Posts from the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Category

ABC Planning “Romeo and Juliet” Series

Purists beware.

It looks like ABC is planning on launching a new series based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but what’s nerve-wracking about it is the directorial choice: Catherine Hardwicke, known for directing Twilight. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum of literary quality.

On the other hand, maybe Hardwicke has untapped classical talent. But we’ve yet to see it. Something tells me her version of the old classic will resemble Baz Luhrmann’s more than anything. And I’m not a strict purist, but there’s a limit.

Still, in fairness, I’ll reserve judgment until I see it.

Shakespeare in American Sign Language

Here’s a fascinating piece about actors doing a production of Romeo and Juliet with a unique twist: They’re deaf, and are therefore translating the play into sign language.

This creates some interesting implications, doesn’t it? We often talk about the universality of Shakespeare’s language, but does it lose some of it’s majesty when that language isn’t spoken? Shakespeare is often done in translation, but it’s usually translated into verse. There’s no verse or iambic pentameter in sign language.

But there’s yet another level:

In this staging of the tragedy. Romeo’s family will be hearing and Juliet’s will be deaf. The rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues won’t be because of racial differences or class boundaries. Instead, the conflict will rise from different types of cultural differences, gaps rooted in communication and language.

Wow! Right? The idea that the Capulets and Montagues fight over linguistic differences is so fascinating and such a new turn on an old plot. And what’s more relevant to Shakespeare than a study in the importance of language? What do you all think of this?