Romeo and Juliet Review

Jessica Borla, Copy Editor

Welcome to high school, where you will read a lot of super old, confusing Shakespeare plays in your lit class! That last sentence doesn’t seem too exciting, does it? Little do many know that William Shakespeare’s grand old tales are actually quite hilarious, entertaining reads. In literature class of freshman year, everyone gets to read Romeo and Juliet.

Most students have heard of this classic before, claiming that they already know the story. The truth is that it isn’t all just about a boy and a girl who died for each other because of love; it is action-packed, full of comedy, and super dramatic. Personally, it was one of the best things that I have read in high school so far. I loved it because after we read together as a class, I found out how amusing the story was.

Romeo and Juliet is one of those pieces of literature where you get attached to characters really easily. You root them on through fights, you get angry when bad things happen; you feel emotion. It’s sometimes like when you are watching an intense movie and you are out of your seat and screaming at the television for the protagonist to “RUN!” or “GO!” because the bad guy is about to capture them. (I don’t know if that is what you do, but that is definitely what I do.) The play is powerful like that, especially when you act it out as a class.

Surprisingly, unlike many stories that are made into movies, the movies of Romeo and Juliet are played out and portrayed extremely well. The 1968 film (starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey) is classic and looks perfectly as if it were performed during Shakespearean times. On the other hand, the 1996 version (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes) takes a modern twist on the original Romeo and Juliet, taking place in Verona Beach. It still has all of the original dialogue, but it is just as good as the other film.

So instead of dreading reading Shakespeare in high school, learn to fall in love with it. He was a talented writer, and even today can get you laughing, fuming, or crying. I believe that Romeo and Juliet is a wonderful way to be introduced to Shakespeare, and I am pretty sure that many upperclassmen can agree as well.