Juliet’s Infinite (Variety) Playlist

Hello Loyal Subscribers and First Time Readers!

Those of you who read my post for Much Ado About Nothing will probably remember that I made a post like this one last year. I created a fake playlist of songs that I though the protagonists, Benedick and Beatrice, might want to hear during moments of the play. Well, since this year our Romeo and Juliet focuses  greatly on the influence of technology in everyday life, I felt it would be appropriate to make another playlist.

For those of you who didn’t read the older post, this is a game!

The way it works is I provide you with a list of the events that happen to Romeo, and then a fake ipod Playlist screen. This screen has a group of songs that I chose because I feel Romeo might want them as part of his ‘internal soundtrack.’ So if Romeo is feeling sad at a particular moment, you look at the playlist and try to pick a  song that would match his mood. Yesterday I did Romeo’s playlist and today I’ll do Juliet’s.
Anyway, enough gabbing. LET’S PLAY!

Part I: Events that Happen To Juliet (In Chronological Order)

  1. Like a dutiful daughter, Juliet promises to meet Paris at the Capulet ball.
  2. Juliet is immediately stuck with true love when she dances with Romeo.
  3. Caught up in love and passion Juliet kisses Romeo at her balcony and pledges to be with him forever.
  4. After sneaking off to Friar Lawrence’s cell, Juliet secretly marries Romeo.
  5. Juliet anxiously awaits her first night with Romeo as a married woman.
  6. After spending one last tender night with her Romeo, Juliet tries to keep him by her side, even though she knows he has to leave.
  7. Juliet defies her father by refusing to marry Paris and he threatens to disown her.
  8. Terrified and repulsed by the idea of marrying Paris, Juliet visits Friar Lawrence’s cell, begging him to either help her or let her die.
  9. Haunted by Tybalt’s memory, Juliet reluctantly takes Friar Lawrence’s potion to make herself seem dead. She is taken to her family’s crypt.
  10. Awakened from her sleep and seeing her husband Romeo dead, Juliet stabs herself.
  11. Epilogue: Through Julie’s death, her father reconciles with Montegue.

Part II- The playlist- try to match these songs with the events above.

Juliet's Playlist

So now you know the rules, enjoy the game. Send your answers to us by leaving a comment below or by emailing us at openairshakespearnrv@gmail.com. If you have other suggestions for the playlist, let us know and we’ll make a new one!
Have fun!

Romeo and Juliet’s Infinite (Variety) Playlist Part 1

Hello Loyal Subscribers and First Time Readers!

A few weeks ago I created a fake playlist of songs that I though the protagonists, Benedick and Beatrice, might want to hear during moments of the play. So I decided to do another one for R&J!

For those of you who didn’t read the older post, this is a game!

The way it works is I provide you with a list of the events that happen to Romeo, and then a fake ipod Playlist screen. This screen has a group of songs that I chose because I feel Romeo might want them as part of his ‘internal soundtrack.’ So if Romeo is feeling sad at a particular moment, you look at the playlist and try to pick a  song that would match his mood. Today is Romeo’s playlist and tomorrow I’ll do Juliet’s.
Anyway, enough gabbing. LET’S PLAY!

Part I: Events that Happen To Romeo (In Chronological Order)

  1. Romeo is distraught because Rosalind will not give in to his romantic advances
  2. Romeo is disappointed when he finds out that the Montegues and the Capulets have been fighting again.
  3. Benvolio convinces Romeo to get over himself and go crash the party at the Capulet’s.
  4. Romeo dances at the Capulet Ball and is immediately stuck with true love.
  5. Romeo realizes with horror that his true love is a Capulet; his family’s enemy.
  6. Determined to seize the moment, Romeo climbs the orchard wall under Juliet’s balcony and risks death to talk to her.
  7. Having already plotted with the Friar and Nurse, Romeo secretly marries Juliet
  8. Romeo attempts to break up a fight between his friend Mercutio, and his new cousin, Tybalt.
  9. Full of rage after Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo challenges Tybalt to a duel and wins.
  10. Romeo is once again distraught and full of self-hatred for killing Tybalt. He hides in Friar Lawrence’s cell, and thinks about what he has done.
  11. Romeo sneaks once again into Juliet’s room and spends one last tender night with her before he has to leave for Mantua.
  12. Hearing that Juliet has died, Romeo is once again full of rage for the whole of humanity. He resolves to go back to Verona and die by Juliet.
  13. Feeling strangely at peace, Romeo bids farewell to his beloved Juliet, drinks a poison, and dies.
  14. Epilogue: Through Romeo’s death, his father reconciles with Capulet.

