Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Never was a story of more woe..."

Supposedly the House of Montague, in Verona, Italy.
"...than this of Juliet and her Romeo" (V.III.309-310).

Arguably the most famous closing lines in the English language, they're also the reason I was left unsatisfied when I first read Shakespeare's classic tragedy.  To me, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are weak characters.  Cowardly characters, to choose death as they do.  Frankly, their stupidity makes me angry! (And don't get me started on Mercutio's death!)

Which is why I started to write Curiosity, a retelling of the play (as if the world needs another one of those.  Once we start making movies like Gnomeo and Juliet, we know we've exhausted the story).  More than anything it's may way of coming to terms with a frustrating finale.

An excerpt:

Supposedly the House of Capulet, in Verona, Italy.
I reach out, wrap my fingers around the handle.  It turns easily; I push open the door just enough for my body to slip through, and close it gently behind me.  Soft morning light pours forth from the window, ripples over the floor and spirals around the balusters of the bed, bathes the silver candlesticks in golden warmth.  The walls have faded to yellow cream, and in the sunbeams the dust floats fairylike, and the corner-spun cobwebs sparkle.  It seems no one has entered this room for ages.

I wonder...I run my fingers through a sheet of dust that blankets a wooden dresser.  They skim the edge of a piece of parchment, trace the cool glass of an empty inkwell, finger the ruffled down of a quill.  I blow, and the dust rises in a cloud, but the paper bears no name.  But maybe...All of a sudden it hits me.

This is the room of Romeo Montague.

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