You’ve watched two or three video representations of the play, Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to analyze the versions you’ve seen to identify similarities or preferences in how the different films constructed things like character dynamics through their choice in costume, casting certain actors etc.
This outline is to be used as a guide to help you plan for your Comparison Presentation. There is also a ladder at the back of the handout to help you organize how many slides and in what order you’ll put together your presentation.
You’ve already watched and analyzed the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet, cast with Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes as the leads. Some of you could identify elements of that film interpretation that you liked, but for the most part many of you disliked that film version.
The next part of our R & J study is to select a second video text and complete the same analysis as your previous watching activity. You will eventually compare your notes from the two films you’ve watched and create a visual presentation of your findings/conclusions.
Options for Viewing # 2: There are lots!
We talked previously about the option of watching exact replicas of the Romeo and Juliet story or watching an adaptation of the original Shakespeare play. Whichever you prefer, it’s your choice.
Option A: Exact Replicas: formatted from movies and stage versions
Television Version (Part 1 & 2)
Stage/Live Performance Version 1
Stage/Live Performance Version 2
Movie Version 2013
Adapted Versions: in movie format
You’ll need your Substitute Teacher to Log In to YouTube for you.
It’s important after reading this play and watching a first sample of the film that you consider some open-ended question that have no exact answer. Without a true answer, the conclusions we come to as a class must be hashed out and debated.
The three questions we’ll discuss and find a conclusion to are:
Who is the most honourable person in this play? (They would be the person to display the best characteristics.)
Which character makes the worst decision in the play? (They’d be the decision that leads to the worst outcome.)
Who is ultimately responsible for the tragedy that ends the play? (A single person we can agree is the ultimate cause of it.)
To mull over these questions initially, you can work through your responses with a partner or small group.
We will regroup, talk through what our initial reactions are to these questions, narrow our list of characters down for each question and then establish groups/sides for our ultimate debate.
Those sides/groups will then have to prepare arguments FOR their side of the debate topic as well as plan Defence AGAINST the expected arguments of the other side.
We’ve just finished reading part way into Act 3, which is the climax part of the play. We understand the for the climax that something happens that cannot be undone and everything unravels from there.
Here’s where we are:
Romeo has just gotten married to Juliet – they’re so happy. He’s waiting until nightfall when he can join her in her bedroom and they can consummate their marriage, without her parents knowing.
His friends are still unaware he’s fallen in love with someone other than Rosaline, let alone that it’s a Capulet and he’s married now.
Romeo believes their marriage might be the bandaid to heal the friction between the Capulets and Montagues and vows to treat them all like his family.
Except Tybalt, still angry that Romeo had the nerve to attend Capulet’s ball uninvited is still searching to have it out with Romeo – a duel to the death is what he’s looking for.
Mercutio is a loud-mouth and doesn’t know Romeo would hope to avoid this fight, so instead he stirs the pot and adds tension to the conversation, causing Tybalt to turn on him. Romeo fights to keep them apart from each other in their duel, and by this action allows Tybalt to get a fatal hit upon Mercutio.
Mercutio is dead. Romeo feels it’s his fault, for not continuing to fight off Tybalt. Whether now a Capulet in marriage or not, regardless of his love for Juliet, Romeo is angered by his friend’s death and wants revenge.
If Tybalt had stayed away, Romeo might have calmed down, but Tybalt returns to finish the feud with Romeo. They fight and Rome0 slays Tybalt. Now a killer, he’ll either be put to death or banished from Verona; either way, by this single action, he’s lost the chance to be with Juliet.
And it all falls apart from there.
Your writing challenge – journal from Romeo’s perspective right now. In particular, be sure to include:
what he cherishes most and fears losing
what he was hoping for in his future with Juliet
how he feels about the events that have just unfolded – his part in the death of Mercutio and the murder of Tybalt
what he fears may be the resulting consequence, since he is yet unaware what punishment he may face.