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    Romeo and Juliet: A Love Story Set in Feudal Italy

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    Romeo and Juliet is about two feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. The Montague’s son, Romeo and the Capulet’s daughter Juliet fall in love with one another, however their love for one another must be concealed as the families would not approve.

    The beginning of Act 3 Scene 5 is set on the balcony of Juliet’s bedroom in the family house situated in Verona, Italy. This version of the play will be set in the same period as when it was written. The clothes that Romeo and Juliet wear are made of rich materials. Romeo will wear a frilly shirt, waistcoat, tight leggings and a sheet of material draped over his shoulders held in place by a gold brooch. Juliet is wearing a white silky bed gown in this scene due to the fact that she has just woken up.

    Juliet’s bedroom is decorated in dark terracotta with a large, dark brown, oak sleigh bed in the centre of the room with elegant materials covering the bed such as silk and linens. Also over the top of the bed is a canopy, once again dark and rich materials, to symbolise her family’s wealth. Around the room there is dark furniture to match the bed, such as a dressing table with a large ovular gold rimmed mirror, and dark floor to ceiling wardrobes that have large panes of mirrors embedded into the doors. Juliet’s bedroom is raised on a separate level to the stage some six foot high to show to the audience Juliet’s bedroom is on the second floor of the house.

    There will be left two or three metres to the front of the stage for Romeo to be able manoeuvre his way off the main stage half way through the scene. The audience would also be raised for them to get the best possible view. The balcony is to the left hand side of the raised platform yet still facing the audience, facing where the sun would rise from, with outward opening, white French doors, to enhance the heavenly feeling at the beginning of this scene, with dark lengthy curtains on the inside. The balcony is just high enough for Romeo to lower himself down before a small drop off from the balcony.

    At the beginning of this scene Romeo would have one leg hooked over the edge of the balcony and be sat with his back up against the wall of the house. The bricks used for the outer walls of the house will be large with a coarse surface and be neutral colours such as magnolia, creams and whites, once again to enhance the calmness of this part of the scene as they have just woken up and the sun is rising. Juliet will be cuddled up to Romeo and Romeo will have his arm around Juliet. Romeo will be wearing leggings and a frilly shirt only half buttoned up and has some shoes on unlaced to show that he has just got up yet still ready to leave. They speak to each other in a heavenly and softly tone of voice, almost like a whisper, as if they wouldn’t want anybody to hear them. They will be talking to each other about Romeo having to leave. Juliet will be talking in this tone of voice, as she is trying to persuade Romeo as well as herself that they need to spend more time together. She pleads with him not to go by saying,

    “Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day:

    It was the nightingale, and not the lark”.

    The lark represents daylight and in this case daylight is a bad thing, and therefore contrasts their relationship before they were married as light was seen as a good thing. Daylight is what separates them. In Act 2 scene to light is referred to as a beautiful thing as Romeo refers Juliet to the light, “Juliet is the sun” and “Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon”.

    However, when it is dark outside Romeo and Juliet refer to daylight, this is very powerful imagery. Here Romeo talks about how great daylight is however later on in Act 3 scene 5 he would rather it stay dark so he can spend more time with his beloved wife. Juliet could show this by sobbing. For effect I would play music that sounds like the lark and tranquil music that you would associate with the sun rising, to help set the scene and I would fade in light throughout the scene to symbolise the sun rising. As it is a garden balcony I would include lot of pink and red flowers as to enhance the romantic nature of the scene. However, Romeo has sense of reality and as he says he must leave if he is to stay alive, he gives Juliet a reassuring look trying to comfort her and he holds her in his arms to prevent her from bursting into tears. However Romeo has a sense of reality and knows what the consequences would be if he were to stay.

