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"My bounty is as boundless as the sea.
My love is deep.
The more I give to thee, the more I have,
for both are infinite."
When we made Shakespeare in Love,
an entertaining and fictional look
at William Shakespeare's life,
myself and the entire cast learned a great deal
about William Shakespeare
and the magical passionate world in which he lived.
We are very pleased to have the opportunity
to bring this world into your classroom.
We're going to take a look
at the playwright's life and his works,
and also attempt to unlock
the emotional power in Shakespeare's words.
By using examples
from his classic play Romeo and Juliet,
we'll try to show you
just how forcefully they speak to us today.
But the first question we need to ask
before we embark on our journey
is why Shakespeare?
Why out of those thousands upon thousands of writers
that have come and gone over the past 400 years
does Shakespeare continue to be performed
in every corner of the world?
Why are we still so fascinated by these plays
that were written so long ago?
The most likely reason is probably that Shakespeare,
better than any writer before or since,
understood exactly what makes people tick.
And he was able to transform that understanding
into the most powerful portrayals
of human relationships ever written.
But what do we really know about Shakespeare, the man?
Surely with all those great plays
and over 4 centuries of scholarly research,
there must be enough biographical material
to fill a library, right?
Wrong.
Believe it or not, every fact we know for sure
about the life of Shakespeare
can fit on a tiny piece of paper.
Fact 1.
He was christened in Stratford-upon-Avon
on April 26, 1564.
Actually we're not even sure of the day of his birth.
It's traditionally given as April 23rd,
but that may be because he died on that date.
Fact 2.
On November 27, 1582, when he was 18,
a license was issued for his marriage to Ann Hathaway.
Fact number 3.
May 26, 1583, their daughter Susanna was christened.
Two years later on February 2, 1585,
we have a record of the christening
of two more children, twins named Judith and Hamnet.
Fact number 4.
1592, Shakespeare's name first appeared in print
in an attack by a fellow writer named Robert Greene,
who called Will an upstart crow
for presuming to write as well as a university educated man.
And fact number 5,
the final fact we know for sure
about the life of William Shakespeare
is that on April 23, 1616 he died in Stratford-upon-Avon,
and was buried in the same church where he was born.
That's it.
Isn't that incredible that so little is known
about the world's greatest playwright?
But, of course, we know much more about Shakespeare
than any biography could ever tell us
because we have the wonderful plays and poems he left us.
And through them we can enter his imagination.
And what an imagination it is.
"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks.
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
who is already sick and pale with grief,
that thou, her maid, art far more fair than she."
Never has there been
an imagination so rich or so inclusive.
It's easy to forget that Shakespeare, in his time,
was a very popular playwright,
who wrote for and about people at all levels of society.
And in every period since then,
his universal understanding of the human condition
has made his work seem contemporary.
And why not?
When the subjects he wrote about
are the stuff of today's headlines--
power, war, violence, and passion.
In Hamlet you have the ultimate dysfunctional family.
In Macbeth you have the very extreme of political ambition.
And in Romeo and Juliet
you have the world's greatest story of young love.
That's why it's nothing short of a Shakespearian tragedy
that this great playwright is so often thought of as boring,
incomprehensible and inaccessible,
a dusty icon on a museum shelf.
In one sense, Shakespeare was just like the rest of us.
And there must have been a time in his youth
when nobody knew he was a genius.
That concept was the inspiration
for the film Shakespeare in Love.
We imagined Will as a struggling young actor,
and we tried to have some fun with what might have been
the sources of his inspiration.
Now it's comedy they want.
Will, comedy, like Romeo and Ethel.
Who wrote that?
Nobody. You were writing it for me.
I gave you £3 a month since.
Half of what you owe me.
I'm still due for One Gentlemen of Verona.
Will, what is money to you and me?
I, your patron, you, my wordwright.
When the plague lifts, Burbage will have a new play
by Christopher Marlowe for the Curtain.
I will have nothing for the Rose.
Mr. Henslowe, will you lend me £50?
Fifty pounds? What for?
Burbage offers me a partnership
in the Chamberlain's Men for £50.
