I am writing to offer you the part of Juliet in William Shakespeare’s excellent play, Romeo and Juliet. I feel that you will be perfect for the part, as I have seen, and enjoyed many other things that you have done. You should be familiar with the rest of the cast, I have Daniel Day-Lewis (as Capulet), Elijah Wood (as Romeo) Dame Judy Dench (as Lady Capulet and Eddie Murphy (as Mercutio) I hope that you will be happy with who you are working with, I feel that you will fit in perfectly.
Although you may know who basics about Romeo and Juliet, I will tell you more about what it is. Romeo and Juliet is a love story, involving two young teenagers, Romeo who is 18, and Juliet who is 13. Their families are at war with each other, but this doesn’t stop them from having feelings for each other. Even if they aren’t allowed to be together, they want to be together and nothing will stop them. They both know the risks that are involved, and they would be disowned if either of their parents were to find out. They are both desperately in love with each other, and this is portrayed in what they say to each other.
The main plot from here onwards, is when Romeo is banished, for killing Tybalt when they are fighting. Juliet is devastated by this and asks the Friar for help. He gives her a potion, sending her into a deep sleep, as though she is dead, yet she will still wake. Romeo hears of her death and goes to her death-bed, where he kills himself. When Juliet wakes to find him dead, she is devastated and kills herself too. All of this finally ends their families’ feud for good.
In the beginning of the play Juliet lives a fairly quiet life, never rebelling against her parents, and obeying then like she is supposed to. At this point you should play her in a timid and honest way, as Juliet is a shy type and open about her feelings to the Nurse, but not so to her parents. Her life is very sheltered form the ‘real’ world; she has many things to protect her from harm, such as the Nurse, with whom she has a very close relationship. I would like you to portray this closeness by being very friendly towards her, and if you get to know the actress who is playing the nurse, this would show well on the stage. Although Juliet may have a close relationship with the Nurse, it is the total opposite with both of her parents. She is very distant from them both, and I feel that you can show this when you are acting as Juliet by doing a few things. Not making proper eye contact with them, and standing a fair distance away from them will both contribute to the fact that you are distant from them. Also at this point in the play Juliet doesn’t think of wanting to be married to anyone, when she has the proposal from Paris. Yet she rapidly changes her mind when she meets Romeo, and she falls in love with him. You and Romeo should be very close; you should show this by being fairly shy around him, and smiling at him whilst making a lot of eye contact with him. All of these things should lead to a good performance from you all.
There is one main scene in the play that I would like to fully explain to you, and this is Act 3 Scene 5, which you will find in the script attached. This is the morning after they have spent the night together and consummated their marriage by sleeping together, which if they had not done so the marriage would not have been complete. I want to concentrate on this scene because there is great deal of dramatical tension, for example when Lady Capulet first enters, just after Romeo has left. In the whole of this scene Juliet is very restricted in what she can say, as she is grieving for Tybalt yet is still sad that Romeo has gone. Her mother misinterprets her sadness from Romeo leaving and tries to console her, which Juliet has to go along with and to lie to her mother about what is really wrong with her. In this scene in general she Juliet is very isolated, it is as though nobody wants to help her in any way, not even the Nurse; her close friend. The events that happen throughout the scene conspire against Juliet in some way. This is the scene where the audience should begin to feel very sorry for Juliet, because she could lose everything she has, her status, her power and most of all Romeo.
The main points in Act 3 Scene 5 that I want to concentrate on are: the language used, facial expressions, movements i.e. Falling to your knees, meanings of lines and words, and also how the audience are meant to react. I will start at line 64, when Lady Capulet first enters, as I feel that this is the first significant part in the scene.
Lady Capulet enters suddenly, and sees if Juliet is up. This makes Juliet surprised, “What unaccustomed cause procures her hither” showing how confused she is by this. Juliet then quickly moves away from the window, by where Romeo has just left. Here I would like you to be on edge, while speaking quickly showing a sense of panic and nervousness because of the fact that Romeo has just left a few minutes before. The relationship between Juliet and her mother in these few lines is very formal, as they exchange very short sentences and here I want you to be not making any eye contact with Lady Capulet, to show this formal relationship. From lines 61 onwards, Lady Capulet mistakes Juliet’s sorrow for Romeo leaving as grieving for Tybalt, and this just further illustrated how distant they really are as mother and daughter, “Evermore weeping for your cousins death?”, this is an instance where Lady Capulet mistakes Romeo for Tybalt. Lady Capulet describes Juliet as being foolish and irrational for crying so much over Tybalt, “But much of grief shows still some want of wit”, and saying that she is over reacting to the situation, yet Lady Capulet does not know the true reason behind her crying.