William Shakespeare and Chikamatsu Monzaemon were both prominent literary figures of their time. Each one halfway around the world and born at least fifty years apart, they give us a glimpse of the society of their time. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Monzaemon's Sonezaki Shinju have been compared as both dealt with double suicides done in the name of love.
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Both Romeo and Juliet and Sonezaki Shinju tell us the story of the suicide of two lovers due to the odds against their love affairs. Both are heart-wrenching and remind us of the bitter-sweet and turbulent emotions of young love.
However similar the plot of these two plays may be, there are certain differences that mark the uniqueness of each. Both Romeo and Juliet and Sonezaki Shinju are expressions of social conventions of their time. Both Eastern and Western cultures, or the British and Japanese cultures for that matter, are mirrored in these opuses. These literary pieces can be best understood in the societal context in which they occurred.
Romeo and Juliet gives us a peek into the pre-modern Elizabethan period in England. During this era, many people die young and are expected to marry at an age younger than the age most of the youths marry today. Juliet was only 13 in the story, only just on the onset of her adolescence (Wikipedia). Romeo was also only in his adolescent stage in the story. William Shakespeare himself, on the other hand, was only eighteen years old when he married.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is said to be a dramatization of Arthur Brook's poem The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, which is said to be inspired by an Italian tale (Wikipedia). Italian tales were popular in England theaters during those times. Brooke's poem, on which Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was based, was "a translation and an adaptation of the Italian Giuletta e Romeo by Matteo Bandello," which, in turn, was alleged to be based on a true story (Wikipedia).
Chikamatsu Monzaemon's Sonezaki Shinju takes us to the pre-modern Edo period in Japan. During this period, courtesans or geishas were part of the Japanese society while arranged marriage and dowry-giving were societal norms. Ohatsu and Tokubei, the main characters of Sonezaki Shinju, were also young lovers. Ohatsu was a courtesan and a courtesan exists to give pleasure to men and not to be enamored with a single man. On the other hand, Tokubei was a simple clerk who was expected to strike a match with a girl from a good family to improve his situation in life. Sonezaki Shinju is said to be based on an event that really happened in Osaka (Kabuki). Because of the double suicide theme, it has been said to be the Japanese Romeo and Juliet (Holden).
Similarities Between Romeo And Juliet And Sonezaki Shinju
Both Romeo and Juliet and Sonezaki Shinju have ill-fated young lovers as main characters. The passion, romanticism, and recklessness of youth have played a major role in their early demise. The element of young love as a powerful, and sometimes destructive, force in the life of the youth is present in both literary pieces. Also, the defiance of norms in the name of love.
Both stories also show us the young lovers' resistance of existing societal norms and conventions. Romeo and Juliet come from warring clans but they asserted their love for each other despite this. They had married secretly in defiance of the feud between both their families. In Sonezaki Shinju, Tokubei refused an advantageous alliance with his uncle's niece and chose a courtesan, Ohatsu. Ohatsu, on the other hand, chose death with Tokubei over the circumstances that threaten their
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Whether or not the rebellion was successful determined if the play was to be a comedy or a tragedy. But whether the play was a tragedy or comedy, final order was invariably the result.
In Romeo and Juliet, the disorder of the brawl of the first scene seems to get resolved into order by the intervention from the prince, but this disorder is in fact something that simmers throughout the course of the play.
But everything goes wrong for them and finally they kill themselves. Romeo and Juliet was most probably written in 1594 or 1595.
Most of the action in the play takes place in Verona, a small city in the north of Italy. Then
The audience is enticed to listen with these small tidbits of information. The setting of the play is in Verona, Italy. Here, people hold "blood and family" relations of prime importance and respect such that "civil blood makes civil hands unclean." One should be ready to fight and die for one's family.
Shakespeare in Love is a largely fictional account of the life of William Shakespeare who, although his plays enjoy continued success after hundreds of years, is known very little about. Rather than rely solely on the sparse facts available, Stoppard has interweaved the story of William Shakespeare's life with that of one of his most read plays: Romeo and Juliet.
In addition, a decision that is made against one’s will leads to destruction or tragedy will also be discussed. The Romeo’s, Couplet, and Lawrence faults cause to take Juliet her life.
The people who are much
The author states that Romeo and Juliet meet by accident, and it is love at first sight. Accidents follow in quick succession; Juliet is forced to accept Paris as her fiancée; Romeo and Juliet marry in secret; Mercutio and Tybalt are killed; the Prince banishes Romeo, and the lover messages become lost.
The specific actions, plot line and character development all work together to create a deeper meaning to the story and to provide a specific reaction from those reading the story. The literary techniques combine with
The common themes that can be culled from Romeo and Juliet are: the forcefulness of love; love as a cause of violence; the individual versus society; and the inevitability of fate (http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet.html).
Are the parents (Montagues and Capulets) responsible for their children's tragic end Are the surrogate parents (Friar Lawrence and the Nurse) accountable for their advice and consent Are Romeo and Juliet mature enough to be left out on their own to deal with their own problems and struggles These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered as we take a closer and deeper look at the parent angle of the play.
Act one, scene one of Shakespeare's play sets the stage for all the action that is to come later in the play by introducing the feud between the houses of Capulet and Montague as well as introducing many of the important characters. Oddly, however, the two title characters play little or no part in this most important scene.
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