My days as a hired player are over.
Oh, cut out my heart.
Throw my liver to the dogs.
No then?
( indistinct shouting )
The London of 1593 was a world of dramatic contrasts,
a town of great palaces and dark hidden alleyways,
of stately manor houses and raucous taverns.
It was a world where violence could flare
at the slightest provocation,
and where the Black Death could strike down anyone,
rich or poor, at any moment.
What have I done, Mr. Fennyman?
The theaters have all been closed down by the plague.
Oh, that.
By order of the Master of the Revels.
Mr. Fennyman,
allow me to explain about the theater business.
The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles
on the road to imminent disaster.
Nothing.
Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
How?
I don't know. It's a mystery.
It was also a romantic world of poetry,
passion and the theater.
Playgoing was the great common denominator
in this unruly society,
a place where all were welcome
and everyone became equal for a few hours.
Well, not quite equal.
The groundlings paid a penny
to stand in the open air in front of the stage
and the rest of the audience paid tuppence
for a seat under the roof.
And for another penny they could rent a cushion.
When I began to research Elizabethan England,
I saw that all the theaters of the time
were all more or less circular amphitheaters with many sides.
They were constructed mainly of wood
and generally had a large open area,
either paved or just bare earth in front of the stage,
which usually projected out in the audience area.
JOSEPH: Performances were held in the afternoon
for the simple reason that most of the lighting
had to be supplied by the sun.
Now you may be asking yourselves,
what happened to the groundlings
when it rained?
Well, they go wet, of course.
You get what you pay for, I suppose.
Plays generally lasted several hours,
and there were no restrooms and no intermissions.
I'll let you draw your own conclusions
as to how this affected the general atmosphere.
MARTIN: In 1593, two of the major theaters
were the Rose and the Curtain.
Most likely they were not very clean and neat.
So we decided to make the Rose
look properly rickety, grubby, smelly, and rain drenched,
as if it were just getting by on a wing
and a prayer financially,
which it probably was much of the time.
In fact, saving money was the main reason
playhouses didn't use much in the way of sets.
Instead, they relied on a more cheap
and cheerful resource to set the scene, playwrights.
Writers often found it necessary
to paint pictures with words at the top of scenes
just to keep the audience informed as to where they were.
Costumes, on the other hand, were often quite elegant
and flamboyant and provided the color
and flash that was lacking in the minimal scenery.
In Shakespeare's time, theaters didn't have
the technical capabilities we have today,
like lighting and sound effects.
They only had actors and costumes
performing in broad daylight.
And since clothing in those days
invariably reflected social status,
there was a striking contrast
between the appearance of the actors and the groundlings.
The common folk generally dressed
in plain earth-colored outfits of homespun wool or linen,
whereas the upper-classes
tended to wear richly colored outfits
in exotic fabric such as silk, satin and velvet.
Even the amount of clothing one wore indicated prosperity.
So people would wear several layers of it
to showcase their affluence.
Men would actually pad their tummies
to create an added illusion of wealth
showing they could afford to eat well.
This was called a peascod belly.
The costumes used by Elizabethan theaters
were generally gifts of wealthy benefactors.
They would have been items of their own clothing
that they have grown tired off.
They were considered the greatest asset
a theater company had
because they provided a dazzling equivalent
of today's special effects.
Here were all these groundlings
in their grubby, drab working clothes,
and suddenly all these extraordinary
colorful apparitions would appear on stage
in front of them and lift them out of their everyday world
into some magical dimension.
In Shakespeare in Love,
you can get a sense of the effect
this must have had
when you see the shimmering vision of Gwyneth Paltrow
making her astonishing entrance as Juliet.
Juliet!
How now, who calls?
Your mother.
Your mother.
JULIET: Madam, I am here.
What is your will?
This is the matter.
Nurse, give leave awhile. We must talk in secret.
Nurse, come back again.
I have remembered me. Thou's hear our counsel.
Although in real life in the Elizabethan times
Gwyneth's stage costume as Juliet
would have been contemporary,
I decided to take artistic license
and to make the costumes
for our film's version of Romeo and Juliet
from the Renaissance period.
