The Impact of Shakespeare

How have people been influenced by this play over the years? Take a look below.


  1. Below is a series of recent tweets from people referencing the play or the characters. What big ideas from the play do these folks seem to focus on? Do any of the comments seem like they've missed the point of the play? Journal your responses. 
  2. So from the general public, we move on to artists. 

    This is an excerpt from Prokofiev's ballet of Romeo and Juliet. Pay close attention to the costumes, the dance moves, and the changes in the music. What do you think the composer thought of the story? What about the choreographer? Journal in your daybook and cite specific parts of the excerpt. 

  3. PROKOFIEV - Romeo & Juliet - Ballet
  4. Below is a video of The Killers covering "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits. Following the video is a link to the lyrics. Think about the lyrics and journal about what themes from the play must have inspired the writer. The songwriter also takes license with the story; how is Romeo's plight different here than in the play? 

  5. Romeo and Juliet - The Killers
  6. Two corrections on the lyrics below: 

    1) Lovestruck Romeo sings a street-song serenade
    2) Juliet, I'd move the stars for you anytime.

    Sorry, these were the best ones I could find. 
  7. This is a clip from West Side Story. Notice the title of the song "There's a Place for Us." This is the "movie song" the previous song references. How do the Romeo and Juliet in this musical compare to the Romeo and Juliet in the play? In the ballet? In the song from the Killers? Journal some more. 

  8. And finally, Taylor Swift's song "Love Story" is the most contemporary artistic production inspired by the play. What parts of the play is she focusing on here? How is this song and its attitude similar and/or different from the ones above? 
  9. Taylor Swift - Love Story
  10. Okay, so here's your challenge: 

    I want you to write a short essay response (4 paragraphs min.) about the far-reaching impact of Romeo and Juliet on our culture. Use at least two pieces from this collection, and combine them with at least one bit of your own research. Remember to cite sources!