3.11.2014

|Socratic Seminar + Essay Reflection| Romeo and Juliet: Act 5

Seminar Reflection
The last Socratic Seminar of the unit was not our best but nonetheless, we still had a few pretty solid ideas.  The first point we brought up was the ending of the play and how happy it was. The way the Capulets and the Montagues were talking about achieving peace by giving each other golden statues of their dead children was a big contrast to the scene of Romeo and Juliet's deaths before. This brought up the question of the necessity of Romeo and Juliet's death. If the only thing the two families needed to do was make statues to achieve peace then Romeo and Juliet's deaths were unnecessary as they did not bring the big positive change in Verona we were all waiting for. We also suggested that this peace the families have established was a part of Friar Lawrence's plan all along. We stated that perhaps Friar Lawrence was aware of the deaths of Romeo and Juliet and it was part of his master plan to end the family feud. However this is questionable because it seems completely out of the Friar's character. The role of fate in the play was also brought up. The characters all blame the tragic events on fate however there are clearly areas where the characters could have acted differently and changed the outcome of their actions. The death of Romeo and Juliet was not entirely due to fate and destiny because the feud, their rash personalities, and many other factors also play into the result of their forbidden relationship.

Essay Reflection

Although I did fairly well on the latest writing assessment there are still areas to improve on. An obvious part I need to add to my writing is a concluding sentence to tie all the loose ends together. The organization of the evidence and support in my paragraph has improved since last time but I need to work on creating a stronger argument. I had two ideas in my paragraph which I should not only narrow down to one but make sure the one I am using is the more sold argument.

3.07.2014

|Reading Log| Romeo and Juliet: The End

What are your thoughts now that we have come to the end?

A short summary of the play would be: 
"A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life" (prologue, 7)

It is common knowledge that both Juliet and Romeo die in the end of the play, however I imagined their deaths to be more dramatic. I expected this awesome fight scene or something where Romeo falls and Juliet decides she cannot possibly live without him and kills herself too. Yet what really happens is bad timing. After all the effort Romeo, Juliet, the Nurse, and the Friar put into keeping them together, Romeo and Juliet die because of their irrational and impatient personalities. Maybe Shakespeare is trying to emphasize Friar's point from Act 2 where he states there is evil and bad in everyone and if they choose to embrace the evilness within them they will inevitably fall. Romeo and Juliet choose to act irrationally and make rash decisions in order to hold onto the "love" they feel for each other. However, we should not forget, what Romeo and Juliet were feeling for each other was not love but lust. Maybe lust is the culprit here. Lust is the evil that is inside of everyone and Shakespeare is demonstrating how letting lust make your decisions will only end in death and tragedy.

Another interesting idea in Romeo and Juliet is the switch of stereotypical gender roles in relationships. In Verona, it is generally accepted that the men are the head of the household and the dominant figure in any relationship. However, Romeo and Juliet's relationship is switched. Instead of Romeo, Juliet makes the decisions in their relationship. In fact, in the last line of the play the Prince concludes that their deaths was a tragic way to end "Juliet and her Romeo['s]" story (5.3.320). This whole play was Juliet's story and Romeo was merely her co-star that is there to help the plot unfold. Perhaps their flipped relationship is just to show how twisted Romeo and Juliet's story is.
Juliet rejoicing over Romeo's death because now she can really shine.

I am not going to lie, Romeo and Juliet was pretty difficult to comprehend (especially when you can't access Sparknotes) but once you understand what is happening and start reading in between the lines you really start appreciating Shakespeare and his contributions in literature. I mean it is pretty impressive how the whole thing is written in iambic pentameter.
Real thoughts on the end of Romeo and Juliet. 

3.04.2014

|Reading Log| Romeo and Juliet: A Story of Insensibility

What are your thoughts on Act 4 and Juliet?

Act 4 is just another example of the mistakes caused by Romeo and Juliet's relationship. 

Juliet seems to get more and more irrational as the story goes on. She is so blinded by "love" she is unable to realize she is hanging onto a lost cause. I am rather annoyed every time she threatens to kill herself when others can not figure out her problems for her. Not only is she being immature for relying on others to get her out of the mess she created, she is also shoveling a whole lot of responsibility and pressure onto the Friar. However if you take into account that she is only a fourteen year old girl with a lack of love in her life that is only trying to hold onto her first "love" you start to feel bad for her. So although I can sit here and blame Romeo and Juliet for all the complications they are brewing up in Verona, I believe the people around them are at just as much fault because they are not helping with the situation. 

I will fake death for my love!
Take Friar Lawrence for example. As friar he is recognized as a wise member of the community that provides advice and answers to the people's questions. Yet he encourages Juliet's childish complaining and immature actions by providing her with clever but highly fallible solutions. I expected Friar Lawrence to slap some sense into Juliet and get her to realize that her relationship with Romeo is just going to lead to destruction. However, it seems like the friar himself is rooting for their relationship because he is hoping to bring peace between the two families and show the power of true love.The Capulets are also at fault in this situation. Although they don't know about Juliet's marriage with Romeo, it still does not justify them forcing Juliet to marry a man she does not love. If they themselves can not be good parents then they cannot expect Juliet to be an obedient daughter. 
An eye roll for the insensible people of Romeo and Juliet.

At this point, Juliet's "death" and everyone else's senselessness, the story can only go downhill from here. 

 

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