Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?

O Romeo and Juliet (1968), I write. William Shakespeare’s work hath ne’er sounded best. A tale of two star-crossed lovers told in years since past. The greatest love story of thine age is best suited for St. Valentine’s Day. Romeo and Juliet ’tis a tragedy taught in school that all should know by now. Mine own brother brought the 1968 interpretation to mine attention. In spite of countless retellings, this may in truth be the most definitive version. ‘Twas the final adaptation of a Shakespearean play nominated for Best Picture. Sir Laurence Olivier brought fine class to the opening narration.

Director Franco Zeffirelli truly captures an impassioned romance with a massive production set in fair Verona. Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design were worthy wins. Romeo and Juliet (1968) is an easy follow if thou art familiar with it. Threatened by thy feuding Montague and Capulet families, Romeo and Juliet risk love in a time of strife. They fall in love at the ball, recite famous monologues on yonder balcony, and are married with great haste. A 17 year old Leonard Whiting and 16 year old Olivia Hussey art real teenagers who bring the Bard’s immortal words to life.

Regardless of age, both young actors canst be seen naked when their union is consummated. Wherefore ’twas allowed I know not? Only that great tragedy soon follows. Both lovers art given help by Friar Laurence and the nurse of Juliet. Mercutio ’tis the scene stealing jokester best friend of Romeo who meets the longsword of rival kin Tybalt. When the Prince sends Romeo away, Juliet is faced with the unmet love of suitor Count Paris. In spite of mine knowledge of their tragic deaths, the emotional weight ’twas just as effective. Romeo and Juliet (1968) is spoken with great sincerity.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet embrace on the balcony

9 thoughts on “Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?

  1. Ah yes, a tale befitting this Valentine’s occasion, No doubt. And Zeffirelli’s is quality production. It’s good to learn it won best cinematography and costume design. And that it was the last adaptation of a Shakespearean play to be nominated for best picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A nice choice for Valentine’s Day Master Mix, I think almost all of us at one point or another saw this in either 8th grade or freshman year of High School. One of the last great period adaptations of Shakespeare’s universal love story with great performances by Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. Two fun facts: Zeffirelli had to obtain special permission to have both Whiting and Hussey appear in their brief nude moments, and Paul McCartney was Zeffirelli’s original choice for Romeo.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I really enjoyed writing this review with Shakespearean dialect. I actually wrote those first two sentences last year. Then I abandoned my review until this year when I figured the entire review didn’t need to be in Iambic Pentamiter.

      Liked by 1 person

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