Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is usually understood as a celebration of romantic love. It is, really, an instance of social drama. In dramatic circumstances, an ordinary love becomes invested with tragic power of the highest order. What interests me most in this tragedy is how love can come forward and thrive in an atmosphere of hatred or war, as in Verona.
Love is born out of hatred, as a way to overcome hatred. Hatred in its turn is due to the evil of Nothing. The example of Montague and Capulet is eloquent, since no one knows the reason for their enmity. It has been forgotten long ago. Young Tybalt embraces hatred, and defends it as tradition. We often nurture traditions that create conflict out of alleged differences, and thereby keep hatred alive. This, alas, is a principle applied more and more often – to strengthen a community by looking for external enemies.
In this production, I wanted to analyze how hatred shapes difference and becomes common ground. I feel that hatred is the foundation on which the differences between Montague and Capulet are built. This is deceptive, and pulls them ever further apart. All societies seem to be sub-divided in this way.
Love negates difference. Only love can show that there is essentially no conflict between the two clans. Love creates freedom, and in freedom there are no oppositions. Sadly, Romeo and Juliet find their freedom only in death. They were both single children. When they die, their families die with them. The sacrifice of freedom ruins not only the modernity created by these children, but also the tradition their parents seek to protect.