What a time we had Rosie, what a time we had. - The African Queen (1951) dir. by John Huston
Natalie Dormer on Women and Body Image in Hollywood during SDCC 2014 (x)
So I’m a bit weird because I was never taught Romeo and Juliet when I was in high school. (Our ninth grade teacher told us she “assumed” we’d all read it by that point in our lives.)
Those of you who have been taught it in the high school environment or have taught it in the high school environment: can you describe how it’s done? What did you learn? What was the focus? Primarily on character and plot? Motifs and themes? Language? Did anyone study the play as an undergraduate or graduate student?
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why certain Shakespeare plays are taught at certain levels and whether this is a best pedagogy practice. Any help from the Tumblr literary set would be helpful.
I was first taught the play in 8th grade, actually, with the main focus on language and themes. My teacher even showed us some of the 1968 film, fast forwarding through the naughty parts. Surprising when you consider this was at a Southern Baptist private school.
Then when I was in 10th grade, the drama department of the public high school I attended put on the play and I was an extra. The drama teacher split the Montagues and Capulets ethnically, like we were in gangs (Romeo was black and Juliet was Latina), because he thought the students would relate to it better that way. The performance opened to chaos as “Carmina Burana” played (I got so tired of that Orff work).
My 11th grade year I took an elective dedicated to Shakespeare, but the syllabus did not include R&J; we mainly focused on Macbeth. I think someone may have performed a scene from it at one point in the class, however.