“A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet”

So, I had to do a creative adaptation a wee bit ago as part of my coursework. Since I now have the mark for it, I thought I would put the creative piece up here (no one wants an essay). Out of all the creative pieces I ended up doing for this particular act and scene, this was the most PG. I might put the more explicit versions up at some point.

As you can see, my adaptation followed Queer Theory. So if LGBT+ stuff is not your cup of tea, you probably are going to want to give this a miss.

If you click ‘Read More’ you can read the story.

“A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet” (A Queer Adaptation of Act 2, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet) – By Patrick Ward

The night shadowed the faint echoes that emitted from the Capulet’s feast, as hordes of extravagant forms flocked out like painted sheep from the estate’s opulent grounds. These over indulgent creatures that are numb to the reality around them, with their very movements clashed between intoxicated sways and swaggers of ignorant pride. Like drunk peacocks on parade, with their velvet mantles and silk garments.

The stomps of their march beyond the ground’s borders was matched by the ever soft footfalls that danced upon the solid stone balcony that graced the eastern wall of the manor. Where a figure of ethereal beauty, the Capulet son Julio, paced with ghostly steps that faintly grace the floor; his silken robe failing to camouflage his slender legs that support a frail waist of a gaunt frame, blessed with a pale hue that shimmers in the blackness of the night. A living Aphroditus.

In the blindness of this glide, the figured remained impassive to the Stygian eyes that followed its steps, eyes that watched intently from the orchard field with obsessive zeal. Shadowing each movement with a possessive haunting, akin to a predator stalking its prey.

“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” the hushed figure murmured, as its rasped voice panted “He is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon. Who is already sick and pale with grief. That thou, his vestal, art far more fair then he.”

Sightless to the trailing eyes, the Capulet arched himself over the balcony’s ledge, shifting his arm to support. “See, how he leans his cheek upon his hand! O, what I were a glove upon that hand. That I might touch that cheek!”

“He speaks” proclaimed the figure in hushed tones, as the Capulet released a breathless sigh. “O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art as glorious to this night, being o’er my head, as is a wingèd messenger of heaven. Unto the white, upturnèd, wondering eyes of mortals that fall back to gaze on him. When he bestrides the lazy-puffing clouds and sails upon the bosom of the air.”

The angel spoke, but faintly as a whisper, as if in fear of being overheard. The words that are taboo for even the lonesome night, as if a phantom could overhear. “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”

As the masked figure, now known as Romeo, edged closer to drink the nectar of these words, the Capulet continued its lament song. “‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.”

Julio raised his hand to level to his pallor face, as he turned his skeletal appendage in a twisted fashion with his fingers twirling with one-another, like some mystical gesture. “What’s Montague? It is not hand, nor foot.” As he caresses his delicate face with his thin fingers, “Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name!”

Julio was plagued with turmoil, the sadistic game of love that so binds the star-crossed had ensnared him into its web, and the wager was thus; family or love? What greater torment could there be. How so such a birth to one house could so doom one’s freedom, a freedom to love and to chose. A title of heritage, a scion of name, a praised curse.

He shifts from his place with a dancer’s grace that is still so oddly awkward, a clumsy falter, to look upon the fresco that adorns the cobbled wall, the mural of Saint Sebastian’s martyrdom. As he murmurs under his breath “So an arrow to pierce thy own heart?” as he traces his hand across the painted mural.

Resting his head by his thin hand on mural, Julio spoke softly “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, and for that name, which is no part of thee take all myself.”

Upon these soft words, Romeo lunged toward Julio and grasped him within his arms, forcing him against the mural of the cobbled-wall. “I take thee at thy word. Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized. Henceforth I never will be Romeo.”

Julio’s debilitated physique tired as it might to escape such clutches, clamoured “What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night, so stumblest on my counsel?”

“By a name I know not how to tell thee who I am.” stammered Romeo as he placed chaste kisses to porcelain skin, only narrowly missing slight lips. “My name dear saint, is hateful to myself because it is an enemy to thee. Had I it written, I would tear the word.”

With each kiss Julio’s protests slowed, till he rested his bawled fists on his paramour’s sculpted chest. “I know the sound. Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague? How? The orchard walls are high and the place death.”

“Neither, if either thee dislike, for I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight.” exclaimed Romeo as he pressed his cracked lips against Julio’s own, devouring their soft taste. With each of their tongues darting pass one another, fighting for dominance; as Julio hissed at the sensation of calloused fingers and blunted nails scrapping across every inch of his emaciated skin, while his own danced over marked flesh and felt every grove and indent revealing more recesses of sculpted muscle.

Their intertwined form was a living antithesis, as scarred muscle under tight skin twitched and pulled in its fight with a cadaverous form, with bones seeming on the edge of bursting from the confines of pale smooth skin.

Although drinking deeply of passion, Romeo soon stopped his assault much to a disappointment, as he heard the word “Master!” called from within the manor’s walls. The nurse, the portly nurse for how long had she called. “By and by, I come” stammered Julio.

“Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed. If that thy bent of love be honourable, thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow.” Julio hastily spoke as he placed one final kiss to those cracked lips and hurried inward.

“So thrive my soul – A thousand times the worse to want thy light.” sighed Romeo as he descended the manor wall to the orchard field. For tomorrow would be the day.

Copyright © 2013 – 2016 Patrick Ward – All Rights Reserved.

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