Romeo and Juliet Essay


Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy of William Shakespeare, which takes its source in a story written by Italian Masuccio Salernitano (Masuccio Salerno) taken by Luigi da Porto.

The play was represented for the first time in public on January 29, 1595.

The action takes place in Verona, (northern Italy). It tells the story of Romeo Montaigu (Romeo Montecchi) and Juliet Capulet (Giulietta Capuleti), two young men who lived a tragic love because of the enmity between their two houses.

Act first
The rivalry between the Capulet and Montaigu bloody city of Verona to the great displeasure of Prince Escalus. Only Romeo, heir of Montaigu, concerned about his love for the miserable cold Rosaline, stands on the sidelines of these quarrels. For dérider, his friends Benvolio and Mercutio to persuade the incognito invite to the party that the old Capulet impulsively decides to give in honor of her daughter, Juliette, the latter will be able to get to know the count that its Pâris Parents him as intending spouses.

The evening opens with a ball where Romeo, dazzled, sees Juliet and instantly forget Rosaline. He did more than Juliette, which had the same feelings. The two young people are overwhelmed when they discover that everyone loves his worst enemy.

Act II
Romeo between overnight at the Capulet and tries to see Juliet. When it appears at her window, he declares his passion. Juliette did the same, but the propriety of the time prevents them from going further.

Romeo consults his confessor, the Franciscan brother Lawrence. The latter deplores the inconstancy of Romeo but promises to arrange his marriage to Juliet in an attempt to reconcile the Capulet and Montaigu.

The next day, Romeo Juliet told to take it a pretext to confess to visit his brother Lawrence, who will celebrate their marriage, which shall remain secret and Juliet prepare a ladder so that he can join her in the room following night. The plan is executed as planned.

Now married to Juliet, Romeo refuses to fight against his cousin Tybalt who insult. Mercutio then takes his place and Romeo, interposing itself, is inadvertently responsible for the injury that killed his friend. Despair, he kills Tybalt income taunt. The prince decided to banish Romeo: "And for this offense, we exilons on the spot."

Juliette, torn between grief and love, managed to spend a night wedding with Romeo before he takes the path of exile in Mantua. But her parents have decided to accelerate its union with Count Pâris. N'osant confess the truth, she will implore the help of brother Lawrence.

Act IV
Brother Lawrence Juliette proposes to take a potion that will give it an appearance of death. It will be filed in the Tomb of Capulet where Romeo, alerted by a letter, will make it out.

In the morning, the nurse discovered Juliette inanimate and all lament. The funeral was conducted according to the plan's brother Lawrence.

Act V
An epidemic of plague prevents the messenger brother Laurent to bring his letter to Romeo, and only the news of the death of Juliette reaches him. He returned to Verona resolved to die on the tomb of his young wife. There he crosses the count Pâris, who leads a duel and is killed. Romeo enters the crypt, made his farewell to Juliet before swallowing a vial of poison. The brother Laurent discovers horrified his lifeless body. Juliet wakes up and realizing that Romeo is dead, give him a last kiss before flowing on his dagger.

Prince Escalus, Lord Montaigu whose wife died of grief during the night, and both spouses Capulet are found in the cemetery. Brother Lawrence then tells them the true story of two lovers, it's evidence a letter that Romeo wrote before going to see Juliette cemetery. The two reconciled and fathers say to raise a golden statue to the memory of their children.

The story is partly inspired the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe, including a county in Ovid's Metamorphoses. But Shakespeare had more recent sources: The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, written in 1562 by a certain Arthur Brooke or the story of Romeo and Juliet in the collection of short stories by William Painter, The Palace of Pleasure.

In fact the name of the two rival families appears from the XIV century in the Divine Comedy of Dante (Purgatory, VI, 105) but only Montaigu are Verona. The Capulet are Brescia and rivalry between the two houses is part of the conflict between guelfes and Ghibellines without any mention of any love story.

A first draft of the plot in 1476 appears in the new Mariotto and Ganozza of Masuccio Salernitano, whose action takes place in Siena, in an atmosphere far less bleak than the Shakespearean tragedy. But that is Luigi da Porto that must be in 1530 the modern form of intrigue. Porto transposes the action in Verona the years 1301-1304 during the reign of Bartolomeo della Scala (which will become Escalus in Shakespeare). This is the version that is found in the new Matteo Bandello in 1554.

The news of Bandello was translated into french by Pierre Boaistuau (1559), and it is this version that was translated into English prose by William Painter in the Palace of Pleasure (1567) after having been in verse in The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562) by Arthur Brooke.