    “It was the lark…or stay and die”

    This shows how immature Juliet is compared with how mature Romeo is. This immaturity can also portray to the audience her age, as she is still only a child. When he says to Juliet,

    “Lets talk, it is not day”

    She has a sudden change of mind telling him he must go, in a much more hurried manner of voice giving him a small nudge before saying,

    “Some say, the lark makes sweet division:

    This doth not so: for she divideth us”

    The word “division” is a play on words as it has two meanings, the first one being sweet tune however it can also mean to separate which is what is happening to Romeo and Juliet. This is irony, because the lark is seen as a beautiful bird however Juliet is saying she hates it because it is splitting them up. Earlier in the play their love for one another was referred to being like animals which shows how natural their love for each other is to the audience. Juliet then says

    “So now be gone, more light and light it grows”

    And Romeo then replies with

    “More light and light, more dark and dark our woes”

    At this point the nurse hurriedly enters the scene through two, large, heavy, oak, double doors, opposite the entrance onto the balcony, wearing a traditional maids outfit, in a concerned manner she forewarns the young lovers that Juliet’s mother is coming,

    This once again stresses how bad daylight is by saying the lighter it gets the more dangerous it becomes for them. Also both young lovers are now beginning to realise the danger of their actions.

    Then Juliet says

    “Then window let day in, let out life”

    This is the last time Juliet sees Romeo alive however she does not know this. This is ironic because fate is slowly creeping in and shows how their relationship is doomed to failure.

    “Your lady mother is coming to your chamber”

    After she has said her lines she rushes off back through the double doors. To create tension in the room, movements would be rushed, Juliet would spring to her feet and this would be Romeo’s cue to leave. He will swing his legs over the side of the balcony and come to Juliet for one final kiss before he quickly jumps over the balcony. Then Juliet says leaning over her balcony

    “Art thou gone so love, ay husband, friend”,

    This line shows to the audience how much respect Juliet has for Romeo, as Juliet says that she needs him to live. She also says “I shall be much in years” every minute they are apart it will seem like years to her. Romeo makes her feel better by telling her he will take every opportunity to write and tell her all.

    “I will omit no opportunity,

    that may convey my greetings love to thee”

    There is a big contrast as Romeo addresses Juliet with great optimism. When they are together when they are older and they look back on their woes, they will just seem stupid and laugh. However this doesn’t calm Juliet down, and she has a vision of Romeo lying dead in a tomb. At this point, the play begins to gather momentum and the audience is given a clue as to how the play will end.

    From the garden filled with pink and red flowers, Romeo says his good byes whilst looking amorously up at her. At this point Juliet exits the balcony willing his return.

    “O Fortune, O Fortune…But send him back”

    She will say these lines very quietly looking up to the sky as if she is talking to God before looking back at Romeo. During her lines she bursts into tears and when finished she puts her hand over her mouth attempting to try and muffle the sound of her cries. At this point there would be a gentle tap on her bedroom door. Juliet exits the balcony whilst drying the tears with the bottom of her bed gown. Lady Capulet will enter the room in a sedate manner dressed in a dark blue dress which emphasises how cold a person she turns out to be. The Nurse sheepishly follows Lady Capulet into the room. When Lady Capulet asks how her daughter is, Juliet gets back into bed and hides under her sheets and says,

    “Madam, I am not well”.

    At this point Lady Capulet tells Juliet to stop sniffling. Lady Capulet thinks she is unhappy because Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt and that she too wants Romeo dead. Lady Capulet tells Juliet to stop grieving as it will not bring Tybalt back and she then in a threatening manner explains how she will put and end to Romeo to put an end to Romeo herself. We will have vengeance for it, fear thou not

    “Shall give him such an unaccustom’d dram”, he will soon be keeping Tybalt company. Once again it gives the audience an insight into the imminent death of Romeo. The words she uses are ironic as ‘dram’ also means poison and this is what Romeo dies as a result of. Juliet looks away when her mother talks badly of Romeo, with a menacing look in her eye she concludes,

    “That is because the traitor murderer lives”

    Juliet appears confused, as she is not used to this type of attention from her mother. The tone in Lady Capulet’s voice changes when she tells Juliet of some supposedly good news,

    “Marry my child early next Thurs day morn”

    Juliet appears distraught and refuses her mothers request, adamantly saying,

    “I will not marry yet, and when I do, I swear

    It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate

    Rather than Paris”