Part II- The playlist- Try to match these songs with the events above.

Romeo's Playlist (in random order)

So now you know the rules, enjoy the game. Send your answers to us by leaving a comment below or by emailing me here:

Have fun!

Benedick and Beatrice’s Infinite Playlist, Part 2

Posted on May 8, 2012

Hello loyal subscribers and first time visitors!

If you missed my earlier post, this week I’ve created a little game for you to play at home: you try to match up the songs that express a fictional character’s personality with the events that happen to him/her through the course of play. Yesterday I posted a playlist for Benedick from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and today I’m going to post one for Beatrice. Your mission is to read the events that happen to Beatrice below, and figure out which songs on the playlist below correspond to these events. If you want to suggest more songs, please leave a comment below and I’ll create an extended playlist for the end of the week!  I’ll also post the correct results so you can see how well you did. Enjoy the game and, as Shakespeare said: “Play on!”

Paul Rycik 5/9/12

Events For Beatrice (Match these with the songs from the playlist below)

  1. Benedick and Beatrice have a brief fling and break up before the play begins

  2. Beatrice sees Benedick again at Leonato’s house and blows a flurry of words at him.

  3. Beatrice advises Hero not to worry about her wedding, but instead tells her to “Dance out your answer.”

  4. Beatrice dances with Benedick and pretends not to recognize him.

  5. Beatrice overhears Margaret, Hero, and Ursula ‘secretly confessing’ Benedick’s love for Beatrice.

  6. Beatrice is thunderstruck to discover that not only does Benedick love her, she loves him.

  7. Beatrice is furious at Claudio’s treatment of Hero, and the way men in general treat women.

  8. Beatrice challenges Benedick to prove his love to her by killing Claudio

  9. After soul searching and after Benedick challenges Claudio, Beatrice is on the mend.

  10. Having proved his worthiness to her like a chivalric soldier, Beatrice marries Benedick.

Benedick and Beatrice’s Infinite (Variety) Playlist

Benedick and Beatrice’s Infinite (Variety) Playlist

This is a game I created for a Shakespeare workshop back in 2012. I would recommend it for any teacher who wants to connect their students to a piece of literature: basically you make a list of songs that A: relate to the personality of a Shakespearean character, and B: relate to moments of the show.

Introduction:

Have you ever met people who go around everywhere with their MP3 players and their earbuds? The kind of people who walk around playing their own personal soundtrack? Well, what do you think would happen if the characters from Much Ado did this, and you happened to glance at Benedick or Beatrice’s iPod? Well that’s what we’re going to pretend in a little game I like to call “Benedick’s Infinite Variety Playlist.” Below is a list of the major events in the play that happen to Benedick. The problem is: they’re all on shuffle. Your job is to figure which song matches which event, put them in chronological order, and submit your answer in the comments below. Later this week, you can play the same game with Beatrice’s playlist. Have fun and remember, as Shakespeare said: “If music be the food of love, play on!”

Events For Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing in random order (Match these with the songs from the playlist below)

  1. Benedick and Beatrice have a brief fling and break up before the play begins
  2. Benedick sees Beatrice and fights with her with his wits.
  3. Benedick dances with Beatrice at the party.
  4. Beatrice insults Benedick mercilessly at the party.
  5. Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato claim they overheard Beatrice confessing her love to Benedick.
  6. Benedick decides to be “horribly in love” with Beatrice.
  7. Convinced that Beatrice loves him, Benedick tries to spruce up his appearance.
  8. After the wedding scene, (where Claudio discraces Hero), Beatrice asks Benedick to “Kill Claudio.” Benedick must choose between being Claudio’s friend, and becoming a real man.
  9. Benedick tries to coax Beatrice into admitting that she loves him
  10. Benedick marries Beatrice

O Fortuna!

