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ROMEO: I WILL NEVER LOVE AGAIN
April 23, 2014 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Dirtbag Romeo and Juliet
posted by Brandon Blatcher (32 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dirtbag Encyclopedia Brown.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:16 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


"You're a fascist. I don't go downstairs with fascists!"

*snicker*
posted by dabitch at 10:20 AM on April 23


I, uh, thought that Romeo was already supposed to be a mild dirtbag. (cf. Rosaline)
posted by whittaker at 10:21 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Yup. That about describes it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:22 AM on April 23


I appreciate all the Shakespeare posts today. Happy 450th!
posted by Fizz at 10:25 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Oh man, I love Dirtbag Hamlet so very much.

im going to the cemetery to touch skulls
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:40 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Just goes to show that Shakespeare's stories are awesomely flexible: recast them in slightly modern language and they're ready to go for modern audiences!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:02 AM on April 23


I like how people think this is a joke, and not basically exactly how people at the time would have seen the play.
posted by cthuljew at 11:21 AM on April 23 [8 favorites]


Essentially everything Mallory Ortberg has ever written should be an FPP. Including her tweets.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:29 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Dirtbag Little Women is my favourite still.
posted by jeather at 11:36 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Dirtbag Anne of Green Gables is the best because it's a parallel universe where Anne turns out to be the kind of psycho orphan who poisons wells with strychnine that Mrs. Lynde warned Marilla about.
posted by book 'em dano at 11:45 AM on April 23


That was the plot of about half the movies made in the 90s.
posted by fshgrl at 12:09 PM on April 23


Oh my god. This you guys. This is perfect.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:32 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Romeo was already pretty much a rich kidding dirt bag, no? I guess more of a upper middle class douche.

Never mind.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:33 PM on April 23


wenestvedt : Just goes to show that Shakespeare's stories are awesomely flexible: recast them in slightly modern language and they're ready to go for modern audiences!

He stole from Sondheim, Porter, Kurosawa, and Forbidden Planet. Of course his works are timeless - the people he copied are geniuses!

I suppose he's OK, if you don't mind all the IP piracy...
posted by IAmBroom at 1:22 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I like how people think this is a joke, and not basically exactly how people at the time would have seen the play.

You mean that they thought that the upper-crust folks may have had fancy clothes and nice houses and stuff, but that they were basically deeply stupid and did crazy shit that got them and the people that they cared about killed? Hmmm. (wanders off whistling Game of Thrones theme)
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:25 PM on April 23


I like how people think this is a joke, and not basically exactly how people at the time would have seen the play.

Really? I mean I would have thought Shakespeare was aiming for something a bit more than the audience walking away muttering "what a couple of idiots those kids were."
posted by Hoopo at 1:36 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of tone of that amazing Choose-your-own-adventure Hamlet book.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:43 PM on April 23


Romeo was already pretty much a rich kidding dirt bag, no? I guess more of a upper middle class douche.

I thought "whiny emo kid", actually.

It always amuses me when people think that Romeo was some kind of suave super-lover à la Casanova or someone, given that he died a virgin aged 14.
posted by acb at 1:47 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Dirtbag Titus Andronicus

Titus: Have some pie. It totally isn't people. I swear.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:49 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


MERCUTIO: what if fairies
had midwives
ROMEO: lol what
MERCUTIO: what if she taught people how to have sex
ROMEO: what

posted by warm_planet at 3:01 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


MACBETH: do you think I would make a good king

LADY MACBETH skateboards across the hall

LADY MACBETH: king of jerking off maybe

posted by davros42 at 4:25 PM on April 23 [6 favorites]


It always amuses me when people think that Romeo was some kind of suave super-lover à la Casanova or someone, given that he died a virgin aged 14.

What exactly was they doing in her room the night before he left for Mantua then? General consensus is they were boning, but if you have an alternate interpretation I'm up for hearing it.

