Have you ever tried reading any Shakespeare stories? Well I just finished studying “Romeo and Juliet” in my most recent project. We had a total of 5 classes to work on this project, three classes for learning the story of “Romeo and Juliet”, and last two classes for making our own adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet”. For this project our driving question was “Why does Shakespeare continue to be relevant to a contemporary audience?”.
In the first week of study, we spend time breaking down the themes and topics of each act, and made connections to several “Romeo and Juliet” adaptation films. I used a theme book to record my understanding of each act, and their connections to the adaptation films. Overall, this helped me to understand the importance of each act, and to visualize my own story when my group was brainstorming.
After watching many adaptation films, I came up with the conclusion that they all have similar theme to “Romeo and Juliet” no matter how the plot changes. The “Romeo and Juliet 1968” was scripted directly off of the story, old English, same characters and lines. The “Romeo and Juliet 1996” was more creative and modern than the 1968, but still very similar to the original story. The conversation between Romeo and Juliet were the same (old English) as the original story, but everything happened in modern society. While the first two had clear connection to the original Romeo and Juliet, the “west side story” was DIFFERENT. It was a gang based film, and everyone spoke normally. The scenes were very different, Mercutio and Tybalt died in a completely different way, but the theme stayed the same. Romeo and Juliet fell in love with each other at first sight, and caused many consequences because of their family issues. The story either ends with a tragedy, or a happy ending plot twist, such as zombie Romeo came back as a human, or miracle happens, Romeo and Juliet both survives.
Based on our theme statement, we chose to recreate act 4. When Friar Laurence helped Juliet to fake her death. In our adaptation, Julie and Romona are lovers. Paris is trying to convince Juliet to marry him, but all Juliet wanted was Romona. Romona was expelled from the school, so Juliet tried to get expelled as well, so they can go to the same school. She asked Mr.Laurence for weed brownies, and was sent to the principle’s office.
The final product was creative and had a funny connection to the original Romeo and Juliet story. We had a great time filming this video, and throughout the process I had a better understanding to the DQ. “Why does Shakespeare continue to be relevant to a contemporary audience?”. In my opinion, the theme of Romeo and Juliet (love at first sight/family conflicts) nowadays seems so overpopularized and generic
(k-drama), and we tend to forget how this genre started. Romeo and Juliet is a great literature piece that not just tells an amazing story but also a great milestone for storytelling today. From generations to generations, we make improvements based on the past, and established new possibilities through exploring, because of people like Shakespeare we are able to have foundational bases and build our progression on top of them, bringing literacy to another level.
good bye, I’ll see you in the next one.