April 23, 2020
When you are a high school student, it seems that writing a Romeo and Juliet essay in your English Lit class is a rite of passage. It is a surprise that teachers do not get bored from reading these essays every single year. But one thing is certain: at this stage a teacher knows what separates a good Romeo and Juliet essay from a bad one. As a result, when a student is uninspired or makes even a minor mistake in the way they interpret the story, it will impact their grade. So how can you write an effective Romeo and Juliet essay? It starts by thinking of interesting Romeo and Juliet essay topics and prompts. If you go into the writing with a clear understanding about your objectives, you stand a good chance of success.
How to Capture the Reader’s Interest
Given that your teacher reads so many essays about Romeo and Juliet, you need to find ways to pique their interest. This means starting the essay with an interesting quote or a funny anecdote that they were not expecting. You could even make reference to the 1996 movie adaption that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and how it made you appreciate Shakespeare more. In any case, you should choose an approach to the essay from an angle that would be most enjoyable to you.
Interesting Romeo and Juliet Essay Topics
Whether you want to persuade the reader or entertain them, the first step is picking a topic that keeps them glued to the paper. Once you have made a decision, do not just write a rambling paper; make sure to support your arguments through passages in the play. Here are some good topic suggestions:
- Which characters are the most interesting?
- When is it okay to commit suicide for love?
- Why is this play so popular?
- Do young people really know what love is?
- Is this play still relevant in society today?
- What was Shakespeare’s intention when he wrote this play?
- What would you do to make this play more interesting?
- Would Romeo and Juliet be a better play if it had a happy ending?
- If the couple had survived, would they have lived happily ever after?
- Why cannot families get along?
Romeo and Juliet Argumentative Essay Topics
Forming an argument is an effective way to demonstrate knowledge about the play. It does not mean that you have to convince the reader that you are right; the point is that if you are going to express an opinion, it should at least be supported in the story. Here are some really good prompts:
- This play was actually written by somebody else
- It is irresponsible to write a play about a young couple killing themselves for love
- What is the real message of this play?
- In 100 years, will teenagers still read Romeo and Juliet?
- Whose fault is it that Romeo and Juliet died at the end?
- Could anything have made the families more reasonable?
- Are there parallels between this play and modern society?
- What would have been a more effective way to end the story?
Romeo and Juliet Themes Essay Topics
- Why are students still assigned to read this play?
- What do you like most/least about the main characters?
- Is Friar Laurence responsible for their deaths?
- What were Romeo and Juliet’s previous relationships like before they met?
- Were the couple really in love, or was it just infatuation?
- If Romeo and Juliet had survived, what would their relationship be like 20 years later?
- Is love eternal?
- Is the play popular because it is so tragic?
- Can you relate to the feelings that the couple have for each other?
- Who is most at fault for their deaths?
Romeo and Juliet Analysis Essay Topics
- What literary techniques does Shakespeare use to captivate the reader?
- If the families had known their fighting would lead to the death of their children, would they have stopped?
- Should teenagers today read this play?
- What did you like most and least about the play?
- If you wrote a modern version of the play, how would it be different?
- Who is the most important character in the play aside from Romeo and Juliet?
- Is this play realistic?
- If social media had existed during the time of the play, how would it influence the relationship between the couple?
Romeo and Juliet Critical Essay Topics
- Is the play really about love or is it about something else?
- Discuss the relationship between Romeo and his best friends.
- Are Romeo and Juliet strong-minded people?
- Was it selfish for the couple to commit suicide?
Romeo and Juliet Essay Prompts
- If Romeo had not killed himself, would he have found love again?
- Do young people fall in love too easily?
- If Romeo and Juliet had never met, what would their lives have been like?
- Is family honor the most important thing?
- If Romeo and Juliet had lived in modern times, how would their relationship have been different?
When writing an essay about this play, feel free to use as much imagination and creativity as possible, especially if you are discussing a hypothetical future in which they did not die. No matter what direction you take, just make sure it is clear and coherent. You can look through a Romeo and Juliet essay example or two to get you off to a good start.
