Category Archives: Romeo and Juliet

Podcast 107: Troilus and Cressida: “He-Man Woman-Haters Club” edition

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This week’s podcast continues our two month-long discussion of Troilus and Cressida with a discussion of misogyny in the play. Plus, a happier subject: a review of Independent Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet.

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Review: Romeo and Juliet by the Independent Shakespeare Company at Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Saturday night, my wife and son and I went to Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to catch the summer production of Romeo and Juliet by the Independent Shakespeare Company. Every summer, they present two free Shakespeare plays outdoors over the course of the summer (#ShakespeareSetFree). Later this summer, it’ll be Much Ado About Nothing (which sounds great), but you still have a chance to check out Romeo and Juliet before it closes at the end of the month.

Romeo and Juliet by Independent Shakespeare Company (at Los Angeles' Griffith Park)
Romeo and Juliet by Independent Shakespeare Company (at Los Angeles’ Griffith Park)

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Text Me, Hamlet: One last thing (Romeo and Juliet)

One last thing on the whole “early texts and editions” subject:

All editions have been edited. Period. End of discussion (though it’s really the beginning of this discussion).

I don’t know what metaphor is more apt: Shakespeare as jigsaw puzzle. Or: Shakespeare as Chinese restaurant menu (one from column A, two from column B, etc).

Continue reading Text Me, Hamlet: One last thing (Romeo and Juliet)

What I did on my thee-year summer vacation (part two)

As I mentioned a few days ago, my wife turned me on to Prezi.com, a kind of next-gen PowerPoint tool, web- and Flash-based. As an educator, she thought it might be a good tool for students to create projects, like an ABC book (where the student[s] could break down a subject and cover it–literally–from A to Z.

Challenge accepted.
Continue reading What I did on my thee-year summer vacation (part two)

Podcast 47: Romeo and Juliet Wrap-Up

This week’s podcast continues our month-long discussion of Romeo and Juliet, including a discussion of one of the most important concepts of the play, a couple of reviews of Romeo and Juliet-related DVDs, a cast, a discussion of production concepts, then do our recap of this week’s blog entries.
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Romeo and Juliet: numbers overall

Romeo and Juliet

  • 3004 total lines; longer than average play and tragedy (average play: 2777; average tragedy: 2890)
  • At 14 lines, the Choruses for both Acts One and Two are the shortest of its kind in the Canon
  • At 244 lines, Act Three, Scene Five is the longest of its kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 718 lines; longer than average (average play: 590, average tragedy: 647)
  • Act Two: 666 lines; longer than average (average play: 568, average tragedy: 573)
  • Act Three: 794 lines; longer than average (average play: 576, average tragedy: 633)
  • Act Four: 401 lines; shorter than average (average play: 563, average tragedy: 555)
  • Act Five: 425 lines; shorter than average (average play: 480, average tragedy: 465)
  • 426 lines of prose (14.18% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%, The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 26.81%, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 19.75%])
  • 499 rhyming lines (16.61% of total lines [as opposed to Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, LLL: 40.86%, 2Gents: 35.08%, and Midsummer: 43.5%])
  • 26 scenes; more than average (average play: 21; average tragedy: 23)
  • only 33 characters (slightly less than average, less than average for tragedy [average play: 36, average tragedy: 41])

Numbers: Midpoint… Dead Center

Using Professor Rodes’ midpoint theory , let’s take a look at Romeo and Juliet.

There are 3004 lines in this play, which puts the midpoint at line 1502, which is 118 lines into Act Three, Scene One. And for the first time in the Canon, the crucial line is not within twenty lines in either direction of the midpoint.

It IS the midpoint.
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A Time to Plan

OK, let’s take on a major concept of the play. When asked what Romeo and Juliet is about, most will say love, or young love, or youth, or fate, or hate. Ask me, and I’ll say: it’s about two hours long

cue rim-shot

Look, it’s right there in the prologue: “two hours’ traffic of our stage” (1Chorus, 12). Now, I might sound a little facetious here, but it’s to put forth a serious point. I would go so far as to say that this play is about TIME, and what happens when we rush, when we don’t have enough time to think.
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