A post by Sidey this morning set my mind wandering in territory I’d not visited for a while, but when I got there, I was quite at home. She has written another of her angel stories, which are all wonderful. This particular one deals with a group of angels who are off on a mission to try to help persuade several cult members from committing suicide en masse at the behest of their cunning and nefarious leader. While her story is not directly related to the Jim Jones horror in Guyana back in 1978, it brought it to my mind. And, as my mind frequently will, it then took off to another tragic story: Romeo and Juliet. For a VERY FUNNY take – and a quick synopsis – on this play, watch the two following videos. (Thanks for the suggestion, Nancy! My first intro was intended to be funny, because who DOESN’T know the story?)
BTW, when our Matt was in High School, he was part of the small drama troupe that won the State of Virginia Drama Competition with their production of “The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare, (Abridged.)” The production was written and originally performed by a troupe known as “The Reduced Shakespeare Company,” who perform this summary of Romeo and Juliet in these two clips. Enjoy!
I know, most of you won’t see the segue, (between Jonestown and Verona), but it’s very clear in my mind. You see, I have always wondered if the timing of events at Jonestown had been slightly different, perhaps most, if not all, of the tragedy could have been avoided. It is a pointless mental exercise, like many of mine are, but such musings nevertheless get me pondering about the timing of events – any events. Which – you see it now, don’t you – leads me to Romeo and Juliet. I cannot tell you how many times I have read the play, seen the play performed – by amateur and professional companies, or watched the many movie and/or television versions of Shakespeare’s timeless “story of woe,” but I will tell you that even knowing how the story ends does not keep me from hoping and praying that this time, surely this time, the Friar will arrive at the tomb in time. He’ll arrive before Romeo, he’ll be there when Juliet awakens, and wait with her for Romeo to come and take her away.
As many times as I have coaxed and urged the donkey the Friar is riding to go faster, I have also wondered, what would happen if he does arrive in time? Suppose the whole tragedy is avoided – how would the story end? I have a few ideas in mind, but I’m issuing the challenge to you all, Gentle Readers. Write a brief synopsis (less than 1,000 words) of the story of Romeo & Juliet if they had lived. Would their infatuation have grown cold? Would they have ended up, disowned by their parents, a poor penniless couple; or maybe they did live happily ever after, with a boat load of children to satisfy “both their houses?” And who knows? It could be that Shakespeare’s ending is the best for all involved. I wonder. . .do you?
Let me know. There’s really no time limit – I suspect many of you will get around to thinking about it soon enough. . .