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Review of Week 2

In this video, Neil looks back at some interesting talking points from the week and shares some extra resources.

Neil starts out by mentioning some of the international versions of Romeo and Juliet and similar stories from different cultures that were shared by participants on Step 2.2, including Violeta de Lama’s recommendation of the Spanish film Los Tarantos, and Emeline Colson’s recommendation of Romeo kiffe Juliet, a French rap/poem which you can read in English here.

Next Neil mentions the discussion on Step 2.5 started by Megan O’Neill, where other teenagers join in and talk about what Romeo and Juliet means to them. He then mentions Neal Mathias’s question about Shakespearean pronunciation, leading to discussion of what the original pronunciation of Shakespeare’s day sounded like. You can find out more in this video from Ben and David Crystal and listen to a full podcast here.

The discussion on Juliet’s age started by Jenni Mac is an interesting one, and if you’d like to read more, this academic paper, Ripe to be a Bride: Marriage Age in Romeo and Juliet, has some interesting background and analysis.

While discussing Step 2.8, Neil mentions that 95% of Shakespeare’s language is still used today and you can find out more about that in this video. The discussion he mentions with lots of regional English dialect words and phrases can be found here. In his comments on Step 2.9, he highlighted Tricia Davidson’s excellent point on the value of using different ways to start out learning about Shakespeare, whether in modern translations or manga comics. He also mentioned the children’s book Tales from Shakespeare from 1807, and you can download and read it here.

Finally, Neil mentioned the Globe Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet which will be available online on YouTube from Monday next week. You can find it and set a reminder here.

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Coming up in Week 3

Next week we’ll look at another of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Macbeth. If you want to get started straight away, go to the To do list for Week 3.

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council