Friday, August 12, 2011

Romeo & Juliet

My 10-year-old niece, Michelle took this awesome photo of two swans forming a heart...perfect for a Romeo and Juliet themed post!

While visiting us last week, she showed me some videos she and a friend made of themselves on her iPod Touch. Michelle played Juliet and her friend played Romeo (making sure to clarify that she's really a girl in the intro). This stuff was hilarious to watch. And I was more than a little impressed that these two modern girls knew so much about a play that was written over 400 years ago. They had a balcony scene from the top bunk complete with the line, "Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo?" They even used a generous amount of language such as thee, thy, thine, thou. All this without ever reading or watching the niece didn't even know that it's a tragedy. Somehow they absorbed enough to get the gist from somewhere.

I happen to live in Cedar City, Utah, home of the Shakespearean Festival. Last night I watched a beautiful performance of Romeo and Juliet with my daughter. Again, the timeless impact of Shakespeare's writings struck me. People flock from all over the country and even the world to our little ol' town to see these plays. I sat in awe of the characterization, plot, poignant representation of human nature, and use of tools such as cause and effect, foreshadowing, and humor. Centuries later, he's still got it.

As writers, we could learn a lot from The Bard, master storyteller and literary genius.