The Queen Mab Speech: Mercutio’s Unwitting Prophecy

Mercutio's famous Queen Mab speech (I.iv.58-100) has elicited many interpretations, such as the belief that the monologue demonstrates Mercutio's genius at improvisation as well as the notion that it pinpoints Mercutio's overt homoeroticism and possible homosexuality. While one (or both) of these characterizational interpretations may be true, there is another reading of the speech that … Continue reading The Queen Mab Speech: Mercutio’s Unwitting Prophecy

“Violent Ends”: A Chronological Summary of ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Many students and casual readers tend to overlook the rapidity of Romeo and Juliet's narrative, which is unfortunate given the heightened sense of anxiety -- and thus sublimity -- that this hurried pace adds to the reading or viewing experience. The lovers' courtship is explosively fast, so it follows that their demise should be explosively … Continue reading “Violent Ends”: A Chronological Summary of ‘Romeo and Juliet’

‘Romeo and Juliet’: Getting Kids Engaged with Shakespeare…Using the Bard’s Dirty Jokes

  Romeo and Juliet has long been deigned the first Shakespearean play that students should experience. Though I often find myself at odds with pedagogical wisdom that ran current a century ago, I cannot but agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. The play is a sort of encapsulation of Shakespeare's entire body of work, for it … Continue reading ‘Romeo and Juliet’: Getting Kids Engaged with Shakespeare…Using the Bard’s Dirty Jokes