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Read Our Romeo and Juliet Essay Example for Free (“Why it Is Still Popular”)
For over 500 years since William wrote the original version of Romeo and Juliet, the play has maintained its status as the most popular play and story of al times. It has maintained its appeal and relevance even today just as it first received its performance. Literary critiques, other writers in addition to most fans who had read any version of this book agree that the play is an outstanding and most romantic story that has been written for ages. The popularity of Romeo and Juliet owes to the fact that most of the themes that it presents for instance hate, love, death, friendship and sex related issues are problem that even the contemporary society is still struggling to deal with. These issues are mostly relevant to adolescents who since the time of Shakespeare through to Zeffirelli’s and the present times have had to deal with at some point in their lives. To talk of Franco Zeffilleri, this is a man who added a spectacular twist to this classic romance making it even more popular through adapting the play into a movie. The 1968 Franco Zeffirelli adaptation of Romeo and Juliet adds a lot of Uniqueness to this play through the involvement of youths who play the pivotal roles of the youths that William Shakespeare had in mind or intended to explore in his original version.
Basically the 1968 movie versions of Romeo and Juliet just like the original play both explore the romance of two star crossed lovers who defy the feuds that existed between their two families who were great rivals and vehemently objecting their being together. The two lovers defy these feuds in order to be together in love but being star-crossed fate has only doom in store for them. The 1968 version however adds more energy to the play by Zeffirelli’s introduction of Leonard Whiting (17 years old) and Olivia Hussey (15 years old) to play the roles of the two crossed lovers. Typically staged by adult actors in previously produced films, the 1968 version adds to the play rawness and innocent look of Hussey and Whiting which are resonated with the burgeoning youth of the time from San Francisco to Prague. The tragic romance that remains at the centre of the story also resonated with the anti-authority sentiments but despite this, the movie scores more point through its validation of the Passions and ideals of adolescents who are very strong willed. The movie brought a different dimension and tone to this romance classic which had otherwise grown a bit tiresome but still popular in reverential presentation adding more to its popularity.
Just as mentioned earlier on Romeo and Juliet’s story has held an immense relevance and appeal to the contemporary society despite the many different in regard to the values and morals that characterized the audience of Shakespeare five hundred years back in time. The story compares to the youths of contemporary society since most of the theme that it carries have been carried over into the modern world society. Just like in Shakespearean through to Zeffirelli’s times people, youths, still fall in love on a dairy basis, and families who argues and hold grudges against other trying to limit contact between their members still exist. Families who hold grudges against each other often teach their younger generations to continue the grudges making them to altercate and sometimes kill each other out of hatred and spite. People also still continue to make stupid choices in today’s life just like it was during the Shakespearean ages. Hopefully some people learn from the mistakes of other but some just like in Romeo and Juliet do not hence demonstrating the nasty face of altercations between human beings.
Another issue that makes Romeo and Juliet remain popular up to the present times is it exploration of authority, law as well as order which adds more relevance contemporary audience’s values and morals hence appealing to their perceptions while at the same time entertaining them. Since time in memorial adherence to law and order is an issue that most people especially the youth have had to struggle with at one time or the other. It is almost like people have an affinity to defiance and breaking of rules which they very well know are punishable but still go on to execute. Shakespeare’s from its original version to present day plays and movie adaptations reflect the concerns that were important to the Elizabethan era in regard to law, authority which is also characteristic of today’s world.
Shakespeare demonstrates the consequences of breaking law and order in the society through the disobediences demonstrated by different characters, the ultimate result of chaos being the demise of Romeo and Juliet. All characters in this play including Romeo and Juliet in their diverse ways demonstrate disobedience. For instance Romeo and Juliet get married defying their parent’s wishes. Others like Mercutio, Tybalt, and Montague went against the Prince’s orders by their unending violence in the streets of Verona. Flair Lawrence also aids the two lovers’ in their otherwise immoderate actions by arranging their meetings and eventually marrying them. In respect to the above Shakespeare presents simple solutions and alternatives to chaos as being obedient as well as respecting law, authority and order practicing a lot of responsibility in dispensing power as well as the punishment of ones sins. Punishment is ultimately realized at the end of the play in the demise of Romeo and Juliet. Almost all characters in a way are hurt by these death their disobedience hence getting punished. In this sense Romeo and Juliet set the moral standard not only for the Shakespearean era but also for the contemporary society through the depiction of the results of disobedience, chaos in addition to violence.
