I just realized today that I've never really profiled our Question Box on this blog before. It has been such a large part of our class and our discussions and I haven't even mentioned it! What was I thinking? Well. The Question Box has been placed out every class and most of you have contributed to this box at one point or another.
Today, we actually had three unanswered questions in our Question Box. I'll list them here and give a little synopsis of our discussion around each of these questions.
Question 1: Is it/ was it a sin to commit suicide? Would Romeo and Juliet be considered sinners if the committed suicide?
Our Discussion: In Shakespeare's day, issues of religion were a big deal. Suicide was considered a sin and most people in the audience would have believed in God. Elizabeth I was a tolerant ruler and kept the religious peace during her life, but there were many religious revolutions before and after her reign. Today, an audience watching a Shakespeare play may or may not believe in God, so the ramifications of Romeo and Juliet's suicide would be in the mind of the observer.
Question 2: How many days/ weeks/ months does this play span?
Our Discussion: This play starts on a Sunday and ends on a Thursday. So, a grand total of five days. This means that Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love, get married, a couple of people die, Romeo is banished, Juliet is engaged to another, and they commit suicide. Talk about a busy week!
Question 3: What's the difference between a monologue and a soliloquy?
Our Discussion: A monologue is like a speech. Characters on stage would listen to one person talk without interrupting. A soliloquy is either not heard by the other characters in the play or no other characters are on stage. A soliloquy allows the audience to learn a character's true motivations and thoughts. Not so much with monologues.
Well, those are the questions that landed in the Question Box before today. I happen to know that there is at least one new one for next class. Keep 'em coming!