Direct Act III Scene V of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Direct Act III Scene V of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Direct Act III Scene V of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Act III, scene v is a very important scene because it portrays the
true, everlasting love held between Romeo and Juliet in the shape of
Romeo wanting to die for Juliet and Juliet’s continual mourning of
Romeo after he has gone. It also brings to light Juliet’s
relationships with her mother and father, Lord and Lady Capulet and
even the Nurse as well.

I would set the play scene as it would have been during the time that
the play is set, similar to Franco Zefirelli’s interpretation of the
play, with a very Elizabethan atmosphere and dress code; neck-ruffs,
tunics, skin-tight trousers and all, making it as time-accurate as
possible so it really draws the audience in, making them feel involved
and making the play nearer to fact than fiction.

As before said, the era that Romeo and Juliet is set in is the
Elizabethan era, which, even though the Queen herself was a lady, was
an exceedingly patriarchal, male dominated, even hierarchal society
where women were very much dominated by men in general, and women
weren’t allowed or privileged to do certain things as well. One of
these things was acting, which would have made it quite difficult for
someone like William Shakespeare directing a play, having to suffice
with young boys as his female characters, due to their high voices,
which in my opinion would have been very hard to accomplish a serious
play from without making it look like a pantomime, but in those days

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it probably would have been common custom. Luckily for me I am
directing this play in modern times so I do not have those problems.
Plays were also always acted out during the day in an open top
theatre, as there was no lighting.

The expected life span of people in those days was much lower than
today’s as well, the average person living to only 50 years of age, so
it should not surprise you that in this play Juliet is having sexual
intercourse and getting married at only 13 years of age as they simply
did not have the time, therefore this would have been common custom
also. When I say it was a hierarchal society, I mean the people were
usually split into high respected wealthy figures or poor, unknown
peasants and usually the wealthy are that way as they own land, the
‘real estate’ of the time, passed down through generations to collect
rent off those who stay on it. In this case of this play the wealthy
people are the Capulets and Montagues, the poor are the townsfolk and
servants and the person higher than everyone is The Prince, who has
the power to execute anyone who disturbs the peace.

In the first scene, Juliet's bedroom, I’m going to have her bedroom
very feminine as she is still a young girl, quite a dimly lit room at
first the walls all light creamy white in colour with light coloured
wood flooring and pink tinted thick netted drapes over the window,
blurring out most of the light at the start until Romeo first gets up
from the handsome grand four poster bed with Juliet lying in it to
swish aside these drapes to let the sun flow in through the large room
height balcony archway. To produce this effect, I am going to have dim
lights all round until this point when I am going to turn on fully
only the lights that are pointing inwards into the room on the stage
through the window. This will then illuminate clearer the other items
in the room like a large oak wardrobe and dressing table with large
mirror and (lead) make-up and various perfumes placed on it. Then
lines 1-25 will commence, where Romeo knows really that it is the
lark, signalling either his leave or mortal danger, not the
nightingale as Juliet so protests to begin with, meaning it was still
night and he could stay, but he still stays. He knows staying would
put him in danger of execution, but his love (or lust?) for Juliet
shines through here particularly when he says “Let me be tane, let me
be put to death”. At this Juliet comes to her senses and tries to
usher Romeo away quickly.

Then the Nurse who is quite dirty and wearing layered patchwork cloth
bustles in out of breath warning Romeo and Juliet of lady Capulet’s
soon arrival, looking over her shoulder nervously. After a long-winded
farewell Romeo finally leaves, much to the dismay of Juliet who
proceeds to make a prediction that that was their last meeting. I
envisage this monologue to be spoken with Juliet under a spotlight, a
blank look on her face while she is sitting bolt upright in bed with
silent tears running down her face.

In struts Lady Capulet in a prim and proper fashion and the lights go
back to streaming through the window, dressed smartly in a dark violet
gown, saying “Ho, daughter, are you up?” quickly and sharply in a
slightly accusatory tone. Lady Capulet mistakes her tears of grief for
Romeo for tears of mourning for Tybalt and then slightly scolds Juliet
for pondering over it too long and then her voice will turn vindictive
as she is talking about killing Romeo. The lights will dim and turn
red and a smoke machine will come on to make the scene deadlier, and
when Juliet cries harder at this her voice will turn to angry at
Juliet, maybe because she hoped that would cheer her up, but when
Juliet refuses to get married Lady Capulet’s voice will get to
shouting angry stage and dares her to question Lord Capulet about the
matter.

In marches Lord Capulet supremely in a maroon tunic and neck ruff with
the bustling nurse tagging behind and the lights again go back to
streaming through the window, a smug smile across his face oblivious
that he was bursting into a heated argument but when he sees Lady
Capulet towering over Juliet who is in tears the smile fades demanding
in an equally towering voice as to why Juliet is crying. As he finds
out what has been going on he becomes angry and advances on Juliet
threatening to beat her, he raises his hand and the lights suddenly
dim to black and when they come back on after a second or two, the
Nurse has jumped over Juliet protecting her saying “God in heaven
bless her! You are to blame, my Lord, to rate her so”. Capulet then
turns his anger to the Nurse instead and then Capulet comes across his
long monologue insulting and degrading Juliet, at which the lights
will dim and he will be under a red spotlight, after which he will
exit with a swish of his tunic.

After Lord Capulet is gone the lights will once again return to
normal, streaming in through the open window and Juliet will get and
of bed and fall onto her knees at her mother’s feet with her hands
clenched together pleading with her mother for help. Lady Capulet
looks down her nose at Juliet as if she was a peasant and immediately
refuses, exiting.

Only Juliet and the Nurse are left in the bedroom and Juliet returns
to her bed crying asking the nurse for advice, her voice muffled
through her pillow as she cries into it. The Nurse then continues on
to side with her parents, saying forget about Romeo. Juliet stops her
crying and the lights dim as she looks up at the Nurse looking
betrayed, as she has just lost the only person who knew what was
really going on. Juliet then acts as though she listened and taken in
what the Nurse said and tells her to go tell Lord Capulet that she
will marry Paris after all. Even though this is what the Nurse
recommended, I think she doesn’t really mean what she said and she
looks quite put out as she exits.

Juliet gets up out of bed and hurries to the door to make sure she’s
gone then closes the bedroom door. Lights dim and the spotlight falls
onto Juliet who curses the nurse for saying what she said and hurries
off to Friar Lawrence’s cell. Lights dim to black.

That concludes act III scene v and overall I hope the play will be
recognised as a good interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and
Juliet. Hopefully the audience will be able to sympathize and get
involved into the play and not just remember it as that same old play
that you studied back at school but to understand the deeper,
meaningful sides to the play of Romeo and Juliet.
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