Romeo And Juliet Noble Character Analysis

1129 Words 5 Pages
Shakespeare’s prolific story of star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, stands as one of the world’s most recognizable plays. It has spun out countless reincarnations and parodies so each time a new director sets forth to produce the play, he must consider how to craft a show that is inventive yet still authentic to the source material. Adrian Noble’s 1995 production of Romeo and Juliet evoked a more lighthearted tone than traditionally seen in productions. Instead of depicting the tragedy of two doomed epic lovers, Noble characterized his protagonists as “children: immature, dramatizing, tantrum-throwing” (Loehlin 73). Although Noble effectively depicted the youthfulness and vitality of characters like Mercutio, his characterization of Juliet …show more content…
During Act Scene 2 as Mercutio and Benvolio are wondering where Romeo is the morning after the party, Mercutio enters “with an ice-bag on his head, nursing a hangover” (Loehlin 149). This choice further demonstrates to the audience how Mercutio is essentially just a mischievous teenager. Within the same scene when the Nurse and Peter enter, “all the young men [draw] imaginary bows at the Nurse upon Mercutio’s hunting cry” (Loehlin 153). Through these simple directions, Noble continues to depict Mercutio’s age and nature. Noble rounded out his playful, youthful characterization of Mercutio in his climactic scene during Act 3. Rather than portraying Mercutio and Tybalt’s fight as a violent and antagonistic brawl that mirrors the dissension between the Capulets and Montagues, Noble has “Mercutio playfully [toasting] Tybalt with wine from a cafe table, and [Mercutio] plainly didn’t intend any violent outcome” (Laughlin 168-169). This clarifies the scene for the audience and builds upon the idea that the play is about a series of youthful indiscretions rather than malicious acts. Shakespeare’s use of language and characterization of Mercutio depicts him as an excitable young man, and Noble’s production correctly follows these …show more content…
Loehlin notes that “not treating the play as an idealized love story [...] [came] at the expense of the tragic impact” (Loehlin 73). This minimization of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic elements is ultimately a disservice to the play because, although the play has lighthearted and comedic aspects, it is first and foremost a tragedy, and this is lost in Noble’s adaption. Since this subtraction of the play’s tragic elements was inadvertent rather than a specific directorial choice, Noble’s production suffers from an inconsistency of tone. At the end of the show, “Romeo held Juliet in his arms for a long kiss -- Juliet slowly, half consciously raised one arm up to touch his face, but just before she touched him Romeo released her and let her body subside onto the bier” (Loehlin 242). This staging choice conjures an incredible sense of tragedy--the star crossed lovers are so close to achieving happiness but ultimately they lose one another--but it does not match the rest of Noble’s production. By emphasizing Romeo and Juliet youth and immaturity, Noble shifts their story from one of epic love to more of a rash, hormone-induced affair. This shift away from tragedy is incompatible with the text. From the outset of the play, Shakespeare establishes that it is a tale of “a pair of star-crossed lovers take [who] their life” (Shakespeare

Related Documents

Related Topics