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For our third week we challenge you to interpret and share:
We’ve invited actors André Holland, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Daniel Molina, Emma Ramos, Alexandria Wailes, and Dickie Hearts, to share their interpretations of this famous passage.
ROMEO AND JULIET
Act Two, Scene Two
WATCH: Check out the videos from our Public Theater family for inspiration on this page.
CREATE: Get inspired! Act, sing, rewrite, translate, paint, dance – whatever moves you!
CAPTURE: Record a video or snap a photo of your work.
SHARE: Post your interpretation and share it with us and challenge your friends! Tag @PublicTheaterNY on Twitter and Instagram or @publictheater on Facebook, and be sure to use the hashtag #BraveNewShakespeare.
BONUS POINTS: Tag a friend who you think is up for the challenge.
ROMEO AND JULIET
By William Shakespeare
Act 2, Scene 2
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
’Tis but thy name that is my enemy....
Read the full passage here.
ROMEO Y JULIETA
Traduccio por Pablo Neruda
Acto Segundo, Escena Segunda
Oh, Romeo, ¿por qué eres tú Romeo?
¡Reniega de tu padre y de tu nombre!
Si no quieres hacerlo, pero, en cambio,
tú me juras tu amor, eso me basta,
dejaré de llamarme Capuleto.
¿Debo seguir oyendo o le respondo?
¡Solamente tu nombre es mi enemigo!...
Lee el pasaje completo aquí.
From James Shapiro, Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at the Public Theater
This scene, in which Romeo and Juliet declare their love for each other, includes some of the most famous lines in Shakespeare: “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” and “That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet.” It also contains one of the most hauntingly beautiful images in English poetry, Juliet’s description of her love: “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, / My love as deep. The more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” Shakespeare’s main source for the story of these star-crossed lovers was a long poem written in 1562 by Arthur Brooke: The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet. While following the broader contours of this narrative, Shakespeare completely transformed Brooke’s wooden and jog-trot fourteen-syllable lines (in which, for example, Romeo says, “The love I owe to you, the thrall I languish in, /And how I dread to lose the gain which I do hope to win”) into his own richly metaphorical and musical pentameter verse. The result is one of the most memorable duets in literature, whose lyricism and intensity continues to captivate readers and playgoers.
Try speaking the speech out loud, either alone or with others in your home.
Using either the whole scene or a selected moment or speech:
Have your students write a journal entry from the perspective of Romeo or Juliet, describing in their own words the interaction at Juliet’s Balcony.
Ask them to consider including thoughts about the below questions in their journals:
Discuss the images the Romeo and Juliet use in their lines (a rose, the moon, an ocean voyage, silver tree-tops, masks, etc.).
Then have your students list 5 things that the characters say about each other using images and ask:
READ ALL OF SHAKESPEARE FOR FREE AT THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY ONLINE!
Read more about Shakespeare, his life and works here.
Read, listen to scenes, and learn more about Romeo and Juliet here.
Listen to one of our favorite podcasts with Emma Smith about Romeo and Juliet here.
Resources for Arts Educators here.
Read about teaching theater online here, here, and here.