scene takes place in broad daylight undermines the security that is supposed to exist during the day. Thus the play deals with conflicting images: servants leading noblemen, old age pretending to be young, day overtaking night.

The Nurse speaks of Juliet falling as a child when she relates a story to Lady Capulet. This story indirectly pertains to the rise and fall of the characters. Since this is a tragedy, the influence of wheel's fortune cannot be overlooked. Indeed, Juliet's role in the play does parallel the wheel of fortune, with her rise to the balcony and her fall to the vault.

The Nurse also foreshadows, "An I might live to see thee married once" (1.3.63). Naturally she does not expect this to be realized in so short a time, but indeed she does live to only see Juliet married once.

Romeo compares Juliet to, "a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear" (1.5.43) when he first sees her. This play on the comparison of dark and light shows up frequently in subsequent scenes. It is a central part of their love that important love scenes take place in the dark, away from the disorder of the day. Thus Romeo loves Juliet at night, but kills Tybalt during the day. It especially shows up in the first act in the way Romeo shuts out the daylight while he is pining for Rosaline.

In the fifth scene the lover's share a sonnet which uses imagery of saints and pilgrims. This relates to the fact that Romeo means Pilgrim in Italian. It is also a sacriligeous sonnet, for Juliet becomes a saint to be kissed and Romeo a holy traveler.

The foreshadowing so common in all of Shakespeare's plays comes from Juliet near the end of the first act. She states, "If he be married, / My grave is like to be my wedding bed." (1.5.132). This will be related over and over again, from her Nurse and later even from Lady Capulet.

One of the remarkable aspects of the play is the transformation of both Romeo and Juliet after they fall in love. Juliet first comes across as a young, innocent girl who obeys her parents' commands. However, by the last scene she is devious and highly focused. Thus, she asks her nurse about three separate men at the party, saving Romeo for last so as not to arouse suspicion. Romeo will undergo a similar transformation in the second act, resulting in Mercutio commenting that he has become sociable.

There is a strange biblical reference which comes from Benvolio in the very first scene, when he attempts to halt the fight. He remarks, "Put up your swords. You know not what you do" (1.1.56). This is the same phrase used by Jesus when he stops his apostles from fighting the Roman guards during his arrest. It seems to preordain Juliet's demise, namely her three day "death" followed by a resurrection which still ultimately ends in death.
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:36 pm

Act Two, Introduction

The chorus introduces the next act, saying that Romeo has given up his old desire for a new affection. Juliet is likewise described as being in love. Both lovers share the problem that they cannot see each other without risking death, but the chorus indicates that passion will overcome that hurdle.

Act Two, Scene One

Romeo enters and leaps over a garden wall. Mercutio and Benvolio arrive looking for Romeo, but cannot see him. Mercutio then call out to him in long speech filled with obscene wordplay. Benvolio finally gets tired of searching for Romeo, and they leave.

Romeo has meanwhile succeeded in hiding beneath Juliet's balcony. She appears on her balcony and, in this famous scene, asks, "Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" (2.1.75). She wishes that Romeo's name did not make him her enemy. Romeo, hiding below her, surprises her by interupting and telling Juliet that he loves her.

Juliet warns Romeo that his protestations of love had better be real ones, since she has fallen in love with him and does not want to be hurt. Romeo swears by himself that he loves her, and Juliet tells him that she wishes she could give him her love again.

Juliet's Nurse calls her, and she disappears only to quickly reappear again. Juliet informs Romeo that if he truly loves her, he should propose marriage and tell her when and where to meet. The Nurse calls her a second time, and Juliet exits. Romeo is about to leave when she emerges yet a third time and calls him back.

Act Two, Scene Two

Friar Laurence is out collecting herbs when Romeo arrives. Romeo quickly tells him that he has fallen in love with Juliet Capulet. The Friar is surprised to hear that Rosaline has been forgotten about so quickly, but is delighted by the prospect of using this new love affair to unite the feuding families.

