Romeo and Juliet,
a romantic tragedy.

    This workshop is going to prove that the text indeed has been a source of inspiration for two filmmakers : Zeffirelli and Luhrmann.
    In 1968 Franco Zeffirelli adapted Romeo and Juliet to the screen. In watching the fragments, you will notice the influence of the flower power, may 68, love, peace and harmony.
    In 1996, Leonardo di Caprio performed the part of Romeo in Luhrmann?s ?Romeo+Juliet?. Most of you are probably already familiar With this postmodern filmversion full of kitsch, camp, videoclip-like fragments. Can you believe that this story is 400 years old, after having seen this movie?

    It will be your job to dive into the fascinating text of Shakespeare, to study the interpretations of Luhrmann and Zeffirelli to the screen, and finally?to make your own interpretation of ?Romeo and Juliet? as a filmdirector, actor or playwright.

    Before you start the task, it is assumed that you are familiar with the story of ?Romeo and Juliet?. It would be interesting, if you did not see the movies yet, to watch them together with your friends at home or in class.

You are asked to read four extracts from ?Romeo and Juliet?:

    -Extract 1 : The Prologue
    -Extract 2 : The opening scene, act 1, scene1
    -Extract 3 : The balcony scene, act 2, scene 2
    -Extract 4 : Mercutio?s death, act 3, scene 1

After having read each fragment, you can watch the adaptations of that particular scene by Zeffirelli and Luhrmann.

Zeffirelli?s Romeo and Juliet, 1968.Luhrmann?s Shakespeare?s Romeo and Juliet 1996.

    -Fragment 1 : The PrologueFragment 1 : The Prologue
    -Fragment 2 : The opening sceneFragment 2 : The opening scene
    -Fragment 3 : The Balcony sceneFragment 3 : The balcony scene
    -Fragment 4 : Mercutio?s deathFragment 4 : Mercutio?s death

You divide into four groups and as a group you pick one of the extracts for a closer study. No one can study the same extract as another group.
Make sure that you well organize the co-operation in your group. Definitely write down the answers to the questions, take notes of what you discuss in group, your ideas, your creations.
You can always re-read the extracts, watch the filmfragments again and again.
After having performed the different steps as a group around your extract of choice, you will have to present your results towards the whole class. The other groups will have to do the same. The first group will have to come first, the second group next, ?

You will see that by co-operating, using your talents and creativity, the story of ?Romeo and Juliet? will come to life in the classroom. You will be the scholar, the audience, the writer, the directors and the players, all at the same time.

Remark for the reader (teacher):
Each group will go through four steps in the process, organized according to the didactic principle : presentation, practice, production.
The different steps in the process are organized around a textual and visual analysis of the filmadaptations, the text and tasks that challenge the individual and collective reflection and interpretation of the students.