This was in order to differentiate between
the characters' everyday clothes
and their stage costumes.
Of course, not all the color in Elizabethan playhouses
was on the stage.
There were plenty of fashionable blue-bloods
up in the audience as well.
And you could pretty much tell their rank
by the colors they wore.
It was actually illegal for anyone
below the rank of count or countess to wear purple.
And they probably couldn't afford it
even if they wanted to.
Purple dye was outrageously expensive
because it could only be extracted
by laboriously crushing thousands of tiny sea snails.
Of course, the Queen could wear purple,
crimson, gold, silver, whatever she liked.
And so after researching all the portraits I could find,
I decided to let my imagination run wild
on Elizabeth's costumes,
resulting in this peacock gown.
After all, Elizabeth was
like the theatrical character she loved,
several times larger than life.
Can a play show us the very truth and nature of love?
I bear witness to the wager
and will be the judge of it as occasion arises.
This was an exciting time in the history of theater.
The permanent playhouse as we know it
was less than a generation old.
And the theater people of Shakespeare's time
were literally inventing modern entertainment.
For the first time in history
you had writers writing for real theaters.
You had people like me
who were actually making a living
doing this kind of work.
And as in any startup business,
you had a lot of people looking to get rich
and fierce rivalries for the best writers,
the best actors and of course,
for the patronage of the ticket buyers.
In other words, you had the beginnings of all the things
we associate with modern show business.
The character I play,
Philip Henslowe, actually existed.
He owned and ran the Rose theater.
And we know from his diary that
like most of the entrepreneurs of his time,
he had his hand in many businesses.
Like many business people today,
he probably had to stay diversified to make a living.
The London City officials hated and feared the theater,
and would often close them for next to no reason at all.
They thought the theater fell prey to what they called
moral diseases, as it attracted pickpockets,
prostitutes and con artists,
and because it lured journeyman workers
away from their jobs in the middle of the day.
They also saw the theater as a place
where the plague was spread.
And considering how closely
the groundlings were packed together,
they might have had a point there.
But when you compare theater
to other popular entertainments of the time,
like public executions and witch burnings,
the city fathers seemed to have been over-reacting a bit.
Nevertheless, there were all kinds of
draconian regulations for theaters,
such as the law against women appearing on the stage.
And an official called the Master of the Revels
was responsible for enforcing them.
Mr. Tilney, what is this?
Sedition and indecency.
Master of the Revels, sir. She's over here.
Where, boy?
There.
I saw her bubbies.
So a woman on the stage.
A woman!
I say this theater is closed!
Why, sir?
For lewdness and unshamedfacedness!
And for displaying a female on the public stage!
( screaming )
Not him, her.
That's who I meant.
He's a woman.
This theater is closed.
Notice will be posted!
When a theater was closed down,
the theater owner could run into money troubles very quickly.
Aah! I can pay you.
When?
Two weeks. Three weeks at the most.
Oh, for pity's sake!
Take them out.
Where will you find...
Sixteen pounds, five shillings and nine pence.
Including interest, in 3 weeks.
I have a wonderful new play.
Put them back in.
It's a comedy.
Cut off his nose.
It's a new comedy by William Shakespeare.
Yes, a good play, a popular play,
a palpable hit as it were
could change a theater's fortunes overnight.
And playwrights like Shakespeare
were encouraged to write plays containing all the ingredients
to traditionally made for commercial success.
A pirate king, a shipwreck, a smidgen of romance,
and of course a bit with a dog.
( laughter )
Hey, if the queen laughs, everybody laughs, right?
So comedy was good and love was important,
but one mustn't forget a bit of bloodshed.
It appears there were lots of discerning critics
who wouldn't even go to a play
unless it had at least one good stabbing.
I was in a play.
They cut my head off in Titus Andronicus.
When I write plays, they'll be like Titus.
You admire it.
I liked it when they cut heads off,
and the daughter mutilated with knives.
What's your name?
John Webster.
( cat meows )
Here, kitty, kitty.
