Gounod's 'Romeo and Juliet' is subject to two overlapping tendencies. The first is the influence of the melodrama and 'piece bien faite', the effect of which is the characters' conventionality, pompousness, loftiness based on astonishment, and theatre effect flagrancy. On the other hand, Gounod's work is the evidence of preservation of some notions peculiar to romanticism (harmony of antithetic elements, belief in eternal existence of love, opennes to infinity) and certifies the strenght of features typical of French romantic drama. Gounod's opera libretto structural similarity to Hugo's works (who rooted the theory of his drama in the analysis of Shakespeare's accomplishment) highlights the link between the opera 'Romeo and Juliet' and Shakespeare's romantic reception. As a result, Gounod's work proves to be an interpretation of Shakespeare's drama subordinated to romantic clarification and set within the framework of French melodrama and 'well-made play'.
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