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Romeo and Juliet on Film Lesson Plan
Excerpt From this Document
Through viewing George Cukor’s, Franco Zeffirelli’s, and Baz Luhrmann’s film versions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, students will see how one director interprets the text of the play.
Students will answer questions to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the main events and characters in Romeo and Juliet as they relate to the director’s choices.
Sample student discussion question: How does Luhrmann set the tone and mood of his version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?
Sample answer to guide student responses: Luhrmann chooses to set the film in the present day. The Capulets and Montagues are competing corporations. The young male members of their households are gang members. Luhrmann also chooses to treat the first half of the film comically. Luhrmann will also use the motifs of old money versus nouveau riche, Hispanic versus White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, and youth versus elders. Race will also come out strongly in this film.
The film begins with a newsperson reading the Prologue on TV. The scene changes to clips of Verona as a violent city. The Prologue is spoken twice and printed on screen in titles and headlines of magazines and newspapers. Like the 1931 version, the actors are presented in character in freeze-frame shots. The most obvious change is in the names. Paris becomes Dave Paris, the governor’s son; Capulets become Fulgencio and Gloria; Montagues, Ted and Caroline; and Prince Escalus, Chief of Police, for example. Juliet, Romeo, Mercutio, and Tybalt do not have name changes. Luhrmann will also transpose sections of the text to other scenes. The opening ends with the main title card. A wipe shot takes us into the beginning of Act 1.
About this Document
Lesson Plans for Films are currently available for four of Shakespeare's most popular plays: Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. Each lesson plan also includes an introductory unit on Shakespeare on Film.
These lesson plans are designed to be used in conjunction with the watching of a film version of the play. Each lesson plans covers 3-4 popular versions of the play.
The author of these lesson plans, exclusive to eNotes, is Janet Costa, MA. Ms. Costa, while at the Shakespeare Institute, specialized in Shakespeare on film. Each lesson plan contains daily lessons, with discussion questions and answers, activities, and handouts.
Your purchase allows you to download this lesson plan for 90 days. This lesson plan is offered in the following file formats: PDF
Unlimited downloads of this lesson plan are included as part of the yearly eNotes Teacher's Edition.