Monday, 7 December 2020

Monday 7th December - Romeo and Juliet

Into the second week of Snogvent we go, and I'm hoping we are all staying healthy and safe.  It seems contradictory to be staying away from those we love just at the time of year when we need every reason for joy and togetherness as we head towards the shortest day and longest night of the year.  Mind you, sometimes the absence of those we love could be a cause of joy, so I best move on swiftly.  Actually, on the subject of parting from those we love, here's today's picture...

Romeo and Juliet (1884) Frank Dicksee

Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially when there is a hot chap in tights leaping off your balcony (not a euphemism).  As you can well imagine, I was spoiled for choice when it came to Romeo and Juliet snogging images...

Romeo and Juliet (1867) Ford Madox Brown

Mind your giblets on the ironwork!

Romeo and Juliet (1867) Alfred Elmore (attrib)

Juliet seems to have come down to the garden for this one so there is none of that balcony malarkey, which is preferable, health and safety-wise...

Romeo and Juliet (1879) Wilhelm Trubner

 It hadn't occurred to me that Romeo had to do all that sneaking and climbing about in tights.  He must have spent half his time darning his ladders, if my life is anything to go by.  Also it has to be applauded how much bosom Juliet often has on display.  That's the spirit! If only they had continued the sneaking about and balcony snogging and less suicide-y end bit then the play would have been a far more cheery affair all round. I've always felt that it would have been much improved by the ending the amateur dramatics group give it in the movie Hot Fuzz. Anyway, back to our Dicksee...

Our kissing couple are bidding farewell at day-break, with the powdery shimmer of dawn creeping over Verona through the window.  Juliet is still in her nightie, but Romeo has had to get decent in order to make a get away.  The purse on his belt is interesting.  If you excuse the undeniably phallic dagger, then the purse looks like a heart with an arrow going through it, but the heart is black, revealing tragedy and death.

There are also passion flowers growing up the pillars, which hints at suffering and more death, which is all very jolly.  Interestingly, the leaves of some varieties can be dried and used as a sedative.  The Victorians loved passiflora because who doesn't love a religious flower? Also the temporary nature of the flower, which only lasts a day, adds to the fleeting happiness of our happy couple.  One day you are getting your leg over on a balcony, the next you are poisoning yourself in a sulky teenage strop. Kids, eh? Altogether now - 'Love me, love me, say that you love me...'

On that romantic/tragic note, I shall catch up with you tomorrow...


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