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II.ii The Balcony Scene

Visual Art

Philip H. Calderon, Juliet (1888)

Juliet (1888)

William Hatherell, “O, Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?” (c. 1912)

O, Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou Romeo? (c. 1912)

Photography

Annie Leibovitz, “The Stolen Moment” (Vogue Magazine 2008)

Annie Leibovitz, “The Stolen Moment” (Vogue Magazine 2008)

Or this comic book: Classics Illustated II.ii

Musical Theater

“Le Balcon”  (“The Balcony”) from the musical Romeo et Juliette: de la Haine à l’Amour (Romeo and Juliet: From Hate to Love) composed and written by Gérard Presgurvic (2001). This song also includes Romeo courting Juliet. It basically compresses the entire of II.ii into one song.

“Tonight” composed by Leonard Bernstein from West Side Story (film, 1961, dir. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer.

Theater

Act II, scene ii performed by The Royal Shakespeare Company  in the summer of 2011.

Here is Romeo’s monologue:

Classical Music

Hector Berlioz, Romeo et Juliette. Here is the entire piece:

View the score by clicking the appropriate link at the bottom of the page here.

Here’s just the balcony scene music:

Pop Music

Dire Straits, “Romeo and Juliet” (music video) (1981)

Taylor Swift “Love Story” (2008)

This music video may also apply to other parts of the story, but I think the references to marriage seem to relate to the balcony scene the most. Think of how this song and video retell the story of Romeo and Juliet or perhaps clearly show Juliet’s intentions. Swift tells the story from Juliet’s point of view. Is it accurate? (Don’t just tell me the video is different from the play; tell me how the heart of the video relates to the play.)

Dance

Sergei Prokofiev Ballet starring  Allessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca

Sergei Prokofiev Ballet, choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, starring Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta by Royal Ballet 2007

Film (adaptation)

Letters to Juliet (dir. Gary Winick), 2010. Starring Christopher Egan and Amanda Seyfried

Think about how this film successfully or unsuccessfully references the original balcony scene in its language, intention, and staging. You may also think of how this scene references Act I, scene v when the two first kiss. Yes, I know it’s out of sync, but it’s free.

Gnomeo & Juliet (dir. Kelly Ashbury) 2011. Starring James McAvoy and Emily Blunt.

Think of how this clip adapts the balcony scene, making reference to specific lines, while also creating new lines that may have pleased Shakespeare. Do the characters generally match up to those portrayed in Shakespeare’s original scene? Etcetera.

Shakespeare: The Animated Tales – Romeo and Juliet (dir. Efim Gamburg). Go back to the Main R & J page to watch. Consider especially cuts to focus on other objects (like the clouds over the moon).

Alan Rakoff (dir.), BBC – The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (1974)

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