Thursday, January 20, 2011

R & J: Roz Chast's txt version - i lmao and u will lol 4 sure

Tonight I scoured the internet for fun texts and activities to incorporate into a Shakespeare unit for twelfth-graders. We are not reading Romeo & Juliet, because (a) most students have already studied it by senior year and (b) it sucks. Seriously.

R & J is by far Shakespeare's most overrated and overstudied play. It always saddens me that for the majority of American students, R & J  –  and at times the similarly hackneyed Macbeth and Hamlet  constitutes the extent of their exposure to Shakespeare. Clueless teachers continue to argue that the "star-crossed lovers" conflict in R & J resonates with hormonal teenagers. I have found that teens actually tend to dislike R & J and that if they must read Shakespeare at all they would rather read those plays that have  more compelling characters than a fickle dude and his ridiculous young wife. Some alternatives: Othello or The Merchant of Venice, both of which concern issues of race relations and religious persectution still prevalent today and contain complex characters. One of these plays could be paired with one of The Bard's nuttier plays, such as Titus Andronicus.

At any rate, during my online hunt for useful teaching ideas and texts, I came across this hilarious interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. It's a modern version of the play by the brilliant Roz Chast of The New Yorker. i lmao when i read it. pls take 2 min & c 4 urself- u will luv it and lol

Romeo and Juliet Text Messages

Act 1

Login: Romeo : R u awake? Want 2 chat?
Juliet: O Rom. Where4 art thou?
Romeo: Outside yr window.
Juliet: Stalker!
Romeo: Had 2 come. feeling jiggy.
Juliet: B careful. My family h8 u.
Romeo: Tell me about it. What about u?
Juliet: 'm up for marriage f u are. Is tht a bit fwd?
Romeo: No. Yes. No. Oh, dsnt mat-r, 2moro @ 9?
Juliet: Luv U xxxx
Romeo: CU then xxxx

Act 2

Friar: Do u?
Juliet: I do
Romeo: I do

Act 3

Juliet: Come bck 2 bed. It's the nightingale not the lark.
Romeo: OK
Juliet: !!! I ws wrong !!!. It's the lark. U gotta go. Or die.
Romeo: Damn. I shouldn't hv wasted Tybalt & gt banished.
Juliet: When CU again?
Romeo: Soon. Promise. Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu.
Juliet: Miss u big time.

Act 4

Nurse: Yr mum says u have 2 marry Paris!!
Juliet: No way. Yuk yuk yuk. n-e-way, am mard 2 Rom.

Act 5

Friar: Really? O no. U wl have 2 take potion that makes u look ded.
Juliet: Gr8

Act 6

Romeo: J-why r u not returning my texts?
Romeo: RUOK? Am abroad but phone still works.
Romeo: TEXT ME!
Batty: Bad news. J dead. Sorry l8

Act 7

Romeo: J-wish u wr able 2 read now poisoning & and climbing in yr grave. LUV U Ju xxxx

Act 8

Juliet: R-got yr text! Am alive! Ws faking it! Whr RU? Oh...
Friar: Vry bad situation.
Juliet: Nightmare. LUVU2. Always. Dagger. Ow!!!


By cartoonist Roz Chast, first published in The New Yorker

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