Freshmen: Using Film to Study Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Last week, the freshmen in Room G17 were introduced to basic film terminology and practiced applying that terminology to a commercial and a scene in Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet. This study was informal practice for the work we will continue this week. Students also continued to practice their reading and comprehension of Shakespeare, specifically working to understand his use of figurative language and the effect of figurative language on tone and characterization.

This week, students will continue their film work. Students will watch the beginning of the Luhrmann’s 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet and will compose a practice paragraph applying their film analysis skills to the movie. Students will write about their choice: the impact of cinematography on mood, the characterization of Romeo, or the characterization of Juliet.

Students will then work with groups to study Act II, Scene 2 of the text before watching both film versions of this scene. With groups, students will compose a film analysis essay analyzing and comparing the impact of cinematography on theme, the characterization of Romeo, or the characterization of Juliet.  This short essay will be the final major grade of the quarter. The assignment description and both group and individual rubrics are available on my lesson plans.