Reflection: Relevance Comparing Luhrmann's Fight Scene to Shakespeare's Play - Section 2: Watch and Learn


The fight scene in this version is intense, to quote one of my students in the short video clip. The rage is real and it is only intensified by the music and the back-and-forth switch between Romeo chasing Tybalt and Juliet waiting for Romeo to arrive, not to mention the violence of gun warfare. I've seen this movie at least a dozen times. But this year, the intensity was really hard (check this lesson's reflection to understand why gun violence is too much right now). I showed it still because I know how helpful it can be for students to see this version and I know how much they typically like it. I decided to show it, but to watch the class instead of the movie. I wanted to be ready to pause at any moment, to fast forward, or to let students put their head down or go get a drink.


We did ok. It's possible that I was more tense about it than they were (the wonders of youth), but I think that the intermittent pausing to discuss the movie helped cut the tension. They weren't lost in the movie because I kept pulling them out to think about what they saw. There's an argument for both strategies, but I knew that we needed to be prepared for the intensity of the scene.

  Reading the Class
  Relevance: Reading the Class
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Comparing Luhrmann's Fight Scene to Shakespeare's Play

Unit 16: Romeo and Juliet Act 3: Analysis of Character Development and Film to Text Comparisions
Lesson 3 of 10

Objective: SWBAT analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment by watching scenes from Luhrmann's movie and comparing it to Zeffirelli's version and our reading of the same scenes.

Big Idea: Is Romeo and Juliet relevant in the 21st century?

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