Romeo and his fair Juliet, and Paris, too
Warning: Spoilers alert
As part of an English homework, Bella had to watch the 1960s movie version of the play Romeo and Juliet. So there she was on the couch watching the movie with Edward at her side, whispering Romeo’s lines in her ears. What a romantic scene, huh?
Edward was saying that he didn’t have much patience with Romeo, making mistake after mistake. First he was in love with Rosaline, who wasn’t interested in him. Then he saw Juliet and fell in love with her, at first sight. How fickle-minded, Edward thought. Then a few minutes after marrying Juliet, he killed her cousin, Tybalt.
When it came to the part when both Romeo and Juliet committed suicide, Edward said that he sort of envied Romeo, not because Juliet was pretty, but because it was so easy for Romeo to commit suicide. He just had to go to an apothecary to give him poison to drink. It’s not as easy for vampires to commit suicide. They don’t really die. They sort of get destroyed or something. But this was the first time that Bella discovered that Edward wanted to die or whatever it is that they do. When he thought that James would finish her off, of course he was going to try to save her, which he did, but he was already thinking of what he would do if he was too late. He wasn’t planning on continuing to live without her.
And then after Bella jumped off the cliff and Jacob saved her, they were both too tired and exhausted and fell asleep at Jacob’s place. Bella woke up first and thought about Juliet. She wondered what Juliet would have done if Romeo left her. If he had not been banished. Just lost interest in her, maybe he went back to Rosaline who loved him in the first place. Would she still have loved Romeo until she was old and gray? What if Paris became her friend and she was able to confide in him about her feelings towards Romeo? What if Paris took care of her and she couldn’t survive without him? What if she loved Paris but not the way she loved Romeo? Would she have agreed to marry him? Of course she was using these analogies to compare her situation to Romeo and Juliet, Romeo being Edward and Paris, Jacob.
And then at the last chapter of the story, when Edward and Jacob faced each other, Bella was so worried. Because in the play, when Romeo came back, the stage direction was: Romeo and Paris fight. Paris falls. She was so scared that her Paris, Jacob, would also fall, or die.
I also happened to watch the 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet a few years ago. This was the one directed by Franco Zeffirelli. But before that, I have already seen the 1996 version, Romeo + Juliet, which starred Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Daines. I was a big Leo fan at that time and I was just wowed by the movie. It was different and had a modern take on it. But I found a tape of the 1968 version and I just had to buy it.
One of my earliest childhood memory was hearing the song A Time For Us and connecting it to the movie Romeo and Juliet. Boy, does that reveal my age. 🙂 To my surprise, I liked the older version better than the modern version. I love Leo as an actor but I think Olivia Hussey played Juliet better than Claire Danes. That part after Romeo had killed Tybalt and Romeo was banished and the nurse told Juliet that she should just forget about Romeo and marry Paris instead, Juliet was devastated but she didn’t let the nurse know that she was planning to run away with Romeo . Claire’s reaction wasn’t as convincing as Olivia’s, I think.
Well anyway, another thing that surprised me was hearing this song, What is a youth, in the movie instead of A Time for Us.