    Juliet is acting like a spoilt teenager, stamping her feet, in an attempt to get her own way. Then Capulet makes his entrance pushing both of the double doors wide apart to show to the audience his importance. He strides authoritatively across the stage. The type of clothes Capulet wears are similar to the clothes that Lady Capulet wears, dark purple robes to symbolise how cold a person he his like his wife. When her father enters Juliet tries to get him on her side begging him on her knees to hear her out,

    “Good father, I beseech you on my knees

    Hear with me your patience but to speak a word”

    Capulet is having none of it, She begins to cry and he flies into a rage and tells her she will do as she is told. To help portray his rage he throws ornaments and glass objects at walls smashing them in to pieces.Also during his three major speeches he would shout his lines at her face shaking her by the arms as if he is trying to shake some sense into her. When he first enters, he appears moved by Juliet’s tears,

    “What still in tears, evermore showering in one little body” and asks his wife if she has given Juliet the good news,

    “How wife, have you delivered to her our decree?”

    His wife replies with,

    “Ay sir, but she will none”

    Capulet is angry at this news and aggressively and with disbelief asks,

    “How will she none? Doth she not give us thanks? Is she not proud?”

    Juliet replies sheepishly, wary of her father’s wrath,

    “Not proud you have, but thankful that you have”

    Capulet’s anger is rising and he forcefully orders her

    “But fettle your fine joints…on a hurdle thither”, the tension mounts after Juliet begs her father to hear her out. Capulet is furious and tells her to do as she is told or

    “Never after look me in the face”.

    Capulet’s rage mounts as he shouts “My fingers itch” whilst hitting Juliet with the back of his hand.

    “I tell thee what, get thee to church a’ Thursday

    Or never look me in the face”

    Refusing her fathers wishes shows how little respect Juliet has for her mother and father. He tells her not to answer him back and when her nurse sticks up for her tells her to hold her tongue.

    “Peace you mumbling fool”

    Capulet is outraged, when he sees his daughters reaction to the marriage he has arranged to a man who is a

    “A gentleman of noble parentage…wish a man”.

    He tells Juliet that if she does not marry on Thursday then she will no longer live under his roof but will “hang, beg, stave, die in the streets”. Capulet thinks that he is bringing good news, however the news of the arranged marriage disturbs and upset Juliet and obstructs Juliet’s and Romeo’s love for one another. He leaves angry paying attention to none. Juliet is crying and trying to convince her mother to delay her marriage to Paris, on her knees. Her mother offers her no comfort and takes her leave.

    “Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee”.

    In this version Capulet is portrayed as a tyrant however he may just be wanting the best for his daughter by making this perfect match with Paris as he is rich and related to the Prince.

    Once lady Capulet has left the room, Juliet will go to lie on her bed weeping, heart broken and in despair. The nurse will then go and sit next to her on Juliet’s bed and cuddle her to help comfort her. She then says

    “Faith here it is…and you no use of him”

    The nurse tries to comfort her telling her that Paris excels Romeo and that she would be better off forgetting Romeo. She parts herself from the nurse cuddling her because she has suddenly begun to speak badly of her Romeo. This is because the Nurse is scared of Capulet, knowing that her job could be at stake if he was to find out that she had advised Juliet to marry Romeo. When the nurse refers to Rome as good as dead

    “Your first is dead or ’twere as good he were”,

    Juliet looks away from the nurse with horror and then in a very sarcastic manner says

    “Well thou hast comforted me, marvellous much”

    Juliet seeing that she is not going to get her own way tells her nurse to go and tell her mother that she has gone to confession, whilst pointing at her bedroom door, as she continues to plot her escape with Romeo. The nurse replies by telling her that she would marry Paris rather than Romeo as she thinks that would be the right thing to do,

    “Marry I will, and this is wisely done”

    The Nurse stands up from the bed and takes her leave. Juliet then says

    “If all else fails, myself have the power to die”

    meaning that if she can never marry Romeo then she is capable of taking her own life.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Romeo and Juliet: A Love Story Set in Feudal Italy. (2017, Oct 26). Retrieved from

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