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Catalog of the Shakespeare Art Collection  --  Multi-Color Graphics on Shakespearean Themes

"JULIET" (Romeo & Juliet)
Description of Wood-cut 4 colors 12" x 18"
by Hannah Tompkins

 

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Juliet, just turned 14, compresses a whole lifetime in three action packed days since meeting Romeo. In the acute time abbreviation, she experiences a wide and intense range of human emotions.
Like one thrown off the deep end without warning and with little instruction, she must rely on instinct since all hope and help have abandoned her.

So it is with meaningful determination that she declares the title quote:
" 0, tell no me of fear, Love give me strength."
It is this attitude of resolute strength that she is shown preparing for the last supreme act.

The blue and purple color scheme suggests celestial purity, incongruously set in an underground tomb. (Note descending stairway in right background.)
Tybalt's bier stands in the middle ground, partly hidden by columns. The columns infer a temple more than a crypt.

Juliet is surrounded by dark spaces and arched windows and doorways that she will never explore. In the center purple space can be seen a design of links with the bottom broken off, like the links of the heroine's life.

The ultimate consummation of this tragedy would draw tears from stones, and this is expressed in the tear-drop shapes in the face stones topping the columns.

There is yet a sense of victory in self-determination and the repeated strong vertical forms create a feeling of ascension rather than defeat.


Copyright © 1990 Hannah Tompkins. All rights reserved.

 

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