Act Two, Scene Three

Benvolio and Mercutio speak about Romeo's disappearance the night before. Benvolio tells Mercutio that Romeo did not come home at all. Romeo arrives and soon engages in a battle of wits with Mercutio, who is surprised by Romeo's quick replies. He says, "Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo" (2.3.77)

Juliet's Nurse arrives with her man Peter and asks to speak with Romeo. Mercutio starts making sexual jokes about the Nurse, but finally exits with Benvolio. The Nurse tells Romeo her mistress is willing to meet him in marriage. Romeo indicates the Nurse should have Juliet meet him at Friar Laurence's place that afternoon.

Act Two, Scene Four

Juliet eagerly awaits her Nurse and news from Romeo. The Nurse finally arrives and sits down. Juliet begs her for information, but the Nurse comically refuses to tell her anything until she has settled down and gotten a back rub. She finally informs Juliet that Romeo awaits her at the chapel where Friar Laurence lives.

Act Two, Scene Five

Romeo and Friar Laurence are in the chapel waiting for Juliet to arrive. The Friar cautions Romeo to "love moderately." Juliet soon appears and Friar Laurence takes the two young lovers into the church to be married.

Analysis

The interaction and conflict of night and day is raised to new levels within the second act. Benvolio states that, "Blind is his love, and best befits the dark" (2.1.32), in reference to Romeo's passion. And when Romeo finally sees Juliet again, he wonders, "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" (2.1.44-46). Romeo then invokes the darkness as a form of protection from harm, "I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes" (2.1.117). This conflict will not end until the disorder of the day eventually overcomes the passionate nights and destroys the lives of both lovers.

It is worthwhile to note the difference between Juliet and Rosaline. Juliet is compared to the sun, and is one of the most giving characters in the play. "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, / My love as deep. The more I give thee / The more I have, for both are infinite" (2.1.175-177). Rosaline, by contrast, is said to be keeping all her beauty to herself, to die with her. This comparison is made even more evident when Romeo describes Rosaline as a Diana (the goddess of the moon) and says to Juliet, "Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon" (2.1.46).

The balcony scene is more than a great lovers' meeting place. It is in fact the same as if Romeo had entered into a private Eden. He has climbed over a large wall to enter the garden, which can be viewed as a sanctuary of virginity. Thus he has invaded the only place which Juliet deems private, seeing as her room is constantly watched by the Nurse or her mother.

One of the interesting things which Shakespeare frequently has his characters do is swear to themselves. For instance, when Romeo tries to swear by the moon, Juliet remarks that the moon waxes and wanes, and is too variable. Instead, she says, "Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self" (2.1.155). Shakespeare often has characters encouraged to be true to themselves first, as a sign that only then can they be true to others..

Again, note the change in Juliet's behavior. Whereas she used to obey the authority of her nurse, she now disappears twice, and twice defies authority and reappears. This is a sure sign of her emerging independence, and is a crucial factor in understanding her decision to marry Romeo and defy her parents.

There is a strong conflict between the uses of silver and gold throughout the action. "How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night" (2.1.210) and "Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow, / That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops" (2.1.149-50). Silver is often invoked as a symbol of love and beauty. Gold, on the other hand, is often used ironically and as a sign of greed or desire. Rosaline is thus described as being immune to showers of gold, which almost seem to be a bribe. When Romeo is banished, he comments that banishment is a "golden axe," meaning that death would have been better and that banishment is merely a euphemism for the same thing. And finally, the erection of the statues of gold at the end is even more a sign of the fact that neither Capulet nor Montegue has really learned anything from the loss of their children.

One of the central issues is the difference between youth and old age. Friar Laurence acts as Romeo's confidant, and the Nurse advises for Juliet. However, both have advice that seems strangely out of place given the circumstances of the play. For instance, Friar Laurence says to Romeo, "Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast" (2.2.94). He also advises Romeo to "Therefore love moderately" (2.5.9). The insanity of this plea to love "moderately" is made ludicrous by the rapid events which follow. In fact, by the end of the play we even see Friar Laurence rejecting his own advice and stumbling to reach Juliet's grave before Romeo can find her. "How oft tonight have my old feet stumbled at graves?" (5.3.123).
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:37 pm

Act Three, Scene One

Benvolio and Mercutio are on a street in Verona waiting for Romeo to arrive. While there, Tybalt and Petruccio see them and come over to provoke a quarrel. Tybalt is expressly looking to find Romeo, whom he want to punish for sneaking into the masked party the previous day.

