Romeo and Juliet at AAHS Is Met With Criticism


Labeled for reuse by Creative Commons. The marriage of Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is taught to freshmen every year at Air Academy High School. The famous tale is about two star crossed lovers whose love for each other leads to their death. Although it sounds romantic, it’s jam-packed with drama and action.

Some students get through this particular unit with ease and are frequently entertained by it. However, that’s not always the case with every single student.

“It is very entertaining because of how dramatic every character is, but it also is very hard to understand,” stated sophomore Kendall Anderson.

For those who have read Romeo and Juliet, Anderson’s take on the story is not so far-fetched. After all, the story was written in Shakespearean form, which differs substantially from modern English. 

Many book reviewers like DOGObooks give it a 5/5, but Air Academy students like sophomore Ethan Kennedy think otherwise. 

“I would rate it a 4/10. It’s not my genre of choice but it was an okay read,” Kennedy commented.

So far, there seem to be mixed reviews on Romeo and Juliet, but since students like Kennedy don’t particularly enjoy it, why is it still so widely included in high school curriculums?

Pearl Sonnenschein, an English teacher at AAHS gives her opinion.

“I think it is important for students to read Romeo and Juliet because, whether students realize it or not, it is relevant to their lives. How many of us have acted rashly in situations and then reaped the consequences? Romeo and Juliet do just that,” Sonnenschein explained.

How exactly is something that was written in 1597 still relevant to modern-day teens’ lives? Sonnenschein goes on to elaborate further on the topic in question.

“Teenagers act impulsively and sometimes need to learn things the hard way. Why not learn that lesson from a piece of literature instead?” 

Although, Romeo and Juliet teach students a lesson when it comes to their actions and provides entertainment in the process, how come Kadets still seem to have a negative view of the play?

Anderson answers the question with ease.

“Personally, I really didn’t enjoy how naïve and desperate Romeo and Juliet were for love,” Anderson said.

Through observation, students continue to feel distant from the curriculum. So, does this mean that teachers have the same outlook of the tale?

Katie Klostermann, fellow English teacher to Sonnenschein at AAHS, disagrees.

“In general, I like Shakespeare. There’s so much drama and so many ridiculous scenarios and puns, I’m always entertained.” Klostermann then added, “I do think a few scenes are a bit wordy or not much happens, so I like to zip through those so we can get back to the sword fights and intrigue.”

Even though teenagers like Kennedy and Anderson don’t completely like it now, the play is still worthy of praise and potential future admiration. Overall, Romeo and Juliet has mixed reviews, but the classic Shakespearean story remains timeless.