How would you choose to direct Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

This scene starts with Capulet making his grand welcoming speech. I think that classical style music should be playing throughout this scene to show that this is a ballroom dance from the start. However, the music should quieten when the welcoming speech commences.The first line of this scene, “Welcome, Gentlemen”, should be shouted like an announcement. It should be a warm announcement with large outward hand movements signifying his welcoming of the guests to his premises and his dance. The actor portraying Capulet should be much exaggerated at this point, as he is at his happiest and wants the atmosphere to be cheery also.Once Capulet’s speech has concluded, he reminisces with his cousin about past times. This should be read to set the environment and activity in this scene. The lines,”Tis more, ’tis more, his son is elder, sir; His son is thirty.””Will you tell me that? His son was but a ward two years ago.”These are vaguely showing that the atmosphere is friendly and the characters are looking back. It is setting the scene.This is until Romeo can be seen. He should be highlighted on the stage using lighting but whilst still being able to see the rest of the attendees clearly. This will help to show that he is not out of place and is fitting in, but will also help him stand out to the viewing audience. The actor however must also try to act differently to the other guests or even to avoid acting differently, and perhaps unnaturally, he could stand upstage to the party-goers. This would help the audience to see him and will show that he is supposed to be the focus of attention.Romeo should then spy Juliet, at which point the music playing in the background should change to a slower dance which is more romantic. This may help to mark the moment at which Romeo first sees Juliet and perhaps make it that much more important, even special. Romeo must almost be staring constantly at Juliet to show his memorisation at Juliet’s beauty. I think that when he wishes to talk to a nearby Servingman he should be clasping for his arm in order to get his attention, all the while his eyes still affixed upon Juliet. When he does speak his lines, “What lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?” they should be spoken meaningfully and with enthusiastic passion. This will help to show that Romeo is completely taken aback by Juliet.The Servingman’s reply, “I know not, sir”, could in fact be made to be quite humorous. He could disregard Romeo’s comment and could be more desperate to say anything to get himself away from the grasp of Romeo’s hand than answer his question. The servingman could then walk away quickly to the other side of the stage and serve other guests and then look back over to Romeo and shake his head in bemusement. This would be amusing and also emphasise how much Romeo is stupefied by Juliet to the extent that his behaviour has erratically changed since seeing her.Meanwhile, Juliet should be interacting (using mime) with friends. This would make the scene seems more natural. I think that she should then catch sight of Romeo and be startled by Romeo as he is by her. The gazing at each-other should last at least 10 seconds. They should be slowly spotlighted and slow music continuing in the background. This would add a touch of romance and passion to their first glimpse of each-other. Hopefully, this will show love at first sight. Another good idea to show how much they are overcome by each-other would be to have an obvious attention point such as a balloon popping. Everyone else could react to it apart from Romeo and Juliet. Little things like this, I believe, would increase the suspense and tension dramatically.Romeo can then make his heartfelt discourse. We know already that he will be dazzled by her beauty, but in his speech he compares her to the light and other bright images, such as in the hyperbole, “O she doth teach the torches to burn bright”. This suggests that her beauty and radiance itself can light up a room or perhaps even his heart. He feels that everyone else is insignificant compared to her, calling them “crows” compared to his Juliet who is a “snowy dove”. Crows tend to be vulgar, noisy birds, which convey images of darkness. Where as a dove again symbolises light but also heaven, purity and peace suggesting that he considers her to be a heavenly figure. This speech must be performed with eye contact between Romeo and Juliet at all times. This speech is very important to the play as it is the first time Romeo openly announces, to himself and the audience, how he feels about Juliet. Perhaps, Romeo could whisper parts of his speech in order to make his words sound a great deal more profound and add a certain amount of meaning.When Romeo is nearing the end of his speech Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, and his Page should walk past Romeo and overhear the last couple of sentences of it. As he walks past he should look back at Romeo, and realise that after hearing these words that he is a Montague. He should look back and whisper his words, “This, by his voice, should be a Montague. Fetch me my rapier, boy”. These must be whispered so that Romeo cannot hear them, but I would also like Tybalt to have a hint of malice in his voice. Tybalt could also remove his mask and throw it down. This would benefit this moment because characteristically it is an act of anger and for the scene it will also let the watching audience visualise Tybalt’s facial expressions, which are also of anger. When Tybalt’s Page returns carrying his rapier Capulet must cut across his path.When Capulet sees an enraged Tybalt he asks, “Why, how now, kinsman, wherefore storm you so?” Capulet should be in complete contrast to Tybalt who is irate. Capulet must enter enjoying the party but must be curious to find out why Tybalt is so angry. When Tybalt explains, “Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe”, I think Capulet’s reaction should be quite mixed because he still needs a question answered; whether this is an older member of the family or if it is Romeo. Capulet should ask quickly, “Young Romeo is it?” this will clear up all doubt in Capulet’s mind and he can return to his original state as he entered. Tybalt answers him with, “‘Tis he, that villain Romeo”, this must be said spitefully with emphasis on the word villain. This will help the audience build up Tybalt’s character as a nasty man and yet remains loyal.Capulet has yet another monologue after Tybalt