Translations to romeo and juliet in modern english

The Story

For information on the modern script and character analysis of our version of Romeo and Juliet, view the storyline for Juliet and Her Romeo in the New Millennium below:

There are a number of Shakespeare plays in modern English, as well as numerous critical essays of Romeo and Juliet. But the idea for this modernized Shakespeare film came from The Elephant Man, the scene in the play entitled "When the Illusion Ends He Must Kill Himself," in which Mrs. Kendall visits John Merrick in the hospital and finds him reading Romeo and Juliet. Merrick surprises Mrs. Kendall by questioning Romeo's love for Juliet. "Does he take her pulse?" he asks, "Does he get a doctor? Does he make sure? No. He kills himself. The illusion fools him because he does not care for her. He only cares for himself. If I had been Romeo, we would have got away." When Mrs. Kendall points out that if Romeo and Juliet had gotten away there would be no play, Merrick answers: "If he did not love her, why should there be a play?"

What would William Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard or Judi Dench say if after four hundred years someone had the nerve to alter the plot of the star-crossed lovers? What if Juliet tried to persuade Romeo that, if he really loved her, he'd run away with her to a free-loving life unstained by slaughter? In this modern translation of Shakespeare, three post-modern Juliets, while waiting for their boyfriends to show up for dinner, share three dream-like versions of what might happen in bawdy Shakespearean rhyme:

What If?

Dream One
A honeymoon of short duration in which
Romeo wouldst leave Juliet with her pony on the go.

Dream Two
The dark side of Juliet and Romeo in which
Romeo nearly gets his scene stealing heart
At full tilt daggered.

Dream Three
In which flaccid pilgrims who would be roosters almost end
Stage roasted capons fully Stoppard.

A Group Dream
In which lingering disputes are thrust on limpest boosters
of the traditional plot by sweet-throated nightingales
become cranky larks.

Dream One Climax
In which an err-brained Montague at last
Sees the light...from below.

Dream Two Climax
In which role reversal wouldst redeem
A haughty princess and her pugnacious lover.

Dream Three Climax
In which an Aping Braggart and
The Lady Mouth go down equally and in earnest.

We believe this modern script and play summary of Romeo and Juliet can be used effectively in lesson plans and study guides for students of Shakespeare. It enables students to grasp Shakespeare's key Romeo and Juliet themes in a highly enjoyable manner by challenging those themes in a post-modern context as they were challenged by Bernard Pomerance in his play, The Elephant Man.

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Couple 1

Couple 2

Couple 3