Romeo & Juliet – comparison exercise

Take a look at this table, comparing the Zeffirelli and Luhrmann film version of the play.

It’s not bad, but there are some flaws in it, and it doesn’t cover the whole of Act V Scene 3 to the end of the play, which I want you to concentrate on, and it only compares the film versions, without reference to thr text of the play itself.

 I want you to compile a similar table for the whole of the end of the play from Act V Sc 3.  This is in preparation for a coursework assignment that will be something like this. I may alter it a little or give you some alternatives, but it is the kind of assignment you are working towards.

So, you need to be familiar with the play as a whole (the entire text can be found here, among other places), and in particular with those final scenes, a neatly presented version of which can be found here.

You will also need the transcripts of the equivalent parts of the Zeffirelli and Luhrmann  films, which can also be found by clicking on their names.

 Now, you can have all three versions on screen at the same time, together with another Word document which you can set up as a table to do the comparison.


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8 Responses to Romeo & Juliet – comparison exercise

  1. Jenny says:

    When would you like this coursework question in for, and will we get any more opportunities to work on this piece in class i.e. tomorrow’s lesson.

  2. Mr Heald says:

    It should be done before we break up.

    Tomorrow’s lesson will be your last lesson time. You will recall that I said I wanted it done by progress week. The floods intervened, which delayed things somewhat, but given the time we’ve had on this both in class and homework there is no reason why this shouldn’t have been finished by now.

    I know the last weeks have been busy for many people with progress week, music exchange, and so on and we’re all tired at the end of the year, but anyone who doesn’t get this finished before we break up will only regret it when I have to come chasing it up when the class work on it has been long forgotten.

  3. Samson says:

    Did you get my coursework email Mr Heald?

  4. Adam Stafford says:

    Sir, I know you said that it is best to ‘write a lot about a little’, but it seems that I could write a whole essay about the absence of Paris, and so by addressing other aspects aswell would result in an extremely lengthy essay indeed. So basically I wondered if without concerntrating on other aspects, the question would(/could) not be answered fully, is that correct?

  5. Adam Stafford says:

    Sorry, but just to expand on my previous comment…

    I am sure I could address each of the bullet points present on the assignment sheet, but would not that mean I would be answering the question ‘to what extent does the absence of Paris provide a richer theatrical experience’ rather than final scene as a whole?
    I just wondered what your view on the matter was, because Paris’s absence is essential in my view-point, but I am not sure it indeed portrays the whoel of the final scene.

  6. Mr Heald says:

    It depends on what you consider to be of most significance in that final scene, but it would be odd if the Paris issue were not pretty central. It seems to me that your question itself suggests that you have an interesting viewpoint worth some further exploration.

    Part of effective exam / essay technique is interpreting the question given in the light of things like the assessment criteria and any guidelines on length / time allowed etc.

    You’ve got quite a lot of room for manoeuvre here: I don’t like the idea of saying “write about this in paragraph one then this in paragraph two” etc. You can choose to make full use of that freedom, or stick just to the specific guidance given. Which do you think is most likely to be best for you? (The answer won’t necessarily be the same for everyone).

    See you Thursday!

  7. Adam Stafford says:

    Oh, another thing cropped up while I was writing my essay…

    Do we have to distinguish the difference between what is required from a cinematic version of Romeo and Juliet, as the question says how does it provide a ‘richer theatrical experience’, but would a cinematic audience really require the same from it as a great Shakespeare lover? i.e. it may not be as theatrically rich and stick only loosly to the play, but the directors will have made cuts to suit their audience, which is their whole point, as they are trying to get people to watch and buy their film, not win an award for it being closest to the play, or be appreciated by Shakespeare-lovers alike (a relatively small audience).

    I personally think it will make a good conclusion, which is that although the versions are not as theatrically rich, do they need to be, as they are aimed at a different audience compared to the Shakespeare-written play.

  8. Mr Heald says:

    Good points again, Adam.

    This aspect of the essay will help to cover the assessment criteria that refers to social and historical context / literary tradition.

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