Lesson 3: Multiple Interpretations

Lesson 3: Multiple Interpretations


Objective: Students will recognize and demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret Shakespearean scripts by analyzing several versions of Romeo and Juliet and then creating an original interpretation of their assigned scene.



  • Shakespeare Adaptations Worksheet  Lesson 3.Shakespeare Adaptations Worksheet
  • Romeo and Juliet Synopsis Clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnFHtx9Lb8g
  • Classic Romeo and Juliet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPFzLplSkRc
  • Modern Romeo and Juliet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py5YPJGCtpg (4:576:35)
  • Musical Romeo and Juliet West Side Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7xTvbFAhQ
  • Animated Romeo and JulietGnomeo and Juliet” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6HpUndEtP8
  • Assigned Scenes from last class.


Hook: Review Romeo and Juliet Plot

Show the video clip synopsis of “Romeo and Juliet”.  To give students the context of the play, have them pay attention to the overall story.


Activity: Adaptations of Shakespeare

Explain to students they will be watching multiple clips of the same Shakespearean scene and answering questions on a handout.  Pass out the Romeo and Juliet Handout.  Show the R&J video clips.  Give students a few minutes after each clip to discuss and answer the questions.


Activity: Personal Adaptations

  1. When the students are finished with the handout, ask them to consider their scene from the last of class. What is a different way it could be interpreted? Have students imagine a different interpretation and write it down.
  2. Choose another setting (pool, backyard, fire escape)
  3. Choose another time period (Elizabethan, 80’s, WW11)
  4. Choose another genre (comedy, mystery, documentary)


Have students share their new interpretations with their scene partners. As a partnership they should choose from the different interpretations and incorporate the changes into their scene.  They will practice and perform their modern slang scripts with the new interpretation.  Allow students the rest of class to practice.  Leave time at the end of class to present the new scenes.



Explain that next class we are going to look further into the way Shakespeare wrote his plays.