Romeo arrives and tries to be submissive to Tybalt by telling him that he harbors no hatred of the Capulet house. Tybalt is unsure how to deal with Romeo, but since Mercutio is provoking him to a duel, he draws his sword and attacks Mercutio. Romeo draws his sword and intervenes too late to stop Tybalt from stabbing Mercutio. Tybalt and Petruccio then exit the area.

Mercutio leaves the stage with Benvolio, who soon returns to tell Romeo that Mercutio has died. Romeo vows revenge on Tybalt, who soon reappears to fight with him. In the duel, Romeo kills Tybalt. Benvolio tells Romeo to run away before the Prince arrives.

The Prince, followed by the Montague and Capulet families, shows up at the scene. Benvolio tells him the entire story, but the Prince refuses to believe Romeo is guiltless. He banishes Romeo from Verona, threatening to kill him should he return.

Act Three, Scene Two

Juliet delivers one of the most elegant soliloquys in the play about Romeo, whom she is hoping to receive news about. Her Nurse enters with the news of Tybalt's death and Romeo's banishment, but as in the previous scene refuses to immediately tell Juliet what she knows. Instead, the nurse lets Juliet believe that it is Romeo who has been killed.

When the Nurse finally reveals the truth to Juliet, Juliet immediately chides Romeo for pretending to be peaceful when in fact he is able to kill Tybalt. She then recants, and tell the Nurse, "Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?" (3.2.97). Juliet laments the fact that Romeo has been banished, and indicates that she would rather have both her parents killed then see Romeo banished.

The Nurse promises to go find Romeo and bring him to Juliet's bed that night. She tells Juliet that he is hiding with Friar Laurence. Juliet gives the Nurse a ring for Romeo to wear when he comes to see her that night.

Act Three, Scene Three

Friar Laurence tells Romeo that he is banished from Verona, and that he should be happy that the Prince was willing to commute the death sentence. Romeo considers banishment worse than death, because it means that he can never see Juliet again.When the Friar tries to console him, Romeo says, "Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love.../ Then mightst thou speak" (3.3.65/68).

The nurse enters and finds Romeo on the ground weeping. She tells him to stand up. Romeo is so upset by the events that he starts to stab himself, but the Nurse snatches away the dagger. Friar Laurence tells Romeo that he should be happy, since he and Juliet are still alive and want to see each other. The Friar then gets Romeo to go see Juliet that night, with the expectation that Romeo will run away to Mantua the next morning.

Act Three, Scene Four

The Capulets and Paris are preparing for bed, even though it is almost morning. Old Capulet decides right then that Juliet will marry Paris. He comments, "I think she will be ruled / In all respects by me" (3.4.13-4). He tells Lady Capulet to speak to Juliet about the matter immediately before going to bed.

Act Three, Scene Five

Romeo and Juliet are in her bedroom as daylight approaches. They pretend for a short minute that it really is still the night, but the Nurse arrives to tell Juliet her mother approaches. Romeo descends from the balcony to the ground and bids her goodbye.

Lady Capulet tells Juliet she has news to cheer her up, namely the planned wedding with Paris. Juliet tells her that she would sooner marry Romeo rather than Paris. Capulet himself enters and becomes furious when Juliet refuses to marry Paris. He calls Juliet "young baggage" and orders her to prepare to marry Paris the upcoming Thursday.

Lady Capulet refuses to help Juliet, and even the Nurse tells her that Paris is a fine gentleman whom she should marry. Juliet kicks out her Nurse and prepares to visit Friar Laurence. As the Nurse leaves, Juliet calls her, "Ancient damnation!" (3.5.235).

Analysis

Mercutio leads the action in this most dramatic of the five acts. When wounded, he cries out "A plague o' both your houses" (3.1.101), saying it three times to ensure that it becomes a curse. Indeed, it is the plague which causes the final death of both Romeo and Juliet. Friar John says that he was unable to deliver the letter to Romeo because, "the searchers of the town, / Suspecting that we both were in a house / Where the infectious pestilence did reign, / Sealed up the doors, and would not let us forth" (5.2.8-11).

