romeo and juliet and juliet

  • Romeo:*sees Juliet for the first time*
  • Romeo:👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good shit go౦ԁ sHit👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌shit right👌👌th 👌 ere👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good shit
The signs as ballets
  • Aries:Don Quixote
  • Taurus:The Sleeping Beauty
  • Gemini:Coppélia
  • Cancer:Raymonda
  • Leo:Nutcracker
  • Virgo:La Bayadére
  • Libra:Swan Lake
  • Scorpio:Manon
  • Sagittarius:Le Corsaire
  • Capricorn:Les Sylphides
  • Aquarius:Giselle
  • Pisces:Romeo and Juliet

Imagine Person A and Person B in the school play Romeo and Juliet. A quickly gets cast as Juliet, being a fantastic actor. But B is cast as a lesser character (possibly just “nurse” or “servant”- someone without an official name). A has endured kissing the person playing Romeo many times in practice. Finally it’s the night the play is open. “Juliet” fakes her death. They wake to find that “Romeo” has “killed” themselves. A then mumbles “well, my problems are over”, stands up, grab Person B by their arm (who was standing on the wing giving silent support to A), and pulls them into a passionate kiss.

I’m not sure why I was thinking about this subject this morning, but Shakespeare writes teenagers REALLY well and I never really noticed it before.

So, this actually comes from a train of thought I’ve had for a while. I’ve always been frustrated by productions of Hamlet which have a 30+ year old man playnig Hamlet. Hamlet is a college student. That means he’s probably between the ages of 17 to 23-ish, give or take a few years (since I’m not entirely certain when people started university in Shakespeare’s time). So his reactions to the drama in his family/kingdom are very teenaer-esque. He freaks out, he’s confused, he’s stressed.

I ran the lights for a production of Hamlet that my uni last semester. Which meant that Hamlet was played by someone in their early 20s, the correct age. During one of the performances, I was paying closer attention than usual to the scenes between Hamlet and Gertrude (particularly the death of Polonius, but the early scene between the as well) and suddenly it seemed so real to me, that Hamlet would be saying all these terrible things to Gertrude and accusing her so harshly and basically insulting her and yelling at her in a very over-dramatic fashion. Because he’s a teenager, he’s confused, and he’s upset, and he’s doesn’t have the adult experiences to make him sit down and figure out how to deal with things calmly or rationally. He just knows that his mother has done wrong and things are wrong and all the pressure is on him to fix it and he doesn’t really know how. The overly emotional scenes and drama and even Hamlet’s suicidal ideation or rash unthinking attacks make so much more sense when you think “19 year old college student comes home from a semester at school and all this unexpected crazy shit gets dropped on top of him along with the grief of his father’s death and he doesn’t know how to deal” as opposed to seeing Hamlet as a grown man over the age of 25.

Similarly, this morning I was thinking about Romeo And Juliet (a rare occasion for me) and I realized how dumb the fight between Tybalt and Benvolio seems when you see it with grown men. I think it’s general knowledge that Juliet is around the age of 13-15, and generally assumed that Romeo is a few years older, so 16-18. I would assume then that the rest of that generation of characters (Mercution, Benvolio, Tybalt, etc) are around that age as well. So I was just thinking about Tybalt’s entrance at the beginning of the play, in which he immediately threatens Benvolio in the most absurdly violent way possible, and his invitation to duel (Drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word,/ as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee!), which is just so dramatic. It’s so juvenile sounding. It’s the equivalent of a pissed off teenager shoving some kid just cuz he wants to start a fight (albeit with greater consequences in Tybalt’s case). And it sounds sort of silly and overdramatic, again, until you put the words in an angry, probably kinda spoiled, belligerent 16 year old kid’s mouth.

Literally every scene in A Midsummer Night’s Dream makes more sense when you remember that these characters are most likely teenagers around 16-20 and not adults. They seem far less ridiculous when you think of it as teens running around in a forest in this bizarre love triangle/relationship weirdness.

Basically, I just think it’s very interesting that we mostly see Shakespeare plays done with a cast where everyone is over the age of 25, so we think of all the characters as over 25, when really there are a lot of characters that are far younger. And their actions and reactions make so much more sense when you watch them as teenagers or young adults who have been thrust into strange and often stressful or upsetting circumstances. It’s easier, then, to remember how young they are and how little experience they have or how emotional they can become. It makes things more believable and more interesting, I think.