Ah, but the play is not the only thing, is it?
I ask you, where would the playwrights be
without great actors to bring their words to life?
In Elizabethan England, the stars brought the audiences
into the theaters even more than the plays.
And my character in Shakespeare in Love,
Ned Alleyn, was based on a real superstar,
sort of the Tom Cruise of his day.
The Admiral's Men are returned to the house!
( all cheering )
Ned!
Henslowe!
Good to see you.
Who is this?
Silence, you dog!
I am Hieronimo.
I am Tamburlaine.
I am Faustus.
I am Barabbas, the Jew of Malta.
Oh, yes, Master Will, I am Henry VI.
What is the play, and what is my part?
Uh, one moment, sir.
Who are you?
I'm, um, I'm the money.
Then you may remain, so long as you remain silent.
Pay attention.
You will see how genius creates a legend.
Thank you, sir.
We are in desperate want of a Mercutio, Ned.
A young nobleman of Verona.
Mm-hmm. And the title of this piece?
Mercutio.
Is it?
I will play him.
In 1593, Alleyn was certainly a bigger name than Shakespeare.
At that time Christopher Marlowe was the most popular playwright.
You see, Marlowe had practically invented
the method of building a part for a star,
which is what he did
with the role of Tamburlaine the Great,
the performance that really launched Ned Alleyn's career.
Playwrights like Shakespeare knew they had to please stars
like Ned Alleyn by offering them fat, juicy parts
with a lot of flash and pizzazz.
There. You have this duel.
A skirmish of words and swords
such as I never wrote, nor anyone.
He dies with such passion and poetry as you ever heard.
"A plague on both your houses!"
He dies?
Players like Ned Alleyn were not only important
because they themselves were so crucial
to the success of a production,
but because they were the leaders
of a whole company of actors.
Alleyn, for example, was the lead actor
of a troop called the Admiral's Men.
These were the true professionals.
Without their participation, a theater manager
would have to round up whatever scurvy rogues
he could scrape out of the bottom of the barrel
to populate his productions.
( whistles )
Ned Alleyn and the Admiral's Men are out on tour.
I need actors.
( all shouting )
Those of you who are unknown will have a chance to be known.
What about the money, Mr. Henslowe?
It won't cost you a penny.
( all laughing )
Auditions in half an hour.
Rehearsal time was ridiculously short.
Plays were often put up in less than a week.
And a leading man might be expected to memorize
hundreds of lines in a day.
Even then the theaters could only afford
to run the play for 3 or 4 days.
And while it was running,
the actors might be rehearsing for the next play.
That is quite remarkable
when you compare it to today's theater,
where most plays have rehearsal period of many weeks
and are often performed for months and months
and sometimes years.
This might tell you something about
why professionals like the Admiral's Men
were sought-after commodities.
Notice that it's the Admiral's Men, not women.
As you just heard, the women's parts in those days
were all played by men
because it was forbidden by law
for women to appear on the stage.
A thousand times, goodnight.
A thousand times the worse to want thy light.
I cannot move in this dress. It makes me look like a pig.
All in all, this was just another example
of the abysmal status women had in those days.
They couldn't vote.
They had hardly any legal rights.
And for the most part, the only education they got
was in piety, chastity and domestic skills.
Under no circumstances
could they be lawyers or doctors or teachers.
For women, the number one job was marriage,
arranged marriage.
Upper class marriages were used solely to gain property
and forge family alliances.
SIR ROBERT: She's a beauty, my lord,
as would take a king to church for the dowry of a nutmeg.
My plantations in Virginia are not mortgaged for a nutmeg.
I have an ancient name which will bring you preferment
when your grandson is a Wessex.
Is she fertile?
She will breed.
If she do not, send her back.
Is she obedient?
As any mule in Christendom.
But if you are the man to ride her,
there are rubies in the saddlebag.
I like her.
And that was that.
It made absolutely no difference
whether or not love was involved.
In 16th century England, sons and daughters,
especially daughters, were expected
to honor their parents by obeying them.
Do you intend to marry, my lord?
Your father should keep you better informed.
