WHAT DID SHAKESPEARE AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES BELIEVE THAT WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND ROMEO AND JULIET?
Click here for an excellent WEB SITE that explores the life and times of Shakespeare with references to several plays including Romeo and Juliet.
1. God created the universe and man as part of it.
2. God wants man to live in harmony with the universe and obey His will.
3. Man and universe have much in common. The universe or the larger unit is the MACROCOSM and
man or the smaller unit is the MICROCOSM, AND THEY CAN BE RELATED IN A SERIES OF
GOD : UNIVERSE :: KING : KINGDOM
KING : KINGDOM :: ______ : _____
4. WHAT FIGURE OF SPEECH IS BASED ON ANALOGY, THAT IS ONE OF THE ONES
SHAKESPEARE WILL USE FREQUENTLY IN ROMEO AND JULIET?
5. ANOTHER WAY TO EXPRESS THESE ANALOGIES IS WITH A HORIZONTAL LINE,
CALLED THE CHAIN OF BEING:
||MAN- has several subdivisions:
king / pope
duke / cardinal
6. GUESS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF ONE PART OF THE LINK ON THE CHAIN BROKE?
SHAKESPEARE WROTE PLAYS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ONE OR MORE OF THE LINKS DO BREAK
7. MANY IN SHAKESPEARE'S DAY STILL BELIEVED IN THE OLD ASTRONOMY THAT SAID THAT THE EARTH WAS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, AND ALL THE PLANTS WENT AROUND THE EARTH. WHY WOULD THAT BE AN IMPORTANT IDEA FOR WRITING A PLAY?
8. SOMETIMES THE UNIVERSE DID NOT SEEM TO BEHAVE AS NICELY AS EXPLANATIONS SUGGEST. WE KNOW THAT A LINK ON THE CHAIN COULD BREAK, OR WE TODAY HAVE NATURAL DISASTERS LIKE STORMS, EARTHQUAKES, FIRES, AND PEOPLE WHO COMMIT CRIMINAL ACTS. --STORMS IN SHAKESPEARE ARE USUALLY A SIGN THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG... THE ORDER OF THE MACROCOSM IS UPSET BECAUSE OF MAN.
9. JUST AS TODAY WHEN WE USE SCIENCE TO EXPLAIN MANY EVENTS, THE PEOPLE IN SHAKESPEARE'S DAY LOOKED TO RELIGION AND GOD TO EXPLAIN THEM, AND THEY BELIEVED THAT THE FOLLOWING COULD CAUSE PROBLEMS IN THE MACROCOSM AND MICROCOSM:
3--people who do not obey God, King/Duke, parent
4--there were some events that could not be explained and these events were said to be caused by bad luck or
bad fortune, as influenced by the stars-Astrology was a very important part of their lives:
10. LOOK AT THE SONNET PROLOGUE OF ROMEO AND JULIET:, AND APPLY THE ABOVE TO WHAT SHAKESPEARE'S INTENTIONS WERE.
NOTE: IF YOU NEED A MORE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE ABOVE, CLICK HERE.