William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

Synopsis: William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of two teenagers from wealthy, rival families who fall madly in love. Their impetuousness, coupled with their need to be clandestine about their relationship, leads them to seek help from Romeo’s confidant, Friar Laurence, and Juliet’s confidant, the nurse. The pair weds in secret after knowing each other less than a day. Shortly after the wedding, Romeo avenges the death of his friend, Mercutio, at the hands of his new wife’s cousin, Tybalt. Romeo is then banished from Verona by the Prince. Juliet and Friar Laurence, unbeknownst to Romeo, fake her death, which leads Romeo to decide to kill himself upon Juliet’s tomb; however, he encounters Juliet’s suitor, Paris, upon entering the crypt. After murdering Paris, Romeo takes his life. When Juliet awakes, she sees Romeo dead and, too, commits suicide. In the end, Mercutio, Tybalt, Paris, Romeo’s mother, Romeo, and Juliet die as the result of a meaningless, long-standing family feud, which immediately ends after all of the bloodshed. Two golden statues are erected in honor of the title characters.

Verona, Italy is the setting of the play.
Excerpt from the prologue of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

Romeo & Juliet  Video Summary


Text Types and Purposes

3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structures event sequences.

Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

DOK Level 1 - 4

1. Pretend you are Romeo or Juliet. Write a letter to your best friend explaining your problem. Make sure to write chronologically.

2. Swap letters (Activity 1) with the person next to you. Write a letter back to him/her, making sure to hypothesize a possible outcome of Romeo or Juliet's dilemma.

3. Receive the response letter from the person next to you. Write a letter back to him/her in which you evaluate his/her hypothesis. Using at least two quotes from the play, prove his/her conjecture right or wrong.

4.  *This activity does not build on activities 1 - 3.*

A. Pretend you are Romeo or Juliet. What is your problem? What does your best friend need to know about your situation in order to give you advice? Jot down the things you need to include in your letter, making sure to include at least three quotations from the play. Now, look at the things you have noted. Put them in a logical order that will make it easiest for your best friend to understand your problem.

B. Then, pretend you are the best friend. You can clearly see the problem. What advice would you give? Jot down a few notes about things you would suggest. Go back and put them in a logical order so Romeo or Juliet will be able to understand your answer.

C. Using Voxer (<--- click link!) transmit Romeo or Juliet's and the best friend's messages to your best friend (A.K.A. your teacher).

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