Today, June 24rth, is the ancient Roman festival of Fortuna, the goddess of luck and worldly fortunes. I’ve chosen to use this opportunity to explain a little bit about the concept of Fortune, which Shakespeare uses frequently in his tragedies. But first, a short musical interlude:

Does this song sound familiar? You’ve probably heard it underscored in hundreds of commercials, TV shows, maybe even in concerts, it’s a song composed by composer Carl Orff called “O Fortuna.”

The Roman goddess Fortuna
The Roman goddess Fortuna with her wheel and orb.

In Roman mythology, Fortuna was the goddess of luck, wealth, and fertility. If you listen to the lyrics of the song above, you can see that for centuries, people chose to represent Fortune as a fickle, changeable, and irresponsible goddess. Unfortunately, one of the reasons she’s personified as a woman is the long-held prejudice that women are weak, have frequent changes of mind and mood, and can’t commit to one person, (a view of women that I and Shakespeare believe to not be true). However, based on his writing he does seem to think Fortune fits these characteristics:

“I am Fortune’s fool” –Romeo and Juliet

O fortune, fortune! all men call thee fickle:                If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him.   That is renown’d for faith? Be fickle, fortune; For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long, But send him back. –Romeo and Juliet

“When Fortune means to men most good,           She looks upon them with a threatening eye.” King John

Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,       

In general synod ‘take away her power;       

Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,           

And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,        

As low as to the fiends! -Hamlet

In Dante’s Inferno, Fortuna lives in the Underworld with Plutus the god of gold, helping to distribute the god’s wealth to people above ground. In the Middle ages she was an explanation for why some people have good luck, some have bad, and why luck frequently changes.

The Wheel of Fortune. 

Fortuna’s most recognizable symbol is her wheel; the symbol of how luck can change; just when you think your life is perfect, the wheel turns and you find yourself on the bottom. Frequently in tragedy when things go wrong, the characters blame Fortune, such as when the Lord of Kent finds himself put in the stocks like a common thief and gripes: “Fortune good night, smile once more, turn thy wheel,” King Lear, Act II, Scene ii. And yes, the real game show was partially inspired by the goddess’ most famous symbol.

Fortuna In Tragedies

Shakespeare mentions fortune over 500 times in his plays and frequently in his tragedies. Characters in Shakespearean tragedy frequently single out Fortuna as the cause of their unhappiness and curse her as a liar and a strumpet. In a Christian society, it was a lot more appealing to blame a pagan goddess than a loving, Christian god, (which would probably be considered blasphemous). Now you see why she has become a popular scapegoat for misfortune in tragedy. At the same time, all tragedy raises questions about the nature of free will; how much of bad fortune is the result of fate, and how much is a direct result of the character’s bad choices? Edmund in King Lear laughs at the notion of any kind of fate, and accuses all of humanity of shirking responsibility in this speech:

EDMUND

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune,–often the surfeit
of our own behavior,–we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star! (King Lear, Act I, Scene ii).

At the same time, the audience also knows that Edmund was cursed by Fortune from the beginning, since he is the illegitimate child of the Duke of Gloucester, which might prove exactly the opposite point of his speech. He may act like he is absolute in his free will, but his behavior and his violent end suggests otherwise. So when characters curse Fortune or Fortuna in Shakespeare’s plays, take a look at the language they use to characterize this abstract concept. The way we think about luck or fate helps shape our perspective of our own lives, and therefore how playwrights depict this mysterious goddess helps us see the possibilities of human choice, and maybe help us make better choices than the tragic men who slander her in these plays!

For more insight into this topic: Click here to listen to my podcast about this week’s post:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/45002/284936-the-shakespearean-student-episode-6-o-fortuna

For Further Reading:

  1. Brittanica.com: Fortuna: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Fortuna-Roman-goddess
  2. Internet Shakespeare Editions: Fortuna in Medieval Drama: http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/drama/early%20tragedies/medievaltragedy.html#boethius 
  3. Encyclopedia Mythica: Fortune: http://pantheon.org/areas/mythology/europe/roman/articles.html
  4. The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary: http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/fortuna.html