Taking the Shakespeare out of Romeo & Juliet

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Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Loser Alert! Loser Alert! No one can understand what that meant. At least, no one in this generation. Mr. William Shakespeare, we hope you don’t mind, but something here needed to change. And Kathryn Skye was just the lady to help us out. Please enjoy Taking the Shakespeare out of Romeo & Juliet by Kathryn Skye.
Act I

Now, you may be wondering where this story takes place. Verona: an Italian city where it all goes down. Here, there are two distinguished families—warring mafia families –the Capulets and the Montagues. These guys are hardcore. They want nothing but the other’s head on a silver platter. Or pewter. Whatever’s available.
Now these two guys Sampson and Gregory- who are pro Capulet-are talking trash about their Montie enemies. “Hey, the Montagues suck,” “yeah, totally”. Some pro Montegues just happens to be walking around that same street that day. “Hey, you ready to eat your words?” and thus the fight beginnings. “Bring it on, Montie scum!!” *Trumpets* The prince of Verona, Escalus (Escalus? Really? These people were overly creative with their names…) threatens, “Death to those who fight in public again!” or something like that.
Then, another Montie, Benvolio, looks for Romeo, who is an actual Montague. Romeo is found sulking in a corner because he has a major crush on Rosaline, but she isn’t impressed by him. All those love notes thrown away…those trees died honorably. (Moment of silence) Anyway, Romeo has been rejected by Rosaline and Benvolio is trying to cheer him up, bring out his A-Game. Then, a Capulet servant asks Romeo to read a note he is carrying. It just happens to be a list of names of those invited to a big Cap party, and Rosaline’s name is numero uno. So Romeo decides to crash the party.
At this time, Juliet Capulet (catchy, huh?) is being pressured into a marriage to the Prince’s cousin, Paris. She doesn’t want to, of course, because who wants to marry a stuck up, self absorbed 21 year old when they’re 13 (even if he is rich and prestigious…)?
Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio go to the Masquerade party, where Juliet’s cousin Tybalt (another overly creative name) recognizes Romeo, and desperately wants his head on a whatever metal platter. Lord Capulet is remembering the Prince’s threat, and tells Tybalt to keep his sword in its sheath. Then, the most amazing thing happens: Romeo sees Juliet. “I like your mask” “thanks. I like yours too.” They are already at the holding hands phase, and Romeo, ever the romantic, says, “Let lips do what hands do” and they start snogging. *Kisses* When that one drunk that always crashes the party finally comes around, the guests leave and Romeo and Juliet find out that they are…. *Dramatic Music* enemies.

Act II (The Creeper Scene!!!)


After the drunk is safely home and everyone leaves, Romeo, creeper that he is, decides to stalk Juliet. “Romeo, why are you a Montague? Why can’t you be a Pitt or a Pattinson or a Lautner?” “Hey, I’m right here. I can hear you” “Wow, you’re such a stalker! I like that in a guy…” “Hey, it all works out for me then doesn’t it?” Juliet tells Romeo to find a place for them to marry, even though they just met. She will send her nurse to Romeo, and he has to tell her about the plans so that she can tell. Juliet. I guess their phone lines were down that day.

After Romeo gets over his brief stalker phase the next day, he goes over to Friar Laurence. He is Team Switzerland in this game of Family Feud, so he’s cool with everyone. Romeo tells the Friar about him and Juliet and that they have the hots for each other, and that they plan to tie the knot. The friar sees this as an opportunity to end the never-ending battle between the Caps and the Monties, so he agrees.

Later Romeo meets up with his buddies Benvolio and Mercutio. Mercutio teases Romeo for bailing on them to knock up Juliet *Raised eye-brow look* As Romeo defends his virginity, the nurse walks up and wants to know about their wedding plans. He tells her that they are to be hitched in Friar Laurence’s bedroom (as if that’s an appropriate place to be married. Romeo is lucky his girl is low maintenance). But she is happy because they are secretly married that night. *sigh* awww.

Act III


This act opens up with Mercutio, Benvolio and their posse, who evidently have no lives because they just sit there and complain about the heat of the day. Tybalt the nosey cousin and some other particularly abusive Capulets, bully Mercutio for the location of Romeo’s secret headquarters. “I know you know where Romeo is. I owe him for crashing my awesome Masquerade party the other day!” “Dude, I don’t have a clue leave me alone punk” Romeo walks in and Tybalt turns his wrath on him. ”I challenge you to a duel for crashing my party!” “No, man I love you now”(on account of his being married to Juliet) “and I didn’t have anything to do with that drunk guy” Mercutio takes up the offer instead, looking to give Tybalt a taste of his own medicine. “I accept in his place. En Guard!” “Well, you will have to do instead. I was really hoping for some Cap head on a platter…” and they fight.

Through flinging metal, Romeo tries to stop the fight, but ends up accidentally wounding Mercutio. As he takes his last breath, he curses both families, which is not nice at all. I would want to say something good before I die, but that’s just me I guess.

