R & J
If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:
My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne;
And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
I dreamt my lady came and found me dead--
Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave
And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,
That I revived, and was an emperor.
Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess'd,
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!
* * * *
Wow. Such wonderful irony. If you were hearing it for the first time you wouldn't necessarily know, but if you already know how the story turns out, then you know when you hear it that it is straight irony.
I've read, seen movies, seen the ballet numerous times, etc. of Romeo and Juliet, but this was, I think, the first time I've ever actually seen the play live. We went to a free outdoor performance tonight - Shakespeare in the park - and I was blown away at how good it was. Such a rich and relevant story after all these years.
I was struck by the directors comments that I read in the program before the play, that Romeo and Juliet is all about HATRED. Wow. We concentrate on the "love" and how the love is so intense but left unfulfilled, but truly this story is all about hatred - it is about people and their hatred keeping even the most pure, most beautiful and most wondrous love from actually reaching any sort of "happily ever after." We tend to focus on the great tragedy of suicide. We tend to focus on a sort of love-out-of-control that leads someone to the point of suicide, when really it isn't the love-out-of-control that leads them to suicide, it is the intervention of well-meaning but stupid individuals whose prejudices take something beautiful (their love for each other) and make it into something destructive.
Such a sad, sad tale. But the reality is: it is just like real life! People are still doing that today... constantly! I think it happens more often than any other way, with parents mucking in the relationships that their kids develop as they grow up and start reaching out to others on their own. Especially in romantic relationships, but it can happen in other relationships, too. And it need not be their parents mucking in their lives, it could be other respected and well-meaning adults.
Tonight's performance was so awesome, and the script so well crafted, that it brought me to tears more than once, even though a certain someone seated next to me couldn't handle the intensity of emotions and kept breaking up laughing. But I respect that everyone handles such intensity in their own way.
As for me, it really made me start thinking about life, stories, tales, and how I want to write. For me it was really a "second look at Romeo and Juliet" - a story I had always felt was melodramatic to the point of no longer being relevant. How wrong I was!