I’ve been showing my Theater classes various versions of the Mercutio/Tybalt/Romeo fight scene to illustrate what a director does. I always look forward to showing the Baz Luhrmann version (aka the Leonardo diCaprio version) – it’s so unabashedly dramatic that it always generates strong opinions on the students’ write-ups.
This year I got a new perspective on it:
“I like how it was from the 1900’s and had like a gun and the fighting was pretty cool.”
It came out in 1996! I was a senior in high school! It’s not like I’m showing you Charlie Chaplin.
“The 1900’s.” Geez.
P.S. As another part of the same unit, the kids all get copies of this fight scene to rewrite to fit a setting of their choice. Their creativity and reinterpretations are always fun to hear. This year, perhaps the best summation was done by a group who rewrote
“Tybalt, I do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise till thou shalt know the reason of my love. And so, good Capulet – which name I tender as dearly as mine own – be satisfied.”
as “Tybalt, I love you, no homo.”