Friday, August 28, 2009

Large Group Expected for "Romeo & Juliet" Reading on September 5th

Hello all!
We are expecting a large number of people for the Shakespeare Allowed! reading of Romeo & Juliet on Saturday September 5th.
Rather than our normal reading room at the downtown library, we will be upstairs on the 2nd floor in the Story Room. (with windows!)
Come early to get a seat to read and, as always, bring your own copy of the play if you have it.


DG Strong said...

Fun read today.

Does that last long bit after Juliet dies usually get performed, the part where the Friar recounts the plot and then they decide to erect golden statues of the lovers? That seemed to go on a bit and blunt the effect of the double suicide.

The golden statues struck me as funny, especially in light of Romeo's "There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls" tirade to the apothecary.

Denice said...

Hey DG, I apologize for reading the Friar's final speech with a bit more alacrity than the moment calls for. He has to say most of that because the parents and the Prince don't know the whole story the way the audience does. It's all news to them, and the reconciliation that makes the whole play worthwhile cannot happen between the parents without most of that speech. Balthazar's part of the story, as well as the other Page's, frequently get cut.
The statues erected by the parents are really just monuments to their children and to mark the end of the feud. I'm sure the scholars can fill us in further on this, but I"m assuming gold was just the finest material you could use to make a statue and the Dads want only the best to memorialize their kids.

It was fun--gosh--there are so many famous quotes from that one! ...and it was longer than I remember.

Thanks for being there! 12 down, 25 to go! woo hoo! =D

David Teems said...

The person sitting next to me at the reading yesterday (a retired professor. I can't remember her name, but she is brilliant.) anyway, she pointed out the particular line in Juliet's "gallop apace" speech where she says, "and, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars . . . " My amused fellow reader noted the randomness of it, that in the midst of all this anticipation and heat, Juliet speaks of Romeo's death. Later, when I thought about it, I noticed the presence of death between R & J from the beginning of the play. It became rather conspicuous. For instance, Romeo and crew are headed to a party at the Capulets and Romeo says, "my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date with this night's revels and expire the term of a despised life."

Shakespeare adds these prophetic touches and it does seem random. It is the specter that suspends between the pair. From her balcony she looks down and says, "I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb: either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale." Romeo returns, "And trust me, love, in my eye so do you: Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!" Death is the real poet between them, and they're hardly aware of it.

Star-cross'd is right. It's the shy and yet dark subtext that filters into the margents of their speech. Love and death keeping company one with the other.

Anyway, I suppose with genius "random" is an appearance only. Nothing is wasted in Shakespeare. The fact that it appears random is all part of the charm.

See, great professors make you think. I will learn her name next time. My error.

Denice said...

Her name is Sharon Meltzer, David. And her presence is a true gift to Nashville!
About the death theme--somebody once told me that sometimes, in Shakespeare's time, a sexual climax was referred to as a little death. Mercutio's speeches are full of sexual references, which balances the themes somewhat between life and death, eh?

David Teems said...

You gotta love the guy. Layers and layers of unstoppable Shakespeare."My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite."

Denice said...

That line made it into "Shakespeare's Case," because it's one of my all time favorites!

The thing about R&J that gets to me is that the Friar gets away with so much. He meddled to begin with--marrying the 2 kids without their parents' consent--then administers a dangerous drug to a minor, lastly, he leaves Juliet alone in the tomb--why? Why doesn't he just stay there with her until everybody else shows up? gee whiz. What a weirdo. I'd love a chance to play that role someday! heheh.

Douglas said...

This was my first reading. It's great to see the satire in something so often called "inaccessible".