One of the most beautiful soliloquys is that of Juliet when she beckons for nightfall, again representing the contrast to the disorder of the day's events. "Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night, / Give me my Romeo, and when he shall die / Take him and cut him out in little stars, / And he will make the face of heaven so fine / That all the world will be in love with night / And pay no worship to the garish sun" (3.2.20-25).

The Nurse's arrival in this act with information about Romeo and Tybalt reinforces the fact that this is now a tragedy, not a comedy. This can be seen in the contrast of this scene with the first scene where the Nurse withholds information from Juliet. In the first scene, the Nurse is playfully devious in telling Juliet about where Romeo wants to meet her for their marriage. Now however, the same playfulness is no longer comic, rather it is infuriating. In this sense Shakespeare turns the Nurse from a comic character into a tragic character, one who cannot realize the importance of what she is saying.

Juliet's dedication to Romeo emerges very strongly at this point. At first she derides Romeo for killing Tybalt, but she soon has a change of heart and says, "Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?" (3.2.97). She then states that she would sacrifice ten thousand Tybalts to be with Romeo, and later includes her parents in the list of people she would rather lose than Romeo. This dedication to a husband or lover is something which emerges frequently in Shakespeare, and is a point he tries to emphasize.

Romeo's misery at being banished is clearly shown in his preference for death. "Then 'banished' / Is death mistermed. Calling death 'banished' / Thou cutt'st my head off with a golden axe" (3.3.20-22). Friar Laurence tries to show him that by being alive he at least still has a chance to see Juliet again. Even the Nurse, entering where Romeo is hiding, says, "Stand up, stand up, stand an you be a man" (3.3.88).

The analysis of the first act introduced the image of the wheel of fortune. This was applied to Juliet, who throughout the previous acts rose from a humble daughter to become a strong woman standing on a balcony, and completely in charge of her situation. However, at this juncture the Nurse informs Romeo that Juliet "down falls again" (3.3.101) as a result of his banishment and her loss of Tybalt. Later, Juliet takes this image even further, saying, "Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low / As one dead in the bottom of a tomb" (3.5.55-6).

This of course also is integrated with the foreshadowing so common in Shakespeare's plays. Lady Capulet comments about Juliet's refusal to marry Paris that, "I would the fool were married to her grave" (3.5.140). This phrase will of course come true quite soon, when Juliet dies while still married to Romeo.

The conflict between the older generation and the younger comes to head in the final scene of act three. The Nurse advocates that Juliet forget about Romeo and instead focus on Paris, the virtues of whom she proceeds to extol. Juliet, poisoningly sweet in her sarcasm, sends the Nurse away from her for the first time, remarking, "Ancient damnation!" (3.5.235), both a reference to the Nurse's age and to the problems she must deal with. This leaves Juliet completely alone to face the hostile world
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:38 pm

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Summary and Analysis of Act 4

Act Four, Scene One

Paris is speaking with Friar Laurence about the wedding with Juliet. Friar Laurence, aware that Juliet cannot marry Romeo, is full of misgivings.

Juliet enters and is forced to speak with Paris, who acts arrogant now that the marriage is going to happen. Juliet rebuffs him by giving vague answers to his questions. She finally asks Friar Laurence if she can meet with him alone, meaning that Paris has to leave.

Friar Laurence comes up with a rash plan to get Romeo and Juliet together. He gives Juliet a poison which will make her appear dead to the world. In this way, rather than marry Paris, she will instead be placed in the vault where all deceased Capulets are buried. Friar Laurence will then send a letter to Romeo, telling him what is being done so that he can return and sneak Juliet out of the tomb and also away from Verona.

Act Four, Scene Two

Juliet arrives home and tells her father that she has repented her sin of being disobedient to him. He pardons her and happily sends her off to prepare her clothes for the wedding day. Capulet then goes to tell Paris that Juliet will marry him willingly.

Act Four, Scene Three

Juliet convinces both her mother and the Nurse that she wants to sleep alone that night. She prepares to drink the poison that Friar Laurence gave her, but cautiously puts a knife next to her bed in case the potion should fail to work. Juliet then drinks the potion and falls motionless onto her bed.

