Romeo and Juliet

History repeating

The story and themes in Romeo and Juliet were not original ideas. Throughout history, well into the present day, we can see real-life stories that echo the play and its themes.

  • Collect newspaper, magazine and internet articles about young love and/or family feuds throughout history. It might be a recent story, or one from a long time ago. Try and research stories from other countries and cultures than your own.
  • Display found articles on a board in the classroom. Read what your classmates have contributed. Discuss as a class what the similarities and/or differences between the stories are.

Discuss as a class the following questions:

  • Where do the stories originate from?
  • What are the key features of the culture/beliefs of these places?
  • How have these beliefs influenced these real life stories?
  • What are the key similarities between the stories you have found and Romeo and Juliet?
  • What are the key differences between the stories you have found and Romeo and Juliet?

Extension task

  • Create a new setting for a story involving young love and/or family feud. Make sure you write about how the feud was originally born or how the lovers met, and the nature of the culture of the setting, the key beliefs of the people involved, etc.
  • Write one scene from this story at a climactic moment, e.g. A young man and woman decide to tell their parents about their relationship, or the moment a feud first began.

Related resources