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Are Romeo and Juliet Really Mature? The In-FACT-tuations Suggest Otherwise

Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’”? Why or why not? Provide at least two pieces of textual evidence.

Romeo and Juliet’s relationship through Act 1 and 2 is little more than that of two inexperienced, infatuated teens. When Romeo sees Juliet for the first time at Capulet’s party, he boldly declares that “I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5.153). His statement would be insignificant if Juliet was truly the first person he loved, but Romeo has just spent the near-entirety of Act 1 admiring another girl, Rosaline. His complete shift from eyeing one girl to another does not display maturity, but rather, informs the reader that he may simply be attracted to a girl’s beauty and nothing else. As for Juliet, she originally has some reservations about love, stating to Romeo that “I have no joy of this contract to-night. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden […] This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet” (2.1.117-118, 121-122). However, in a manner of moments, she tells Romeo that “If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow” (2.1.143-144). Her initial coolness to rushed love pushes her to slow Romeo’s advances, as she believes that love must develop and mature like a flower. Juliet is clearly the more prudent of the two lovers, and wants to ensure that she actually is in love before beginning a longer relationship. However, after a few more gestures of affection and passion, she quickly tells Romeo to propose marriage to show his love for her. It seems as if the youthful, impulsive side of Juliet has always been inside her, and is now prevailing and controlling her decisions. Even Juliet, a very careful and thoughtful youth, succumbs to passion and desire before thinking and reason. Although Romeo and Juliet’s love does prove in later acts to be more than just ‘puppy love’, their initial impressions of each other seem to suggest otherwise.

 

To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate?

Jindra Kulich’s argument cannot be seen as factually and historically correct. Kulich is unclear on what defines an ‘adult’, originally stating that when he was 14 in the 1940’s, he had to “go to work and assume [my] responsibilities”. However, back in the early 1600’s in Italy, schooling was not compulsory at all, and therefore cannot be even considered as a factor in determining adulthood. Considering Romeo and Juliet’s extremely privileged upbringing, they probably would have been schooled by the best tutors in Verona, and would still be learning about various customs and ways of life at their age. One possible factor in determining adulthood is the age of marriage, as the married couple would then have to assume much larger responsibilities in their household. In 1619, the average marriage age was 26 for men, and 23 for men. Both ages are ten years older than Romeo and Juliet are, respectively. In terms of physical maturity, most children’s puberty came “two or three years later than it does today” according to a paper published by the University of Victoria (“The Age of Marriage”). This means that that it is entirely possible that Juliet had not even started to physically mature yet – she is still referred to as a “child” by her own father, further reinforcing the notion of her youthfulness (1.2.8). Since Romeo seems to play a miniscule role in his family’s functioning life, and doesn’t even defend his house in the civil brawl at the start of the play, it is a stretch to believe that he could really be considered an adult. Through analyzing various factors, such as age of marriage and age of physical maturity in the 1600’s, and various moments in the play, it is difficult to agree with Kulich’s argument.

 

Bibliography:

http://www.fps.chuo-u.ac.jp/e/JJPC/jjpc_vol19_05.pdf

http://2013.playingshakespeare.org/generation-gap.html

http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/society/family/marriage.html#juliet

http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=literacy_education_later_medieval_italian_laity

 

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In-Depth Post #1

To be honest, I haven’t really been giving this project much thought recently, but after taking a short look back at my In-Depth posts from last year, and listening some jazz piano recordings of myself, I have reminded myself of the exciting adventures waiting to be found in this project. This year, for my project, I am going to learn the art of singing!

Related image

Florence Foster Jenkins (as portrayed by Meryl Streep), a notable singer I aspire to be unlike.

Source: https://imagejournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/florence-foster-jenkins-2016-meryl-streep.png

 

It took me much less deliberation than last year to choose my skill; although I had jotted down no less than 20 ideas throughout the summer and fall, I’ve come to realize how valuable singing can be for me and my future endeavors. First of all, I want to become a better overall musician, and learning how to sing can possibly change the way I approach playing piano – I can understand how to play a melody in a more ‘song-like’ manner, and shape phrases accordingly. Also, as I am starting to perform at Gleneagle events and other venues such as senior homes, learning how to sing will help me in those areas. Currently, I have no knowledge about how to actually sing – of course, I sometimes belt out Billy Joel tunes at home (much to the chagrin of my family), and sang a duet from La La Land with Melissa (her blog is here) at Coffee House 2017. I listen to opera occasionally if it’s on the radio, and listen a wide variety of vocal music (from John Lennon to Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran)!

Here are a few of my goals I want to achieve and learn by the end of the project:

  1. Proper posture and breath support
  2. Tuning and intonation
  3. Phrasing
  4. Diction (pronunciation of syllables)
  5. Stage presence (maintaining proper tuning/breathing on stage)

My search for a mentor has been fairly exhaustive; I contacted three different vocal coaches to discuss times that they were available, but two were unavailable. So, although I am still in the process of deciding a time for mentor sessions, I have found my mentor: Margo LeVae, a voice teacher at the Tri-City School of Music! Below is a section of her biography:

Margo’s past operatic roles include Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (2008), Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte (2009), The Mother in Hansel and Gretel (2010), Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (2010), and Lady Billows in Albert Herring (2011) all with the UBC Opera Ensemble. In 2011, Margo appeared as Gianetta for The Vancouver Island Opera Society’s production of L’Elisir d’amore and as the Brothel Keeper in the world premiere of Shadow Catch—a newly commissioned chamber opera for The City of Vancouver’s 125thAnniversary Celebration.

Margo was a winner in the 2010 Vancouver Women’s Musical Society Vocal Competition and finalist in the 2009 UBC School of Music Concerto Competition. She holds a Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia where her studies were made possible by a University Graduate Fellowship.

I’ve done some research on my own about singing, and am planning a trip to the public library tomorrow to find some books. Here is one great source I found about singing:

https://www.wikihow.com/Sing

The resource has a large variety of techniques that I’ve already started to try for myself, and I’m excited to see all the new adventures I’ll embark upon for this rendition of In-Depth!

 

The only thing better than singing is more singing.

-Ella Fitzgerald

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ZIP Document of Learning #4

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?

It’s been a very tumultuous journey so far! I’ve listed a few major positive and negative moments below:

Positive – actually starting to enjoy the reading. It took me roughly one week for this to occur, but when I started to hit a ‘reading groove’, and was able to follow Joyce’s seemingly impenetrable writing style, I felt myself being more intimately acquainted with the characters, particularly Bloom.

Negative – trying to read the book! Despite the occasional glimpses of light (as mentioned above), I often found myself struggling to understand what was happening. Also, when I was constantly flipping back and forth between the text, annotations, and online guides, it definitely broke up my ability to read a longer ‘phrase’, if you will. To counter this, I read the annotations of a page first and tried to understand the smaller details of the text, and then read the whole page. This was immensely helpful.

Positive – finding a proper question, and output for my project. Originally, I envisioned myself reading a section of Ulysses, reading three-four lengthy literary reviews, analyzing them, creating my own review of the section, and writing an expository essay about it all. Quickly, I found that would be impossible, but after a few discussions with Mr. Morris, I was able to focus my question (see my previous post). Now, I actually find myself enjoying creating my final presentation, because it directly incorporates my main goal of the project – reading Ulysses!

Negative – creating my presentation. Because reading is such a personal journey, I originally had no idea as to how to make a presentation, or guide, to how to read difficult texts. I’m still struggling a little, but we’ll see in the very near future if I’m able to solve my problem!

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