Originally aired in the United States on PBS, Joseph Fiennes takes the viewer on a sojourn through William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” He has a unique perspective on Romeo and Juliet. He played Shakespeare – both writing and performing as Romeo – in the film Shakespeare in Love. Now he wants to examine why it remains the most-performed of all Shakespeare plays. He takes us through the original Italian story, Ballet, West Side Story and adult night classes at a South London school. Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad discuss the continuing power of the play and its poetry. And Fiennes looks at noted film adaptations, ranging from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 Italian masterpiece to Baz Luhrman’s contemporary re-imagining. Yet Fiennes sees a more hopeful message coming from the tragic ending, one about the eternal power of love.
This guide has 40 viewing questions in fill-in-the blank format that serves a notes. An answer key is provided. This is perfect for pre-teaching the play or for reviewing the play before a test. It can be found on YouTube and the PBS website and other places.
Key words: AP English Language, AP English Literature, 9th Grade Literature, British Literature, rhetoric, drama, love, Shakespeare, violence, tradition, marriage, World History, Social Studies, Romeo and Juliet