He has bought me for you.
He returns from his estates to see us married
2 weeks from Saturday.
Why me?
It was your eyes.
No, your lips.
Ugh!
Will you defy your father and your Queen?
The Queen has consented?
She wants to inspect you at Greenwich, come Sunday.
Be submissive, modest, grateful and brief.
I will do my duty, my lord.
Isn't it ironic that the most powerful individual
in this male-dominated society was a woman?
Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth I.
In the name of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth!
Mr. Tilney!
Have a care with my name. You will wear it out.
In 1593, Elizabeth had been on the throne for 40 years.
She was a wise and stern ruler who worked extremely hard
and loved to shed the cares of her office
by attending theatrical performances.
Do you love stories of kings and queens?
Of feats of arms?
Or is it courtly love?
I love theater.
To have stories acted for me
by a company of fellows is indeed--
They're not acted for you, they are acted for me.
Thank goodness Elizabeth loved the theater.
If she hadn't, the city fathers
who were all straight-laced businessmen
would almost certainly have permanently
shut down the playhouse
just to keep their workers from sneaking off to the theater
in the middle of the day.
So in a very real sense,
it can be said we probably wouldn't have had
the great works of Marlowe,
Shakespeare or Ben Jonson today if the Queen hadn't liked plays.
Elizabeth was a 16th century version of today's workaholic.
She never married and was known as the Virgin Queen.
She had no family obligations to speak of.
So why shouldn't she have had
a bit of entertainment in her life?
But for Elizabeth, the theater
was as much a learning experience as a diversion.
To master the many roles
she was called upon to play at court,
she needed to be an actress of sorts.
Still, one would think
that being such a lover of the theater
Elizabeth must have been something of a romantic.
So why didn't she marry?
Well, it wasn't because she had bad dental work.
By the way, I'd like everyone to know
that those teeth in the film were not mine.
And it wasn't because she only bathed
three or four times a year.
In fact, that was three or four times
more than most of her subjects.
The fact is,
that if Elizabeth had wanted to marry,
she would have had the pick of any number of courtiers
who were more than ready to be of service.
Too late, too late.
The reason Elizabeth didn't marry was
because it served her so well to remain single,
especially when it came to foreign policy.
At a crucial stage in negotiations
with a foreign power,
she could bring out the possibility of matrimony
and then take it away again
as soon as she got what she wanted.
Of course, Elizabeth had special privileges
far beyond ordinary women of her time.
But then, she was the queen for heaven's sake.
She was an extraordinarily shrewd
and well educated woman.
She'd studied Greek, Latin, French,
Spanish, Italian, Flemish, mathematics,
astronomy, and history,
all by the time she was 12 years old.
And you think you've got homework.
But just because she got all these privileges
and all this power, don't think for a minute
that Elizabeth's life was a bed of roses.
I know something of a woman in a man's profession.
Yes, by God, I do know about that.
No wonder she enjoyed seeing the odd play now and again.
She most certainly would have sympathized
with those female characters in Shakespeare's plays
who put on men's clothing and took on male identities
to get what they wanted.
She would understand better than anyone
that cross-dressing was not only a useful,
delightful and dramatic device,
it was Shakespeare's way of commenting
on the lowly status of women in society.
Passing as a man was the only way
these characters would gain the kind of rights,
power and freedom
they could never have as a woman.
Oh, yes,
Elizabeth would surely understand Portia
in the Merchant of Venice,
Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona,
Rosalind in As You Like It, and Viola in Twelfth Night.
And she would understand our Viola,
created by writers Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
for Shakespeare in Love,
who must disguise herself as Sir Thomas Kent
in order to have the freedom to pursue her dream
of becoming an actor.
May I begin, sir?
Your name?
Thomas Kent.
I would like to do a speech by a writer
who commands the heart of every player.
What light is light if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by
and feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
there is no music in the nightingale.
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
there is no day for me to look upon.
She is my essence,
and I leave to be if I be not--
Take off your hat.
My hat?
Where'd you learn how to do that?
Let me see you.
Take off your hat.
Are you Master Shakespeare?
