romeo & juliet and shakespeare rock

romeo and juliet

i have never seen my favorite highschooler so captured & enthralled by an assigned reading \ the object of literary & artistic enthusiasm is shakespeare’s romeo & juliet (~1594-1595) <to my disappointment, to kill a mockingbird (1960) did not inspire even though i tried to sell it as a story from the point of view of a rebel child & tomboy> \ the chosen project is to illustrate favorite passages from the play / pictured above are two of nine

to supplement the reading assignment, the class watched the 1996 baz luhrman movie version / however, we have at home the far superior 1969 franco zeffirelli version \ and this is where lit&film makes the connection with my favorite teenager / a tragedy about her peers holds immediate appeal \ then there is the kicker which is the ill-fated late message / plus the language of shakespeare <what i’ll call intrinsic shakespeare>  \ her favorite passage is in act 3, scene 5

  Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day: 
  It was the nightingale, and not the lark, 
  That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear; 
  Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree: 
  Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

  It was the lark, the herald of the morn, 
  No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks 
  Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east. 
  Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
 Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops. 
 I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

surprisingly the beauty of olivia hussey who was fifteen when she took on the role of juliet had quite an impact on my favorite teenager who is also fifteen / she would always ask me “do you think so-and-so <friends, schoolmates> is pretty?” & i would give an honest answer \ this time she declares olivia hussey’s incomparable beauty particularly her green eyes & pretty nose / this made me laugh since this declaration came with a complaint about her “half filipino” nose | how pinoy to complain about one’s nose! 🙂 / it was also not lost on her that olivia hussey was about the same age as the “real” juliet  \ other versions failed the realism test for her not because of the modern take on shakespeare but because of the actors / it must also be the language & historical setting that made my favorite teenager favor the classic zeffirelli film




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