For Never Was a Story of More Woe than this of Juliet and Her Romeo
Being up early today, I ended up catching a broadcast of Romeo + Juliet. Well. More like “got sucked into by accident”.
Every time I read or watch a version of this play, I find myself devastatingly depressed – and not because the story itself is so tragic. Rather, standing face to face with the sheer genius of the story’s construction and execution from beginning to end humbles me and my meager talent with words to a degree that causes my bones to ache.
I can only imagine what watching the play would be like if one were not already intimately familiar with the plot. Here we have a lighthearted comedy – an uplifting love story – through two and a half acts.
Until the murder of Mercutio by the Prince of Cats. This is a brutal, jarring event – one that is completely unexpected and yet completely telegraphed from scene one via Tybalt’s irrational rage. And here is where the wheels come off and we find ourselves Bat Country. A chain of events set in motion that can only culminate in, well. You know. The deaths of our titular characters.
What a brilliant sucker punch.
And I fall for it every. time.