R&J: Day 15

After doing a bit of acting (for 3.4) at the beginning of class today, we turned our attention to 3.5.

To start with, we watched the 1968 Zeffirelli film.  I chose to show the film–even though it does leave out a few key lines–to give my students an overview.  This way, we could go back and look at a few parts in depth.  After watching the film, we talked through the basic plot just to make sure we were all on the same page.  I also brought to their attention one particular set of lines ignored by the film:

Juliet: Delay this marriage for a month, a week / Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed / In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.

Lady Capulet: Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. / Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.

We examined the scene in three parts:

  1. Juliet and mother
  2. Juliet and father
  3. Juliet and the Nurse

We started each examination with a video from Shakespeare Unlocked.  First we viewed “An Arranged Marriage,” and looked at the interaction between Juliet and her mother using this handout (3.5c – An Arranged Marriage).  We examined the following:

  • Before they even start to speak, what emotions do both Juliet and her mother bring to the scene?
  • What words of Lady Capulet’s does Juliet repeat?
  • Why would Juliet echo her mom’s words?  What does this show about her state of mind?
  • What’s up with this reference to Romeo?
  • After these lines are spoken, what emotions do Lady Capulet and Juliet have?

Then we viewed our second video (“A Family Argument”), focusing on the interaction between Juliet and her father.  Both film versions that we’ve watched have completely ignored an entire section of Lord Capulet’s lines, choosing to portray a father who immediately flies off the handle.  However, when he enters the room, I get the sense that he’s not coming in to yell.  He comes in concerned, not knowing what conversation he has walked into.  His immediate attention is on Juliet and her emotional state:

When the sun sets the air doth drizzle dew,

But for the sunset of my brother’s son

It rains downright.

How now?  A conduit, girl?  What, still in tears,

Evermore showering?  In one little body

Thou conterfeit’st a bar, a sea, a wind,

For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea,

Do ebb and flow with tears.

He then asks his wife, “How now, wife? / Have you delivered to her our decree?”

As a class we answered the following questions:

  • What difference does it make that Lord Capulet comes in showing concern first?
  • How does it change the scene?
  • How does it change our opinion of Lord Capulet?  Or does it?

Finally, we examined Juliet and the Nurse, viewing “Juliet is Abandoned.”

My students will be reviewing all three of these relationships this evening using this graphic organizer (3.5f – Juliet Alone).


3 thoughts on “R&J: Day 15

  1. I love this lesson plan! I’ve done something similar informally, but I never thought to put it together like this. I checked out the Shakespeare Uncovered links but, unfortunately, they don’t work on my computer. It gave me some good ideas. Thanks for your posts; I’m a huge fan of your blog!

    • Feel free to steal any and all ideas! To view the Shakespeare Uncovered videos a friend of mine set up a proxy server so that I could view them. I wish the BBC would make them more readily available. They are absolutely fantastic. I’d pay money for a DVD of them. (And yes, I’ve searched. They aren’t available on DVD either.)

      • Thank you! I definitely will. My class and I just finished III, v today of Romeo and Juliet, and I will be starting Hamlet shortly with another class. I will post some of my own documents up soon as well. I adore Shakespeare and am always looking for new and creative ideas to teach it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s