TWIL #1 for Romeo and Juliet
We are starting a new unit in Humanities 10 studying Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. We are going to be posting once a week at the end of the week about what we learned (This Week I Learned or TWIL). So this is my first TWIL post.
I must admit that at the beginning of this unit I thought it would be pretty boring to study Shakespeare. He’s been around for 400 years and everyone knows the stories, especially Romeo and Juliet. However, my mind was changed by this activity where we had to state whether we agreed or disagreed with statements of issues that arise in Romeo and Juliet as an individual, in small groups, and then as a class. This discussion really got in my head and made me understand why people are still drawn to Shakespeare even 400 years later.
For a writer who was not highly educated, he asks questions in the manner of a philosopher. His plays don’t just try to answer these big questions that people today still argue about, but make us question our own values and beliefs by our reactions to what the actors do or don’t do in the play. Where society stands on the moral issues Shakespeare challenges us to face may change over time, but the questions stay the same. This is one of the reasons why I think people today still read and watch his plays, and movie makers still make recreations of his work.
It is inspiring to me how he managed to take something that was traditionally limited to only poor people, watching plays, and make it a popular activity amongst all classes, even the rich. I talk a bit more about this in my paragraph. I think it is Shakespeare’s approach to asking questions that make us examine our values and beliefs that has helped his work stand the test of time and a shifting moral compass.
Here is the collage I made to try to represent how society keeps changing how they present Romeo and Juliet, but the story stays the same.