|LP Record album, Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet" 1969|
In middle school, I was so sick of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." I was the kid at the back of the classroom groaning and sighing with impatience at the girly titter tatter and exuberance that accompanied our month-long discussion of the play in eighth grade English. My thoughts about this brief teenage love story gone wrong?-- overplayed, unrealistic, and sickeningly cheesy. I especially HATED Zeffirelli's film version.
My bitterness and inability to understand such a universal narrative stemmed from my jealousy and longing for my very own teenage love story. Not to mention, who wouldn't be jealous of gorgeous Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey playing literature's ultimate couple? It wasn't until years later that I came to appreciate the story, actually becoming obsessed with the star-cross'd lovers, launching the plot into the digital age for an English project, and yes, just for kicks: (http://digitalromeoandjuliet.piczo.com/?cr=1).
We all want to be seduced by Romeo, and who doesn't fantasize about a whirlwind affair full of passion, irrationality, adventure, family drama, and the scent of death lurking in the back.