Act Four, Scene Four

The Nurse goes to fetch Juliet but instead finds her lying dead. Lady Capulet enters and also starts lamenting her daughter's demise. Capulet then arrives and, discovering his daughter has committed suicide, orders the music to change to funeral tun
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Re: Resources for first year students at the U. of Kairouan

Post by Iibtihel on Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:39 pm

Act Five, Scene One

Romeo has had a dream in which Juliet finds him dead which has disturbed him. His servant Balthasar arrives in Mantua from Verona with news that Juliet is dead. Romeo immediately orders him to bring a post horse so that he can return to Verona and see her for himself. Romeo then finds a poverty stricken apothecary and pays him for some poison.

Act Five, Scene Two

Friar John arrives to tell Friar Laurence that he was unable to deliver the letter to Romeo. His excuse is that some people were afraid he carried the pestilence (the plague) and refused to let him out of a house. Friar Laurence realizes that this destroys his plans, and orders a crowbar so that he can go rescue Juliet from the grave.

Act Five, Scene Three

Romeo and Balthasar arrive at Juliet's tomb, where Paris is standing watch to ensure no one tries to rob the vault. Paris sees Romeo and fights him, but is killed in the process. His page then runs off to fetch the city watchmen.

Romeo opens up the tomb and sees Juliet. He sits down next to her, takes a cup and fills it with the poison, then drinks it and dies kissing Juliet. Friar Laurence arrives only seconds later and discovers that Paris has been killed by Romeo.

Juliet awakes and finds Romeo dead beside her, with the cup of poison still next to him. She kisses him, hoping some of the poison will kill her as well. Friar Laurence pleads with her to come out of the vault, but instead Juliet chooses to kill herself with Romeo's dagger.

At this point the watchmen arrive, along with the Prince, Montague and Capulet. Friar Laurence tells them the story as he knows it, and Balthasar gives the Prince a letter written by Romeo which verifies the story. Montague, in order to make amends for Juliet's death, tells them he will erect a golden statue of her in Verona for all to see. Not to be outdone, Capulet promises the same of Romeo. The Prince ends the play with the words, "For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo." (5.3.308-9)

Analysis

Much in the way that the characaters in Richard III dream about their fates in the final act of that play, Romeo too has a dream which tells of his fate. "I dreamt my lady came and found me dead" (5.1.6). The use of dreams is meant to foreshadow, but also heightens the dramatic elements of the tragedy by irrevocably sealing the character's fate.

When Romeo goes to the Apothecary to buy his poison, it is as if he were buying the poison from Death himself. Note the description of the Apothecary, "Meagre were his looks. / Sharp misery had worn him to the bones" (5.1.40-1). He is clearly an image of Death. Romeo pays him in gold, saying, "There is thy gold - worse poison to men's souls" (5.1.79).

This description of gold ties into the conflict between gold and silver. It is gold that underlies the family feuding, even after the death of both Romeo and Juliet when Capulet and Montegue try to outbid each other in the size of their golden statues. Thus for Romeo gold really is a form of poison, since it has helped to kill him.

The analysis of the first act pointed out some of the numberous sexual references throughout the play. In the final death scene there is even the full force of the erotic element. Romeo drinks from a chalise, a cup with a shape that is often compared to the torso of a woman. Meanwhile Juliet says, "O happy dagger, / This is thy sheath! There rust, and let me die" (5.3.169). The dagger is of course Romeo's, and the sexual overtones are starkly clear. In addition to this, there is ambiguity about the use of the word "die." To die actually had two meanings when Shakespeare was writing, meaning either real death or sexual intercourse. Thus, even at the very end of the play, we cannot be sure from the words alone whether Juliet is committing suicide or engaging in sexual relations with Romeo.

A final comment concerns Friar Laurence. His actions at the end of the play are remarkable for a holy man because he attempts to play God. Friar Laurence gets Juliet to drink a potion which puts her to sleep, faking death, and then he tries to resurrect her. In his attempt to play God, Friar Laurence is condemned to fail by the simple arrogance of his act. This tie-in with the death of Christ would not have escaped the Christian audiences watching
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