In some other height it is quite agreeable that the issue of love forms one of the most important and sought after themes in most literary texts and movies. In spite of the above since time in memorial love has always been one of the dearest issues in the society and Shakespeare bringing a unique twist to love by bringing the theme of forbidden love which is otherwise a reality in society makes the story of Romeo and Juliet more appealing to the readers. Forbidden love is a universal theme that applies to any culture or country since young and old often find themselves in love with people who are totally inappropriate for them. In most of the plays today the most common depiction of love is that for it to be considered as love, it has to be forbidden in a way or otherwise it must fail and carry some doom down with it. Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet was the fist of its kind to carry such a depiction of love and hence this remains one of the sole reasons that most still hold it popularly. Still what happened Romeo and Juliet is characteristic of what most youth even in the cotemporary society have to contend with hence the story finds relevance as almost anyone who goes through this or see’s a friend go through such an ordeal can identify with it. In addition to the above the story having been one of the greatest love story ever written by one of the greatest poet and playwright ever most people want to identify with the love of these two great characters. In fact the love between the two characters who demonstrate love at its greatest heights has since the times of Shakespeare been used as the greatest measure against which people measure their love for each other. Everybody in love wants to be like or their loves to be like that of Romeo and Juliet.
The love theme in the film has often been used I popular culture in popular culture for instance by Simon Bates a disk jokey in Our Tune. More to the above various other versions have receive recordings and released with Henry Mancini’s version, which considered most successful, whose rendition in regard to instrumentals became number one in 1969 in the United States. The song in popular culture is found in two sets of different lyrics. There is a film version which features Eugene Walters Lyrics and is called ‘What is a Youth.’ This version was released on the full-score soundtrack release. There is also an alternative version by the name ‘A Time for Us which features Eddy Snyder’s and Larry Kusik’s lyrics. The version was recorded by Andy Williams and John Mathis and the Italian version known as ‘Un Giorno Per Noi’ which also means ‘A Time for Us.’ The third and final version is known as ‘Ai Giochi Addio’ and features Elsa Morantes lyrics. This version has also been performed by two opera singers Natasha Marsh and Luciano Pavarotti. The existence of these themes and lyrics play a pivotal role in ensuring that the popularity of other play and much more specifically the story of Romeo and Juliet do not fade away in the present times. Every time one listens to these themes and lyrics the mind is taken back to the beauty of the plays and hence it becomes hard to forget about it all. Popular culture has therefore contributed to the popularity of this story through conserving in the above outlined versions.
Just as highlighted earlier much to this play’s popularity is added by the 1968 movie adaptation by Franco Zefferelli through the involving teenagers for the first time. Usually, before Zeferelli’s adaptation other producers had staged the play using older characters. For instance Norman Shearer 36 had acted besides Leslie Howard 43 year old in the 1929 Hollywood Revue. Zeferelli however brings more energy into the play by involving teenagers making the play appear more real than any of the other producers had made it. In fact this has been known to be the first version ever to screen Romeo and Juliet naked during their wedding night. In addition to this the cinematopography costumes and design which made small wonder pictures win the Oscar awards makes the poem appear even more gorgeous. Zefferelli who had studied architecture in college uses the Italian renaissance masterwork to support his excellent payers. The scene that depicts the famed balcony is shot at Cardinal Bourges ‘s 16th century building while the home of the Capulet’s was the house that had been built by Pope Pius II in the year 1940 whereas Flair Lawrence’s church is the one of San Pietro, all of these being national monuments which people can easily identify. Through all these Zefferelli had managed to create an adaptation which is very stunning and overflowing with action, sexiness and humor which no other producer has ever been able to portray and which miss from the original text. The movie hence became one of the most realistic Shakespearean tragedy interpretations.