Date of composition
In the absence of archives and Shakespeare have signed any of plays published during his lifetime (unlike poems, Venus and Adonis or Lucrèce for example), it is sometimes difficult to date exactly writing his dramatic works. It is not known exactly when he wrote Romeo and Juliet. The nurse evokes an earthquake which reportedly took place eleven years ago, or an earthquake struck England in 1580, which would date the precise passage of 1591 if the reference is correct. But the stylistic similarities between the play and A Midsummer Night's Dream (which features a burlesque of Pyramus and Thisbée), as well as documents proving the existence of representations (the part that has gained considerable popularity in 1595) suggest that its editors situation between 1595 and 1596. A fairly commonly accepted hypothesis is that Shakespeare would have outlined a first draft of the piece in 1591 that would have overhauled between 1595 and 1596.


* 1839: Romeo and Juliet, dramatic symphony of Hector Berlioz

* 1869: Romeo and Juliet, opening Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky

* 1935: Romeo and Juliet ballet by Sergei Prokofiev


* 1776: Julie Romeo und Georg Anton Benda
* 1776: e Romeo Giulia Johann Gottfried Schwanenberger
* 1789: Giulietta e Romeo Luigi Marescalchi
* 1790: Romeo of Juliet und Sigismund von Rumling
* 1792: Romeo and Juliet Nicolas Dalayrac
* 1793: Romeo and Juliet Daniel Steibelt
* 1796: Giulietta e Romeo Nicola Antonio Zingarelli
* 1809: Romeo and Juliet Bernardo Porta
* 1810: Giulietta e Romeo Pietro Carlo Guglielmi
* 1825: Giulietta e Romeo Nicola Vaccai
* 1828: Giulietta e Romeo Eugenio Torriani
* 1830: I Capuleti ei Montecchi of Vincenzo Bellini
* 1863: Julie Romeo und Anton Storch
* 1863: Romeo y Julieta of Melesio Morales
* 1865: Giulietta e Romeo Filippo Marchetti
* 1867: Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod
* 1873: Romeo y Julieta Garcia Mercadal
* 1878: Romeo and Juliet Richard Ivry
* 1901: Romeo and Juliet Harry Rowe Shelley
* 1916: Backworth
* 1922: Romeo y Julieta of Conrado del Campo y Zabaleta
* 1922: Giulietta e Romeo Riccardo Zandonai
* 1940: Romeo und Julia Heinrich Sutermeister
* 1947: Romeo und Julia Boris Blacher
* 1950: episode of Mondi celesti e infernali Gian Francesco Malipiero
* 1954: Romeo i Julija of Krešimir Fribec
* 1955: Romé and Juliet Edmond Gaujac
* 1962: Romeo, Julie tma Jacobo Ficher
* 1965: Mullins
* 1969: Zanon
* 1970: Julia i Romeo of Bernadetta Matuszczak
* 1988: Romeo and Juliet by Pascal Dusapin

Popular music

* Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits album Making Movies)
* The Montagues and the Capulets (Ez3kiel, album Battlefield)
* Romeo Juliet had (Lou Reed, album New York)
* Romeo & Juliet (Michael & The Messengers, compilation Nuggets)
* Romeo Was Really a Jerk? (Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra, album Unza Unza Time)


* 1966: with music by Berlioz (1839), Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Maurice Béjart.
* 1990: with music by Prokofiev (1935), Romeo and Juliet Angelin Preljocaj choreography for Ballet Preljocaj.
* 1990: on Tchaikovsky music, Bertrand d'At the Ballet de l'Opera National du Rhin.


* 1908: Romeo & Juliet
* 1911: Romeo & Juliet, William Garwood
* 1916: Romeo & Juliet, J. Gordon Edwards
* 1936: Romeo & Juliet, George Cukor, with Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer
* 1954: Romeo & Juliet
* 1961: West Side Story, a film musical Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
* 1968: Romeo & Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli, with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey
* 1978: Romeo & Juliet
* 1983: Romeo & Juliet
* 1989: Romuald et Juliette, Coline Serreau
* 1996: Romeo + Juliet, Baz Luhrmann with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, also Love Is All There Is by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor, with Angelina Jolie.
* 1996: Tromeo & Juliet, Lloyd Kaufman
* 1998: The Lion King 2: The honour of the tribe, Rob LaDuca and Darrell Rooney
* 1999: Shakespeare in Love, John Madden, with Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Simon Callow ...
* 2000: Romeo Must Die, Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die) (1 November 2000), with Jet Li and singer Aaliyah.
* 2005: Romeo & Juliet
* 2006: Romeo and Juliet, Yves Desgagnés, with Thomas Lalonde and Charlotte Aubin


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