How could one change a scene in Romeo and Juliet to fit a certain era or theme?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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As seen in Luhrmann's filmatic adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragic play Romeo and Juliet, the play's adaptability is endless. Many different scenes from the play could be altered to fit into different eras.


The mob was very influential during the 1950s. Therefore, one scene from the play could be adapted in order to show "mob life" could be the party where Romeo first sees Juliet. Another scene which would lend itself well to this era is the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio.


The play could be adapted to fit into the 1960s as well. The characters could be dressed in polyester pant suits and knee-length dresses with bouffant hair styles for the women. A sceen which may work for this era is, again, the party scene.


The 1970s was an era where freedom, love, and peace were important. A good scene for this would be Juliet's visit to the apothecary. Instead of visiting an apothecary, Juliet could attend Woodstock and find the sleeping potion she needs.


The 1980s were a time of music. Rap and Madonna became very popular. You could change the balcony scene to have Romeo and Juliet rap to each other. They could be dressed like rappers of the era or like the extremely popular Material Girl.


The 1990s and 2000s have pretty much been the same (per the styles of clothes from the 90s coming back around today). Again, the balcony scene could be adapted to that of an apartment building in New York (or another busy city). Instead of Romeo calling up to Juliet, he could be texting her or yelling up to her over the noise of the traffic. Slang could be added to appeal to the modern viewer.

The links below show the modern adaptations of the play as of today.


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