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I want to know how the balcony scene would be different in alternate places and...

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clf1994 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted August 21, 2009 at 7:03 PM via web

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I want to know how the balcony scene would be different in alternate places and times

For example:  in the ghetto, in the country,1940s,1820s?

I just want to understand all ways the balcony scene would be portraded as and what would happen in it. I have a test Tuesday and we have to know all this.

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 21, 2009 at 8:06 PM (Answer #2)

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It sounds like the test question is asking you to imagine this scene in different historical periods and cultural settings. Performing Shakespeare with so-called 'modern dress' has a long-standing history in both theatre and film. For example, Kenneth Branagh's film version of Hamlet is a modern setting. It's actually somewhat uncommon these days to see a Shakespeare production entirely set in Elizabethan England. Generally speaking the language of the text does not change. So the best way to portray cultural or historical details is with sets, costumes, props, music, accents, gestures and body language. 

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:17 PM (Answer #3)

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I want to know how the balcony scene would be different in alternate places and times

For example:  in the ghetto, in the country,1940s,1820s?

I just want to understand all ways the balcony scene would be portraded as and what would happen in it. I have a test Tuesday and we have to know all this.

To give specifics pertaining to the accurate details in the first answering post, if Romeo and Juliet were to take place in a ghetto, the balconey might change to a fire escape landing, the costumes might include tank tops, tight jeans and high heeled shoes, the music might be rap, the gestures and body laguage would be bold and exaggerated as occurs when people imitate rappers.

The language may or may not be updated to modern English. If it were updated to modern English, it might run something like this: "Deny your father and change your name. Or if you won't do that, swear you're my true love and I'll go with you and no longer be a Capulet."

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 25, 2009 at 9:39 PM (Answer #4)

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Have you seen "West Side Story"?  This is a 1960s version in the inner-city of New York with the Montagues and Capulets represented by a Hispanci gang and a caucasian gang.  As the previous post mentions, the balcony scene is on the fire escape.

In the 1940s, at least in the comedies, the girl usually has her bedroom window and she rests her elbows on the ledge with her head in her hands--"see how she leans her cheek upon her hand"--sighing heavily until her Romeo appears a bit scratched as he, too, climbs trees.

In the 1820s, Juliet may appear at a French door with a small balcony outside.  Juliet steps out and drops her lace handerchief as she sighs deeply.  Romeo secretly retrieves it; the next day he sends a letter with the hankie inside the envelope.  When given this envelope by a messenger, Juliet must conceal its contents from the rest of her family. 

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charcunning | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted November 23, 2009 at 12:30 PM (Answer #5)

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Setting and conflict are tied together and often inseparable.  If the setting is no longer the "backyard" of the Capulets, much of the tension is gone. Part of the allure of this scene is that it is dangerous because, if caught, Romeo could be killed.

If you moved this scene to daylight, again, the mysteriousness and much of the romance and danger would be lost.

If you had the scene take place at the beach in the daylight, the two could still be wary of relatives finding them together, but again, some elements of mystery, tension and intrigue are lost. Same goes for anywhere else you may do the setting.

 

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