Dramaturgies of Reciprocity in Romeo and Juliet

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2019
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Shakespeare en devenir. Université de Poitiers. 2019, 14. eISSN 1958-9476
Zusammenfassung

In his ground-breaking essay “Defying the Stars: Tragic Love as the Struggle for Freedom in Romeo and Juliet” (2012), Paul A. Kottman has challenged traditional readings of Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy as a pathetic story of two passive victims whose love is thwarted by overwhelming external forces. Rather, Kottman contends, the protagonists seek freedom by mutually recognising themselves as lover and beloved and eventually even deconstructing mortality as the ultimate horizon of human liberty. Kottman’s argument compliments Laurie Maguire’s reading of Romeo and Juliet as a tragedy of names, in which the lovers constitute their relationship through “acts of linguistic reciprocity” and manifest their love by learning to speak their beloved’s metaphorical language. While the duological construction of the protagonists’ relationship is indelibly tied to Shakespeare’s poeticized language, the play’s emphasis on mutuality and reciprocity as key dramaturgical factors renders the story particularly adaptable for art forms beyond that of spoken drama. This article will therefore argue that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is marked by a dramaturgy of reciprocity which makes it well suited for musical and choreographical adaptation. It will offer close readings of the aubade in 3.5 of Shakespeare’s play, the Scène d’amour in Hector Berlioz’s dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette, and Sasha Waltz’s balletic interpretation of the Berlioz piece as a Pas de deux in her 2007 production with the Paris Opéra Ballet. The article will trace the creation and re-creation of a dramaturgy of reciprocity across three different art forms, proposing that while each case interprets the story using the particular aesthetics of the respective medium, their totality suggests a transverbal dramaturgical pattern beyond Shakespeare’s language – a dramaturgy which forms a crucial element of the iconicity of Romeo and Juliet as the quintessential amorous pairing in Western culture.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
800 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft
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Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Music, Dance
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ISO 690KELLERMANN, Jonas, 2019. Dramaturgies of Reciprocity in Romeo and Juliet. In: Shakespeare en devenir. Université de Poitiers. 2019, 14. eISSN 1958-9476
BibTex
@article{Kellermann2019Drama-50227,
  year={2019},
  title={Dramaturgies of Reciprocity in Romeo and Juliet},
  url={https://shakespeare.edel.univ-poitiers.fr/index.php?id=1741},
  volume={14},
  journal={Shakespeare en devenir},
  author={Kellermann, Jonas}
}
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