Wait there. Wait there!
Did you hear a kind of echo of the balcony scene
from Romeo and Juliet in those lines about Silvia?
What light is light if Silvia is not seen?
What joy is joy if Silvia be not by?
Well, if you did, there's a good reason for it.
Those lines are from the Two Gentlemen of Verona,
an earlier play by Shakespeare.
In that play he was already investigating
the very truth and nature of love.
And in Romeo and Juliet,
he found just the right characters
and situation to achieve the seemingly
impossible task of expressing it.
And the way he does it is through language,
extraordinary and beautiful language.
The interesting thing about Shakespeare,
not just Shakespeare,
but it's particularly pertinent to Shakespeare,
is that the way that each play is interpreted
and re-interpreted
each time it's performed is what in a way keeps him alive
on the stage rather than just on the page.
He's always going to be a good read
if you know how to read him.
Romeo and Juliet is really what set Shakespeare
apart from the other writers of his time, you know.
You can argue before Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare is not Shakespeare, he's just a man writing plays.
He's promising.
He's not doing much more than anybody else is doing.
With Romeo and Juliet, he breaks the mold.
Other playwrights of his time
believed that comedies were comedies
and tragedies were tragedies, and you didn't mix them.
Comedies were about young lovers,
they ended with marriage.
Tragedies were about important people,
it ended with death.
He starts out Romeo and Juliet as a comedy.
Romeo is walking around the stage
saying, "Rosalind doesn't love me."
Kind of silly.
It ends with...
the two young lovers committing suicide.
I think in terms of feeling
what the impact was for Shakespeare's audience,
you have to think about the book
or movie that's most impacted your life
and multiply it by 10.
It was just something nobody had ever seen before.
It's the greatest love story ever told, it still is.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
in fair Verona, where we lay our scene.
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life
whose misadventured piteous overthrows
doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
You see?
Shakespeare tells us everything really.
He tells us we're in Verona in Italy,
where an ancient feud between two old families,
the Montagues and the Capulets,
has escalated into bloody violence.
And he tells us that a pair of star-crossed lovers
from these two warring clans will take their lives,
and with their death bury their parents' strife.
In other words,
their deaths will serve to put an end to the feud.
Now, you'd think by telling us how the story ends
right at the beginning he'd ruin it for us,
but just the opposite happens.
When we meet Romeo and Juliet,
we instantly fall in love with them
as they fall in love with each other.
As they yearn for each other
across this chasm of hate and violence,
as they surmount every obstacle to be in each other's arms,
this brilliant playwright makes us root for them
to beat the odds with all our hearts.
Knowing that they will die in the end
just makes it all that much more intense and heartbreaking.
Now that's wonderful playwriting.
This story and the emotions
it conjures are incredibly compelling
in and of themselves.
But the more you understand the language
and unlock the power of the poetry,
the deeper the experience gets.
As an example, let's take that famous balcony scene
from Romeo and Juliet.
We begin with Juliet speaking into the night
as Romeo hides unseen under her balcony.
Oh, Romeo, Romeo.
Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
Juliet's not saying, "Where are you, Romeo?"
She's asking, "Why of all things
do you have to be a Montague?
Please say you're not one of my family's enemies."
Or if thou wilt not,
be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet.
Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague?
It is not hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face,
nor any other part belonging to a man.
Oh, be some other name.
What's in a name?
That which we call a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
retain that dear perfection
which he owes without that title.
Romeo, doff thy name, and for that name,
which is no part of thee take all myself.
I think what Gwen's trying to say there is,
it's only your name that's a problem, it's not you.
What's in a name?
If a rose were called by some other name,
wouldn't it still smell as sweet?
It's the same with you.
Give up your name and I'm yours.
Romeo, unable to contain himself a moment longer,
finally breaks his silence.
I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized.
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
Just tell me you love me, and I'll take on a new name.
Lovers can see to do their amorous
rites by their own beauties,
or if love be blind, it best agrees with night.
Come, civil night, thou sober-suited matron,
all in black, and learn me how to lose a winning match
played for a pair of stainless maidenhoods.
