Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Song Analysis

Kwong, Aurora. November 22, 2008. "Romeo upset about being banished from Verona and Juliet". Online Image. http://rj-nurse.blogspot.ca/. May 7, 2015.

Kwong, Aurora. November 22, 2008. “Romeo upset about being banished from Verona and Juliet”. Online Image. http://rj-nurse.blogspot.ca/. May 7, 2015.

Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet is the beginning of the tragedy that strikes both the Capulet and the Montague families. It begins with a fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, which results in Mercutio getting stabbed by Tybalt. Romeo then kills Tybalt as revenge for Mercutio’s death. Then, Prince Escalus banishes Romeo from the Verona as punishment for his crime, rather than ending his life. Romeo later finds out about his punishments and claims that a banishment from Juliet is worse than death itself.

 

Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here

Where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog

And little mouse, every unworthy thing,

Live here in heaven and may look on her,

But Romeo may not. More validity,

(3.3.31-35)

Friar Lawrence attempts to help Romeo by helping him hide in his cell until they can figure out what to do. Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Paris discuss Juliet’s feelings toward Paris, unknown to them that Juliet has married Romeo. Capulet is sure that Juliet will fall in love with Paris if he decides that it should be.

Now that we know what happens in Act 3, let’s compare it to “Beat It”, by Micheal Jackson, and “The Banishment”, by Prong

Beat It

To begin let’s look at the song “Beat It”, by Micheal Jackson.

From watching the video and looking at the lyrics[1], there are many connections that can be made towards Romeo and Juliet. For example, the verse already shows a connection:

They told him, “Don’t you ever come around here.
Don’t wanna see your face. You better disappear.”
The fire’s in their eyes and their words are really clear
So beat it, just beat it

This can be connected to the way that the Prince feels towards Romeo since he says something along the lines of “Don’t wanna see your face. You better disappear.” but not to him exactly. Romeo is banished so he’s told “Don’t you ever come around here.”. Another connection in the lyrics is in another verse:

They’re out to get you, better leave while you can
Don’t wanna be a boy, you wanna be a man
You wanna stay alive, better do what you can
So beat it, just beat it

“They’re out to get you,” could be a connection to the threat that Romeo is possibly experiencing from the Capulets as they wanted to kill him for murdering Tybalt, along with the “better leave while you can”

Another important connection which is not in the lyrics but in the video is the fight between the two “gangs” at the end. This made me immediately think of the fight between the Montague and Capulet boys in the first scene of Act 3. Also, the focus on the two leaders of the “gangs” and the short fight with the knives resembled the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt. Furthermore, the way that Micheal Jackson tries to stop the two leaders resembled Romeo when he was trying to stop Mercutio and Tybalt from fighting but wasn’t successful, unlike Micheal’s attempt. This shows that there are many connections that can be made from the imagery of the video along with the lyrics of the song.

The Banishment

Now onto the other choice, “The Banishment”, by Prong to see if it can connect to Romeo and Juliet such as “Beat It”

From looking at the title, an instant connection to Romeo and Juliet can be seen, since “The Banishment” of Romeo is a very important part of Act 3. On the other hand, the lyrics[2] disprove this connection to Romeo and Juliet that was previously made, as they make no connections to any scenes in Act 3. To begin, let’s look at the chorus:

Cos I’m bored
So I left
No reason for me to hang around this place
I get more and more stress
Nothing anyone can offer more or less
Done grieving, closer to the end
Done grieving, closer to the end

The chorus shows that the author of the song left wherever he was because he was “bored” and had “no reason to hang around this place”. Unlike Romeo, the author had a choice on leaving or not. Romeo was forced to leave by the Prince as punishment and was given no say/choice in the matter. The music video is basically a rock concert that has no meaning or imagery to anything other than the fact that they can play their song. To conclude, there is no other connection or reference to be seen in the lyrics/video that can relate to Romeo and Juliet.

Conclusion

“Beat It”, by Micheal Jackson, showed many connections to Romeo and Juliet through the lyrics and also through the imagery of the video. Whereas, “The Banishment”, by Prong, showed almost no resemblance to any part of Romeo and Juliet other that the songs name which is what happens to Romeo in Act 3. This is why I believe that “Beat It”, by Micheal Jackson, is a better representation of Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet than “The Banishment”, by Prong.

[1]  “Prong – The Banishment Lyrics.” Www.lyricsmania.com. Web. 7 May 2015. <http://www.lyricsmania.com/the_banishment_lyrics_prong.html>.

[2]  “Beat It” Lyrics.” Azlyrics.com. Web. 8 May 2015. <http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/michaeljackson/beatit.html>.