Discussion: Theater and Film

Answer TWO questions. #1 is REQUIRED. Choose either 2 or 3.

1. THEMATIC DEVELOPMENT (required)

We are reading Romeo and Juliet this week in order to better understand some of its more important themes and how these themes are deployed in the play. Using some of the literary terminology that you have learned this week and last, identify one of the following themes and write about its development in the play. Romeo and Juliet is about: class conflict; a dysfunctional society; patriarchal oppression of women; generational conflict; the pathology of violence in society; imagination vs. reality; the destructiveness of love; free will vs. fate.

#2 or #3, your choice

2. SCRIPT TO SCREEN

Choose one of the following film adaptations:

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), Chicken Rice War (2000), Romeo Must Die (2000), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Romeo and Juliet(1968), Romeo and Juliet (1966), West Side Story (1961), Romeo and Juliet (1954), Romeo and Juliet (1936).

After carefully reading Romeo and Juliet the play, carefully watch one of the adaptations (you will need to rent the film from Amazon, Netflix, etc., if it is not on YouTube); it is better of you watch it twice. Then compose a comparison and contrast of the play and film. In what ways does the film change the play? Remain faithful to it? Bring it to life? Make it relevant for modern society? Offer a cogent thematic interpretation (for themes, see 1 above).

3. SCENE BY SCENE

Choose one of the following film adaptations:

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), Chicken Rice War (2000), Romeo Must Die (2000), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Romeo and Juliet(1968), Romeo and Juliet (1966), West Side Story (1961), Romeo and Juliet (1954), Romeo and Juliet (1936).

After carefully reading Romeo and Juliet the play, choose two key scenes from three of the film adaptations (you will need to rent the films from Amazon, Netflix, etc., if it is not on YouTube). Then compose an analysis of how each film depicts the play’s scene. In what ways do the films change the play? Remain faithful to it? Bring it to life? Make it relevant for modern society? Offer a cogent thematic interpretation (for themes, see 1 above). Compare and contrast how the various scenes address these questions.

Here are some recommendations for key scenes: The play begins (1.1), Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time (1.4), Romeo risks death to visit Juliet (2.1), Romeo kills Tybalt (3. 1), Tragic conclusion (5.1).

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