Separate groups: All participants
Respond at least once for credit (10 points).

Directions: Read the following assertion by Shakespeare scholar, Douglas Brode, and respond to any of the following discussion questions that interest you:

In explaining why it was necessary for Romeo and Juliet to die, critic Douglas Brode states, "Only a variation of the primitive sacrifice of innocent victims can replace civil sickness with health, dispersing anarchy through restored order. This was the essence of tragedy for the ancients. In the end, the sick city experiences the necessary catharsis."

Brode, Douglas. Shakespeare in the Movies. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think the "sickness" of a society is ever responsible for the death of its youth?

2. What social factors may be a part of violent incidents like the shootings which occurred at Columbine High School in Colorado? And what is the new fascination with kids (whose plots have been detected early, thank goodness) saying they want to "do a Columbine"?

3. Does any good come from the deaths of Romeo and Juliet?

4. Has any good come from the violence at Columbine, Red Lake, or any of the other recent cases?

(Questions 1-4 above, along with quoted assertion by Brode, credited in part to Mary Finnerty, Director of Education, and were contained in the teacher preparation materials provided by Park Square Theater for our 2005 field trip to the performance.)

Mrs. Smith's questions: How would you rate our society in relation to the society represented in Romeo and Juliet? Are we as "sick" as Brode suggests they were? If so, what are some of our symptoms? What can we do about it?

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