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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Podcast 46: Romeo and Juliet DVD Reviews (Part Two)

This week’s podcast continues our month-long discussion of Romeo and Juliet, including some reviews of productions available on DVD, and our recap of this week’s blog entries.
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Oh. Then. I See…

In the midst of Act One of Romeo and Juliet, we meet Mercutio, kinsman to the Prince, friend to Romeo, and as either impartial or important a personage to receive an invitation to the Capulet shindig. On his way to said party, with the Montague party-crashers Romeo and Benvolio in tow, in response to Romeo’s statement that his new found reason for NOT going to the party is a dream he had tonight, Mercutio cuts loose with one of the most famous speeches in the Canon:
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