My literature lecture ask us to make a theme analysis of one one Shakespear’s drama as our final project, then she choose Rome and Juliet. I watched the version on Leonardo de Caprio, but actually I did not like that movies. Besides it is about a tragedy, I think the movie is not really good, though. no offence. so, here, my explanation about theme analysis:
*ps: you may copy paste it but please insert my name and my blog on your references. thank you :))
William Shakespeare is the most famous author in all of English literature. He was born in 1564 to a favourable middle-class glove-maker in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare attended grammar school, but his formal education proceeded no further. In 1582 he married an older woman, Anne Hathaway, and had three children with her. Around 1590 he left his family behind and traveled to London to work as an actor and playwright. Public and critical success quickly followed, and Shakespeare eventually became the most popular playwright in England and part-owner of the Globe Theater. His career bridged the reigns of Elizabeth I (ruled 1558–1603) and James I (ruled 1603–1625), and he was a favorite of both monarchs.
Romeo and Juliet is one of the masterpiece’s William Shakespeare, but actually Shakespeare did not compose the story of Romeo and Juliet. He wrote his version in 1594. He was inspired by a poet named Arthur Brooks that first brought the story of Romeus and Juli in 1562. He bring it in a long and plodding poem that was itself not original, but rather an adaptation of adaptations that stretched across nearly a hundred years and two languages.
Romeo + Juliet the movie itself is a 1996 American-Australian reworking movie of William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet. It was directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the leading performance. The movie is an abridged modernization of Shakespeare’s play. While it retains the original Shakespearean dialogue, the Montagues and the Capulets are represented as warring business empires and swords are replaced by guns (with brand names such as “Dagger” and “Sword”).
B. Historical Background
Actually, there is a historical background behind Romeo and Juliet written by Shakespeare and it was a long story, so I will make it short. The story was begun with Southampton. Southampton was a courtier to Queen Elizabeth. Now, it is important to know that when Southampton’s father died, he became a ward to William Cecil, which made Cecil something like a surrogate father. Cecil also controlled who Southampton could marry. In 1591, Southampton refused to marry Elizabeth de Vere.
Then, in 1594-5, Southampton was involved with a very pretty young lady by the name of Elizabeth Vernon. There was a problem. She was one of Queen Elizabeth’s chief ladies-in-waiting. Southampton himself was a courtier to the Queen. Besides that, Elizabeth is a Catholic family, would be a threat to the Queen’s power, and would not serve her in her efforts to set England on a Protestant path. Southampton itself was a protestant.
It is reasonable to assume that Southampton and Elizabeth Vernon may have made a wedding promise or secret vow to each other, much like Romeo and Juliet promise their love to one another, and marry in secret. If the play was first performed in about January 1594, as some have said, then it shows how long they were hiding their love.
They kept the affair quiet until 1598. Then William Cecil died August 4, 1598. Southampton and Vernon married August 30, 1598. When the Queen discovered the marriage, she put them both in Fleet Prison. Elizabeth Vernon was already pregnant. Fortunately, the child did survive, and Southampton and his new bride were released. They were happily in love until the day he died in 1624. She survived him, and passed away in 1655.
I think there are several possible theme of this movie, there are:
- Love, romance, and hate
I’m merging these love, romance, and hate because they are interrelated each other. So, I can’t separate it because it has a little different. The reason is first, this movie is about love and romance because it is clearly enough that Shakespeare depict about a lover who is really crazy. They were an adolescent. If you’re an adolescent or were an adolescent, you’ll know that sometimes things (and people) are way more attractive if they’re forbidden and it happens to me, though. In my opinion, some things which is forbidden seems like more interesting and attractive.
Their love story starts when they were looking each other in the fish tank, and then they were falling in love in the first sight. Furthermore, their love was so strong and so powerful. Although they were just met, they seems like so sure about their true love at the first sight, because they were kissing in the lift right away when everybody was busy with the party. Whereas, I think if you are kissing somebody, you are truly trust in him or her. You just can’t kiss him or her right away without trust or knowing them well, moreover if you just met. So, I think they were believed their true love and their first love right away.