Hood my unmanned blood bating in my cheeks,
with thy black mantle till strange love grow bold,
think true love acted simple modesty.
Come, night.
Come, Romeo.
Come, thou day in night,
for thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
whiter than new snow on a raven's back.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night,
give me my Romeo.
And when he shall die,
take him and cut him out in little stars,
and he will make the face of heaven so fine
that all the world will be in love with night
and pay no worship to the garish sun.
That was a monologue from Juliet,
a role that Judi once played at the Old Vic
for a Franco Zeffirelli production.
In the speech,
Juliet is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Romeo
and lamenting the fact that her love has been confessed
but not consummated.
She's saying that if Romeo were a star,
he would put the sun to shame
and everyone would surely be in love with night.
You see, you didn't need much help at all
to understand those scenes.
It's the color Shakespeare puts into the words
that raises them above ordinary conversations.
Now let's end our fun here with a look at the final scene
of Romeo and Juliet in two different forms.
We'll begin with the scene from Shakespeare in Love,
which dramatizes how Will might have told the cast
in sort of plain English
how the story of Romeo and Juliet will play out.
Then we'll show you
what the same sequence looks like on opening night,
when all the elements come together,
language, character, plot, sets,
costumes and that all-important ingredient, the audience.
Now, before this point in the story,
several critical incidents have occurred
that have led to an extremely tense situation.
A sympathetic friar
has secretly joined Romeo and Juliet in marriage.
Then, one of Juliet's cousins, Tybalt,
engages Romeo's good friend Mercutio
in a duel and kills him.
This sends Romeo into a violent rage
and he in turn kills Tybalt.
Then-- Well, I'll let Will tell you.
For killing Juliet's kinsman Tybalt,
the one who killed Romeo's friend Mercutio,
Romeo is banished.
But the friar who married Romeo and Juliet--
Is that me, Will?
You, Edward, the friar who married them
gives Juliet a potion to drink.
It is a secret potion.
It makes her seeming dead.
She is placed in the tomb of the Capulets.
She will awake to life and love
when Romeo comes to her side again.
I've not said all.
By maligned fate, the message goes astray
which would tell Romeo of the friar's plan.
He hears only that Juliet is dead.
And thus he goes to the apothecary.
That's me.
And buys a deadly poison.
He enters the tomb to say farewell to Juliet
who lies there cold as death.
He drinks the poison.
He dies by her side,
and then she wakes and sees him dead.
And so Juliet takes his dagger...
and kills herself.
Well, that will have them rolling in the aisles.
Sad and wonderful.
Now let's dress the story up in poetry
as we journey with our star-crossed lovers
to their heartbreaking destiny.
Just be aware as you're watching
that this sequence is much more compressed
than it is in the play.
Nevertheless, it will give you a wonderful taste of the story
and the effect it has on the audience.
And hopefully, it will spark your enthusiasm
to see how Shakespeare plays out his tale
in the full version of the text.
Art thou gone so?
Love, lord, aye, husband, friend?
I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
for in a minute there are many days.
Oh, by this count I shall be much in years
there again I behold my Romeo.
Farewell.
Oh, think'st thou we shall ever meet again?
Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low,
as one dead at the bottom of a tomb.
Either my eyesight fails or thou look'st pale.
Then trust me, love, in my eyes, so do you.
Dry sorrow drinks our blood.
Adieu.
Adieu.
Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
and this distilling liquor drink thou off.
No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest.
And in this borrowed likeness of shrunk death
thou shalt continue two and forty hours,
and then awake as from a pleasant sleep.
What ho! Apothecary!
Come hither, man.
I see that thou art poor.
Hold, there is 40 ducats.
Let me have a dram of poison.
Such mortal drugs I have,
but Mantua's law is death to any he that utters them.
Art thou so--
My poverty, but not my will, consents.
I pay thy poverty and not thy will.
Arms, take your last embrace.
And, lips, oh, you, the doors of breath,
seal with a righteous kiss...
a dateless bargain to engrossing death.
Come, bitter conduct.
Come, unsavory guide.