Infuriated by Mercutio’s death, Romeo challenges Tybalt to another duel. (Double action scene-this is soo cool!) and Tybalt accepts. After a few minutes of frantic sword swinging, Romeo gains the upper hand and kills Tybalt. Then Prince Escalus finds out about the deaths. Since Romeo killed Tybalt for killing Mercutio. he gets banished instead of killed. That’s a step up if I’ve ever heard one.

Juliet mourns Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment. She is emotionally confused, what with her husband killing her cousin, but she eventually decides that she will stay by her hubby’s side.

Romeo doesn’t leave right away. Instead, he goes to Friar Laurence and complains and cries about his situation. “Why does life suck so much? I just want to end it all! I can’t stalk my lovely Juliet…” “Now, why look at it that way? You could have been killed. But by the Prince’s mercy, you instead got banishment. You should rejoice in the life that has been spared, and not take it. That’s just stupid.” The nurse comes in then and yells at him for being so weak. “Shame on you!” and raps his knuckles with a ruler like a nun. Romeo still doesn’t see the point they have been making, so he grabs a dagger and tries to stab himself. But the nurse is such a cool, fast old lady she took it from him before he could seriously hurt himself, like a paper cut. Those really hurt.

Since Romeo is still having a temper tantrum, the Friar tells Romeo to stalk Juliet again until he can tell every one about their marriage.

Romeo and Juliet have their “Honeymoon” together that night, (Ooh-la-la) then he takes off at first light. Typical guy.

Also that day, Juliet is told that she will marry Paris that week. Looks like life with a stuck-up 21 year old hangs in the future. Not wanting to marry Paris, she confronts her father. He threatens to disown her if she doesn’t marry Paris. Talk about child abuse.

For comfort, Juliet seeks the nurse, who also suggests her to marry Paris because Romeo is banished anyway. So Juliet runs to the Friar’s place for help.

Act IV


Paris beats Juliet to the Friar’s. He tells the Friar of his intended wedding on to Juliet onThursday. He leaves after she comes in (thankfully, ‘cause he would have blown the whole thing). After he leaves, Juliet begs the Friar to help her with her guy problems, ‘cause they are so bad they need divine intervention. Now, the Friar is a pretty smart guy. Went to college for creating great ideas on the spot and everything. So he has this plan to give Juliet a special potion (home brewed- his momma’s recipe) to make her seem like she’s dead, when she’s actually sleeping. It makes her imitate death for around 40 hours, then she will wake up and find herself in the family tomb (I would choose another place to wake up after 40 hours. Like a sunny meadow with lots of trees and bunnies). A letter will be sent to Romeo before it happens so that he can be there when Juliet wakes up. Again with the stalker skills.

Juliet takes the poison and goes home to pretend she’s marrying Paris. She goes into her room while everyone prepares for the would-be wedding and takes the poison. *Chokes & coughs* “that tastes aw…” and collapses on her bed, dead. At least, that’s what the Nurse thinks the next morning.

Act V


In Mantua, Romeo is enjoying his new place: a trailer home, and he’s filled it with pictures of Juliet (we don’t know how he got them…he’s a big-time creeper, remember?). His servant from Verona comes up and tells him “Romeo, your wife is dead! I saw them put her in the Capulet Family Tomb” “Wife?…oh yeah I’m married now. She’s dead? Like, kicked the bucket? How? I just saw her this morning!” “I don’t know, I just saw her body.” Romeo doesn’t believe his servant (nice friend. Way to trust your servant who rode a long way from home on a horse in an uncomfortable saddle to tell you information that a letter could have said just as well. Smooth.) He goes and buys a poison that will kill him instantly, just in case. Of course, after Romeo leaves, the letter that was meant for him from the Friar just arrives. You snooze you loose. Big-time.

When Romeo gets to the tomb that night, he finds Paris there. Major testosterone and chest-puffing is going on, so they draw their swords and have a duel (Yess!! Another fight scene!!). Romeo, stalker, romantic, and now expert swordsman, kills Paris.

Romeo enters the tomb, where he sees Juliet there on a stone slab. Remember, she’s not actually dead, and you can tell because of the color in her lips and cheeks, and Romeo even says “death hasn’t taken the color from your lips”, but he can’t take a hint, so he drinks the poison just as Juliet starts to wake up. When she does come to, the Friar is there to stop Romeo, but sees his dead body, says “I gotta thing” and high-tails it out of there. Juliet sees Romeo at her feet, is over come with grief, and kills herself with his dagger.

Prince Escalus, Lord Montague, and Lord Capulet arrive at the tomb. The Friar tells everyone of their great plot to keep Romeo and Juliet together, and Montie and Cap families realize how dumb it was to fight and shake hands. “Good Game” they say. The decision to end the feud is mutual. And everybody lives happily ever after. Well, besides our “star-cross’d lovers.”…





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