This movie full of romance, because both romeo and Juliet use love poem to express their feel. The language or the words that their pick are so full of love poem. Example:
Like this scene also, after Juliet knew that Romeo was a Montague, she did not regret to love Romeo, but she did regret why he is a Montague. Her family’s greatest enemy. She is willing to leave her name or no longer be a Capulet if that is possible and she expresses it with kind of poem. It is so full of romance.
Finally, after several things happen, they were married secretly in the few next scenes, but their love story does not end just like that. Juliet’s father coerced her to married Paris. To avoid it, she drank a poison to make her temporary death, but unfortunately Romeo misunderstanding. He though Juliet was really death. So, he drank a poison that makes him totally dead. When Juliet awake, she was late. Romeo is dying. Finally, Juliet killed herself by pulled the gun to her head.
If we relate the relation between the story of romeo and juliet commit suicide between the historical backgroound, I think Shakespeare wrote such a tragic ending because it may have been a caution of what may happen to Southampton and Vernon if their relationship was discovered. They could pay a very dear price for such a secret love. Shouthampton and vernon did a secret marriage too just like Romeo and Juliet. Afterwards, the family of Capulet and Montague describe about William Cecil and Queen Elizabeth.
Next is the second reason. This theme movie is about hate also because the family of Capulet and Mountague are hate each other without any exact reason. They used to fight everywhere without thinking. Nobody can’t reconcile them.
Then, Kinsman, Juliet cousin, ask for trouble with Mercutio, Romeo best friend. Kinsman and Mercutio were hate each other too, but actually Romeo want a peace. He did eant any cause a trouble. However, Kinsman his heart is full of hatred and unfortunately, Mercutio were killed by him, and then Romeo took revenge by kill Kinsman because that was his best friend. Because of that, Romeo was exiled by the policeman.
While Romeo was exiled, Juliet’s father insists her to marry Paris. I think at that time Juliet was so hate at her father, because besides her father insist her to marry Paris, he piss her off and hit her too. So, Juliet drink a poison to avoid those problems. That poison not for commit suicide.
So, Love and romance in Romeo and Juliet’s could only be born out of hatred, their love is built more deep because of their families’ feud and hate. In conclusion, in the play, love, romance and hate are related. The language Shakespeare uses to depict love, romance and hate expose that the couple are deeply similar. Ir we connect the hate theme with the historical background, it could be that William Cecil and Queen Elizabeth will hate Southampton and Vernon became a couple.
This theme of movie could be about family too. I think in this movie, both the familiy of Capulet or Montague are so close, intimate and love each other. Family means everything. Juliet was forced to marry with Paris who own the loyalty of capulets, not Romeo the family Montague. It is so forbidden to have affair with the rival family. Afterward, the reason why this theme movie is family is when Kinsman died, the family of Capulet are so heartbroken and depressed, although he is only Juliet’s cousin. So, they really love their member of the family.
If we connect this theme with the historical background, Southampton became a ward to William Cecil since his father death, which made Cecil something like a surrogate father. I think it is describe the Montague Family. Vernon was one of Queen Elizabeth’s chief ladies-in-waiting, and I think its is describe the Capulets family.
In conclusion, based on Southampton and Vernon historical bacground, this theme movie are love, romance, hate and family. It is about love and romance because it is clear enough that Romeo and Juliet have a great intimate and passionate love, and Shakespeare describe it based on the action on the movie conversation they use. They use a lot love poems. They commit suicide is because love also. Next, this theme movie is about hate also because the the feud of Capulet family and Montague. Later, this theme movie is about family also because family means everything for them. The moral values that can we get for this movie are, first, do not hate or love something or some one too much because that too much sometimes can hurt so much and second do not take decision too fast, espesially if you are in furious.
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Diane, Curtis. 2011. Romeo and juliet social and historical context. (online). http: //www.slideshare.net/dianecurtis/romeo-and-juliet-social-and-histori-cal-context-pwpt. Accessed on January 1st, 2014
Davisd 2014. The real Romeo and Juliet. (online). http://shakespearesolved .blogspot.com/2012/09/the-real-romeo-and-juliet.html. Accessed on January 1st, 2014