I figure that if I just keep typing, something profound will eventually come out of all this -

Friday, October 28, 2011

Analysis of 'Love Story' Music Video

Alright, so Love Story is a song written by Taylor Swift that presents the tale of Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending. Prepare for some analyzing.
What major themes are strongly represented?
    -Onia Vncit Amor - Love conquers all
    -Individual vs. Community
How true to the text does the film remain?
    - Not at all
How true to the plot does the film remain? 
    - Uh...I'd say about 20% true. Romeo and Juliet meet at a dance and get married. Everything else seems to be left out.
What is lost/gained by diverging away from the plot?
    -More money. Alright, that's a little rude, but you lose a lot
What minor characters receive more screen time and how does that affect the play?
    -No minor characters at all. Father gets brief mention. You lose a lot of character development between Romeo and Juliet. But it doesn't seem too necessary because she's relying
How does the costume/setting/language/cultural representation affect the themes in the play?
    -No tights for the men, I can appreciate that.
How do the actors portray certain characters? Again, how does this affect the themes represented?
    -Taylor Swift is Juliet.

Would Shakespeare be rolling over in his grave if he knew about this interpretation?
    -Distinct Possibility. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. If Shakespeare felt his message could be adequately represented within a romance, they would live. I'm not hating on Taylor Swift, she is entitled to her opinion about the play, but I don't think it appropriately represents the main themes.
What kind of interaction is there between main characters?
    -Parents & Juliet - A primary difference in the story told by Taylor Swift is the fact that the parents know about the tryst and forbid their children from spending time with one another. Despite this she states that she won't let them decide how she's going to live her life. In this instance, she borrows heavily from the theme of love (Love Story) and Individual vs. Community. Rather than obey their families, they choose to continue to see one another and let love overcome.
    -I think this essentially encapsulates what Romeo and Juliet has become to society. A powerful love story that somehow had the wrong ending written in. It's fodder for Romantic Comedy. We don't want a tale of hate and bitter resentment, with passionate but potentially foolish love. We want a tale of slight rivalry with a love that makes everyone come to their senses. A lot of the themes and lessons of Romeo and Juliet are lost in this version. Again, I recognize that Taylor Swift wasn't trying to perform a strict interpretation of the play, but rather saw similarities within her own life and the story. Yet, I still think it shows that a lot of people miss much of what actually happens in the play. Too much spark notes, not enough real reading of the text.


  1. It kind of interesting all of the ties that are made in this song....Romeo and Juliet ... Scarlet letter ... extra..

    But like you said they are no held to, they're general themes pulled out of context for a specific emotion and not the theme to the work as a whole.

    I wounder sometimes if i do that with my post, pull Shakespeare's word completely out of context.

    Also do you even wonder if analyse plays or work deeply ever causes you to miss the point? Like you literally kick the horse to death, to the point the true beauty of the work is lost?

  2. Trust me, I've wondered if excessive analyzing has been killing these works for me, but I've also noticed a greater depth to Romeo and Juliet than before watching all these shows. I realize I haven't explained that as effectively as I should have, but picking apart the tiny differences within each show (and they can seriously seem tiny at times) I really feel like I've noticed a greater degree of depth that I missed in the reading. By analyzing what's different or left out, I've noticed how much those elements contribute to the play as a whole...
    So in this case I think it's been more of a process of turning carbon into a diamond - the intense pressure of analyzing has stripped away a lot of my own preconceptions of Romeo and Juliet.
    But then again, maybe the horse was dead 5 posts ago...I also realize that I've thrown up about 9 posts in the past 4 days...probably should have spread that out a little bit better...However, if you haven't checked out the Romeo and Juliet: The War post, I'd recommend that was one of the highlights of my blogging over the past few days

  3. yeah--no--i did see that post.

    Correct me, that is a movie right? Is it out, did you watch it?

  4. Just thought i would say i really liked you comments...

    For me as i have spent more time on the Tempest and Much Ado, i have found the additional material that i cover, i see more and more in. I think one of the reason is that i have become more and more familiar with the characters of the play and the plot itself that i can ignore those details because i know them and look more for the interpretation and theme of scene and the play i general.

    Not so worried about what is going on, not caught up in what the text is actually saying but now looking at the deeper meanings.

    So once one is familiar the details become visible because one can focus on them with out worry about what is actually happening, because you know what is going on....

    wow did that make sense?