has made his point; however, this monologue is persuading Tybalt not to attack the likes of Romeo. Capulet calls him a “portly gentleman” who has “well-governed youth”. He does not see Romeo as a threat, unlike Tybalt. He then goes on to ‘moan’ at Tybalt saying that he must “show a fair presence” and “put off these frowns”, and even calls him “an ill-beseeming semblance for a feast”. He must be getting rather annoyed with Tybalt, and this must be shown by the use of facial expressions and physical gestures.Tybalt disagrees with Capulet’s comments and goes on to say “I’ll not endure him”. Capulet should snap his reply back to Tybalt by saying “He shall be endured”. Capulet would now be very aggressive with Tybalt for trying to overthrow his master’s orders and using very forceful gestures such as looking straight down upon him and perhaps poking him in the chest. This will also show the power Capulet has over Tybalt. He insults him by calling him a “goodman boy”. This would be a double insult to Tybalt as he calling him a “goodman” which means not a gentleman, and to call him “boy” increases insult to the previous one. Tybalt must be astounded by the comment has made, as Capulet continues his orders.When Capulet has finished making his orders, Tybalt should nod and wait until Capulet has left. When Capulet leaves he should return back where he came from dancing happily. This will show that he really is not bothered about the presence of Romeo. Tybalt could then turn to his Page and say cunningly “I will withdraw, but in this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitt’rest gall”. Tybalt is being sneaky and his slyness must come across in his acting style. He can be rubbing his hands and still be looking through the crowd for Romeo.During Capulet and Tybalt’s conversation, Romeo should have manoeuvred his way over to the approximate location of Juliet. This would look more realistic if he has danced his way over to her, but still must be deliberately staring at Juliet for the amount of time it takes for the conversation to take place. So, once the conversation has ended, Juliet will catch sight of Romeo as she is dancing. Romeo, should smile at her, and receive a smile in return from Juliet. Romeo must make a beckoning gesture with his finger. The music should stop hear and Juliet should signal to her partner that she is tired and needs to have a rest. She should make her way over to Romeo. Romeo should grab her hand, almost whisking her off her feet and whisper, from behind, into her ear. He begins “If I profane with my unworthiest hand, this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, My lips two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a gentle kiss”. He must say these lines as a whisper so that he sounds romantic and will entice Juliet. Juliet, once hearing this should turn to him and smile coyly.There appears to be a degree of teasing in Juliet’s response, “For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss”, but Romeo is adamant that he wants a kiss from the person he now loves suggesting that if he was to kiss her and she was not to return it then it would not be a sin. Religious imagery plays a big role in this speech, words such as “palm”, conveying images of Palm Sunday, touching and intimacy or even “prayer” which suggests communication and worship are used several times. Romeo speaks to Juliet as though she was a “saint”, making us think once again of purity and perfection. To Romeo she is a “shrine”, a place of worship and focus that is now in his life. He must look at her as if she is from the heavens, as the ideas are already in the script. Due to the irresistibility both characters feel towards each other they should act with a certain degree of restraint and control this would explain the formal language they both use which is understandable as it is the first time they meet. They speak alternately to one another in polite courteous language and accept the adoration and devotion of the other.They must go on until they both become very passionate with each-other, Juliet says “Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake. Romeo answers,”Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take. Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged”. They will then kiss. The kiss must be very passionate and yet must be discrete from Juliet’s family and she must be sure that no-one can see her. They kiss and soon after Romeo obliges to have his “sin” again. They kiss once more. They should gaze at each-other in awe.The nurse of the Capulet’s enters and sees Romeo and Juliet kissing, she may tap Juliet on the shoulder, and Juliet would react startled. The Nurse’s first line in this scene is one of the most important lines in the scene, if not the play. She says “Madam, your mother craves a word with you”. Romeo knows that he is attending a Capulet dance, and soon queries why she has her mother in attendance also. Romeo asks,”What is her mother?” Romeo should be in shock when he hears,”Her mother is the lady of the house”. His eyes should widen and he must swallow exaggeratedly as he comes to term with the full reality of the situation.The nurse takes Juliet away with her, and Romeo is left distraught. He must be pitied by the audience when he says “Is she a Capulet? O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.” He must walk away and yet still try to catch a last glimpse of Juliet at any opportunity. As he is about to reach the door Capulet stops him and invites him to a “trifling foolish banquet”, but Romeo must whisper in his ear. The whisper must be unheard to the audience. Capulet thanks Romeo for coming and lets him go on his way. The rest exit the stage apart from Juliet and the Nurse.Juliet is curious to find out the name of the person she has fallen in love with. “Come hither, Nurse. What is yond gentleman?” When the Nurse replies it would look good to have the same expression from Juliet as seen on Romeo when he found out the identity of Juliet. When the nurse says that “his name is Romeo, and a Montague” Juliet should collapse over a nearby banister and cry out her rhyme:”My only love sprung from my only hate!Too early seen unknown, and known too late!Prodigious birth to love it is to me,That I must love a loath�d enemy”.This rhyme is spoken sombrely and after the Nurse assists Juliet away from the empty hall. She is heartbroken and this should be evident. The Nurse must be trying to console Juliet as the two exit the scene.

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