(Mostly because moving the conversation to Alternate Shakespeare Interpretations means I can share my own ASI about The Problem Of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream.)
posted by the latin mouse at 4:43 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


I like best when R&J is performed as a sort of goofball comedy up until Mercutio dies, then it gets grim and just spirals more and more out of control.

the latin mouse, please esplain the problem of Demetrius I am going to see it in a few weeks and like to have as many versions of the play as possible in my head when I go so I can enjoy it to the max.
posted by winna at 5:22 PM on April 23


I think a real gap in how modern audiences see Romeo & Juliet is that so many people come to it as high schoolers, college students, young theater people... In short, people without children. While in Shakespeare's time, a lot more members of the audience would already have teenage kids to worry about. If you see the play from the parents' point of view, it's much more horrifying, even in the light-hearted moments.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:03 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]



What exactly was they doing in her room the night before he left for Mantua then?


Yeah I thought they had teh sex then too. I mean they got married, duh. That's code for "boning" in Shakespeare timez.
posted by sweetkid at 7:17 PM on April 23


If you see the play from the parents' point of view, it's much more horrifying, even in the light-hearted moments.

I thought it was fairly common for teenagers to be married in the 1500s. Am I way off?
posted by Hoopo at 7:40 PM on April 23


It's not the "getting married young" part that would have been horrifying to parents in the 1500s, so much as the "double-suicide" part.
posted by Bugbread at 7:44 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


winna: "the latin mouse, please esplain the problem of Demetrius I am going to see it in a few weeks"

Character gets brainwashed and raped by ex. Story hailed as best RomCom of all time.

The Demetrius Problem is one of agency. The happy ending is only achieved by turning Demetrius into a Stepford Wife. He broke up with Helena and said it made him physically sick to think of being with her. Too bad though, because here come the magical fairyland Rohypnol to force him into the relationship against his will. (I’m not saying Demetrius wasn’t acting like a dick earlier in the play, but nobody deserves an ending in which they are roofied and forced to marry their stalker ex. And actually, the ending sucks for Helena too. Puck’s actions basically make her a rapist. Something I’m pretty sure she would be horrified if she knew.)

You know what I’d like to see? A staging set in a hospital or care home or something. The questions raised by The Problem Of Demetrius have a lot in common with the questions raised by serious brain injuries and diseases like Alzheimers. Is it better to forget your former life and to live in ignorance according to your new circumstances or should you try to hold on desperately to the person you used to be? If your personality changes so fundamentally are you even the same person, really? What is the self if not the result of choices we make out of free will? What if part of Demetrius knows what’s happening to him and Puck’s magic just prevents him from acting on it? Inside is he all ‘I have no mouth and I must scream’? Or maybe it’s more subtle than that. Maybe he just wakes up sometimes with a feeling he can’t quite put his finger on about how everything in his life is subtly wrong, but he can’t go back to the life he feels he should be living.

(I also think it's really interesting how people don't easily notice the creepiness in the original text, but tend to pick up on it really quickly if you reverse the genders.)
posted by the latin mouse at 3:47 AM on April 24 [4 favorites]


It's not the "getting married young" part that would have been horrifying to parents in the 1500s, so much as the "double-suicide" part.

And the "going to parties with rival families" and the "sex without benefit of marriage" and the "wenching" and the "leaping without looking" and the "getting into fatal streetlights." The play is pretty much a catalog of children doing things parents tell them not to do. That it's strongly implied that the whole mess is the parents' fault adds another layer.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:02 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


@ the latin mouse: That's a really good summary of the Demetrius problem... if one takes Demetrius as a realistic character with history, psychology, and consistent character. But as the title makes clear (and the final speech reiterates), the play is a dream, and in dreams, people's identities are often quite fluid. I think what you're saying is a good argument against getting too literal with the staging, but is sort of directed at a different play.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:04 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Flaws Only a Protagonist Could Have
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:10 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


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